High Point University

Do applications on our phones help us or waste our time?

By Ann Shelley// Opinion Editor

What was the world like before you could order food on an app through your phone? Oh my goodness, I believe you physically had to pick up the phone and call to place an order or go in and eat. Our world and even more our society at large has changed since the development of applications and phones. An application is an item that is designed by a programmer to fulfill a purpose for its users. Some apps can waste peoples time and others can help individuals have their own hobbies or for educational purposes. 

We can have applications on our phones, tablets, etc. They can be for educational use, however, most are used for procrastination. For example, on my iPhone, I can view my “screen time.” This includes categories such as social networking, creativity, entertainment, reading, productivity and others. Overall, I spent three hours and forty-five minutes on social networks and only nineteen minutes on productivity. I didn’t spend any on creativity, entertainment or reading. If I am going to be spending any time on my phone, it should be productive.

The most popular item on my social network category is Instagram. A lot of individuals my age would agree, it is a way for us to keep up with what’s going in the world around us. 

“I personally like Twitter the best, it is the easiest way to keep up all my favorite celebrities and how I find out the latest drama,” said Jess Fermin, a senior at High Point University. “It’s a lot like reading a magazine but it’s nice to be able to do it right off my phone.”  The other popular ones are Pinterest, Snapchat, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. 

Snapchat was a life-changing social media creation because you could send pictures that only lasted 10 seconds to an infinite amount of time. It became a new way to communicate. However, the more individuals use applications on their phone to communicate instead of it being in person, the more antisocial we become. 

“iBooks is my favorite thing on my iPhone right now,”  said Emma Griffith, a senior at HPU. “It is so easy to download a book and read it wherever I am at whatever time. It saves the hassle of carrying a book around with you.” Apps are great educational tools that can be used on-the-go. For example, the apps TED or Khan Academy are two educational services. The TED app is all of the TED talk video libraries that you could ever hope for. This is a platform you can use to learn about the world about us and certain topics that are popular in this day and age. Furthermore, Khan Academy has professionally taught courses just a click away on your phone. I utilized a lot when teaching myself lessons about specific calculus topics. 

However, a lot of apps can be also used for boredom on long plane rides or other traveling days. There are millions of games out there in the App Store that you can play, checkers or do a car race virtually from your phone with others. When they first came out with applications, “Angry Bird” and “Fruit Ninja,” were some of the most famous apps being used. I personally loved “Fruit Ninja” because you could get lost for hours playing it. There were little fruits that would pop up on the screen and you would have to slash them to cut them in half. However, if you hit a bomb then you blew up and game-over, the goal was to cut as many fruits as possible. We have this same game via the Arcade on campus in the bottom level of the Wanek Center! Go check it out to relive those glory days in middle school of playing that game on your iPod touch. 

Applications are definitely beneficial for our society, it’s just based on how we use them. 

“When I need help looking for inspiration for a current graphic design project, I look at what I have on my Pinterest feed,” said Nicole Sickenious a senior at HPU.  “This is something I can utilize quickly, rather than searching for hours”  This is one way that applications can help us with our school work. Now, we can even have our textbooks right on our phone, as a result, we end up saving a lot of paper, benefitting the environment. I believe that procrastination can definitely be due to a lot of the new apps we have and the ones we’ve had. However, how you use them is a matter if they are beneficial or not to you.  

Overall, you can see the many reasons you can get lost procrastinating on your phone or tablet. The phone is something you have with you at all times of the day. You can sit in class and avoid paying attention by looking at the Twitter feed or Snap-chatting back one of your friends. Although applications are taking over our daily life, they are more helpful to us than ever before. You can now automatically book flights on your phone, order pizza to be delivered straight to your door, create a whole graphic design project and read the latest news articles all on a little device. Through all these different applications we open ourselves to a whole new world that we can unlock with the click of a button. If we want to learn how to edit better you can download the “Youtube” app and watch tutorials. If you need to buy a pair of shoes ASAP and don’t have access to a computer, you can download your favorite store’s app and buy them instantly. Applications have advanced our culture and made our mobile devices even more valuable, therefore, they truly are useful in our society today.


Technology can enhance our education when used properly. Photo by Ann Shelley