You’ll probably find an uninvited, yet unavoidable, guest at Thanksgiving this year—a smartphone. They’re distracting. They’re addicting. Some of us can’t imagine life without them.
You wouldn’t know it with how often we check them, but according to a 2013 study, smartphone features have actually saved us an estimated 22 days each year. That extra free time might be spent scrolling through news feeds or playing mobile games, but in terms of productive activities—messaging, emailing, and scheduling appointments—the benefits of smartphones are more efficiency and connectivity than ever, and that’s something worth celebrating.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are five smartphone features we’re thankful for
At the start of every productive day is an alarm we set the night before. Smartphones have effectively replaced alarm clocks, offering the same basic functions of waking us up when we need to, and more advanced features including multiple alarms and custom tones. Who still has an alarm clock by their bed, anyway?
Having quick access to the people we care about is an amazing convenience. Forget a phone number? No problem. Email? Got it. From home addresses to company titles and personal emails, the contact feature helps us keep in touch with those who matters most. Around the holidays, when there are plenty of thank you notes to mail, that’s indispensable.
Forgetting a friend’s birthday in 2018 is basically unforgivable. With multiple types of reminders, and the ability to sync email and social media calendars, you never miss a thing—even birthdays. Calendars and birthday reminders can probably take credit for saving more than one friendship.
Smartphone cameras get better every year. Auto-focus, depth of field, and portrait modes capture every detail of our best moments, and when details matter most. Such as needing a proof of purchase, or remembering something important but not having the time to write it down. And during the holidays, it’s a wonderful way to share your celebration with family and friends who couldn’t be there in person.
Our teachers told us we wouldn’t always have a calculator in our pocket. And how wrong they were. Nothing is better than getting the bill and having a calculator readily available to figure out the tip. Also, the ability to do math at any time is pretty great, too.
News feeds today are full of posts about being thankful for the ones we love. But we should also be thankful for how much easier it is to love them because of our smartphones.
What’s a smartphone feature you can’t live without?
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