Apps: Helpful or a Waste of Time?

Matilda Buehler, Staff writer

From the minute we wake up, most of us highly depend on our phones. We use it to set our alarm, check the time, upload pictures, or tweet about the last interesting event. Nowadays a great majority of the American population relies on emails, phones, and laptops, and a life without technology is unthinkable. We use our phones in numerous ways throughout our everyday life and most of these actions require an app. Many apps are designed to make our life easier and less stressful, but when do we reach the point where the use of an app is just a waste of time?

I think apps are helpful otherwise they wouldn’t play such an important role in our society. According to “statista,” 2.2 million apps are available for android users and two million for IOS users. A variety of apps that are functioning as calendars or to-do lists work just as well as the original, paper version but don’t need extra space, or add additional weight  when carried around. A wide spectrum of apps that support a healthy living, contribute also to our welfare. By keeping us on track and setting goals, these apps make exercising and healthy eating easier than ever before.

Using apps is often faster and easier than any other way, and the app industry is constantly updating old products and bringing new to the market. According to “Time Magazine,” one of the most successful apps in 2016 was Venmo. Venmo is a safe way to pay online, share bills with friends, or allows consumers to pay people money back. Venmo is just an example of many other apps that facilitate online payments. Other apps that are designed to keep an overview over spendings or paying debts. “It sounds useful but, whether I would use it depends on the safety of the app”, states Danielle Pike (12).

Although apps are certainly useful, some of them easily steal our valuable time. As many other people I find myself spending time on games like Flappy Bird, Candy Crush, and Pokemon Go. Countless other apps with no particular purpose other than entertainment are available under the game category in the app store. Confirming to comScore, the average American spends about 70 hours a month on their smartphone, and young adults from the age of 18 to 24 about 95 hours, and about 15% of this time is spent on games. Instead of spending this time on setting a new high score in Flappy Birds or attacking enemies in Clash of Clans, the time could be invested in a hobby or spend with family and friends. However, the danger of getting lost in the endless offer of online games is high and often the easiest solution is to delete them from the phone. For my part the danger of addiction to useless, time-consuming apps is just another thing that we have to handle when we choose to use modern technology.

Overall apps have a great and positive impact on our modern society. Although some apps may distract from more important issues, the decision is to the consumer whether to use them or not. “I think the usefulness of apps doesn’t always depend on the app but on the person using it,” says Marina Alcaraz Platon (12). For me the point when apps become a waste of time is reached when we spent time on them instead of working on school work or hanging out with friends. However I am convinced that among the mere endless offer of apps there are so many that lessen stress, improve our life, and make it more comfortable.