Making smart connections: Switching to a smart phone

Thinking about making the switch? Do you keep making the excuse you don’t need a smartphone? I know exactly how that is. I resisted owning a smartphone.

Making the switch helped me become more productive as a public relations student.


Boost Your Success

In January 2014 Pew Research Center reported, “58 percent of American adults have a smartphone.” Just because most Americans have a smartphone doesn’t mean you should make the switch. The fact that a smartphone can boost your success should.

In order to be successful in public relations, texting and calling are essential. By making the ‘smart’ switch I’ve found these features are more reliable in smartphones than in basic cellphones. I need texting and calling to work with groups, and I will one day need it to work with clients.

Basic phones have texting and calling, but the quality is poor. With a basic cellphone receiving group text messages is a nightmare. For me, group messages took days to receive and slowed down my phone. I also received blank messages or had to download the message, and it never would download. Without group text messages I always felt out of the loop.

With the basic phone I also had problems receiving phone calls. Essentially, my phone stopped ringing. Then I would find a notification telling me I missed a call. Without the reliability smartphones offer for phone calls and group text messaging, I couldn’t survive.


Equipped for the Internet

Smartphones give you access to the Internet at all times. In May 2013 Pew Research Center reported, “63 percent of adults cell owners use their phones to go online.” With my basic phone I tried to search for information, but the Internet was slow and wouldn’t load the sites.

With a smartphone I am able to quickly find what I need on the go. Whether I am on a trip, doing homework or working, I can look up information or check my email.


Thousands of Apps

Smartphone apps improve productivity, learning and entertainment. In July 2014 Statista reported, Androids had access to 1.3 million apps, and iPhones had access to 1.2 million apps. As a public relations student, I use school-related, news and social media apps most often.

The Kindle and AP Stylebook apps are my favorite. The Kindle app allows me to have all my books in one place. As a result, my backpack is lighter. I don’t worry about forgetting books.

Having access to news apps is important because they keep me up-to-date on trends and current events.

Smartphones make connecting on social media effortless. Social media is a huge part of staying connected in public relations. Not only do public relations professionals need to have a presence on social media, they need to be proficient and have access to the platforms at all times. Smartphones provide this social connection whereas basic phones do not.

With my basic phone I only had a presence on Facebook and Pinterest. I rarely checked these sites or knew how to use them. With my smartphone I constantly network on social media.

Smartphones have also helped me with productivity. I switched to the iPhone because it allows me to sync my iPhone, iPad and MacBook. Obviously, iPhones are not the only smartphones out there. The Sony Xperia, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Google Nexus 6 are others to choose from. But for me, the iPhone was the best solution.

One of the best decisions I ever made was making the transition from a basic cellphone to a smartphone. Now I wonder how I did anything without it.


Image courtesy of Hannah Childs



Hannah Childs is a public relations student at Brigham Young University. She works as magazine editor for BYU’s TWO magazine, Housing Guide and New Student Orientation. She is a member of BYU’s honor society for mass communication and journalism, Kappa Tau Alpha. She is from Gunnison, a small Utah town that has more cows than people. As the youngest of five, she had to learn fast to keep up with her siblings. She loves to dance, ride horses and play tennis.

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