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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Poll: are smartphones one of life’s essentials?

This poll is about 7 years old

​Could you live without your smartphone? How essential to modern life are they?

Is the smartphone one of life’s essentials?


Next time you’re walking down a busy street, take a wee minute to look around you.

There’ll be the usual stuff – the pigeons and the charity chuggers – but just look at the people for a moment.

I’m writing this from an office overlooking Sauchiehall Street in the centre of Glasgow. As an experiment, I’ve just counted the amount of people who have walked past in 20 seconds.

It’s one of the city’s busiest spots and it’s Black Friday, so the footfall is heavy. Around 20 people have gone past – and at least eight were either talking on their phone or looking at it.

Ok, so this was a completely unscientific study – but it confirms something I think we all know.

That we are addicted to our mobile phones. We can’t stop playing and fiddling with those little four inches of fun.

It mostly goes unremarked – but it is truly remarkable. Millions of us are waking about with tiny computers which pack the sort of processing power and connectivity potential which would have been the stuff of sci-fi not very long ago.

But could we live without them? Are they crucial to how we live our modern lives?

That’s why we’re asking: is the smartphone one of life’s essentials?

Vote now and join in the debate by leaving a comment below.

Voting in this poll has now closed


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Derek Manson-Smith
about 7 years ago
People who are constantly on their phones, playing or fiddling, do drive me mad, especially in social situations or as they walk across the street without looking as I approach on my bike. However, as my phone, iPad and computer are all synched, my phone has become an essential that I would find hard to do without. I don’t use in when in company or walking across the street, honest.
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about 7 years ago
I couldn't answer this! If you have other internet access then no a smartphone is not essential. If your ONLY internet access is via your smartphone, then YES it is essential. It's not the phone, its the access and information that it allows you have at your fingertips that matter.