The apps enjoyed by 35% of the American adults who have mobile phones are useful in so many different aspects of their lives: not only can they tell you where to go and what to do in a certain area, but they’re also able to pull up information about anything at the touch of a button. 

However, this technology also comes with its downsides, and the “app culture” generation is sadly suffering from a range of problems. Whether it’s limited attention spans or simply an absence of focus, there are lots of maladies arising as a result of the app world. Here are just some of the upsides and downsides that parents, teachers and the younger generation themselves are now having to face.

Increased convenience 

One of the major benefits of app culture, of course, is convenience. For the young people at the forefront of the app generation, this means that they can let mom and dad know where they are at the touch of a button or find out a fact for their homework with just a tap of the screen. As they grow up, they’re likely to find that everything from management of their personal finances to their ability to play live casino games are impacted by the app technology they have in their pockets – so it pays to learn early.

Tech skills

More generally, though, using apps is a great skill to have. There’s a huge market out there for app developers these days – and even when your child is still young, exposure to modern technology is a great way to spark an interest. Even if – as in most cases – the use of apps as a child doesn’t end up leading to a career in coding or user experience, there are still plenty of reasons to encourage children to use them. 

Being a “digital native” (or someone who intuitively understands how to use apps and similar technologies as a result of their young age) is now essential for young jobseekers, and those who can demonstrate a strong understanding of mobile technology and its relationship with profit and consumer behavior are likely to jump to the head of the queue for many jobs in years to come.

Lack of focus

However, there are also some downsides to app culture. As young people are growing up, they have all sorts of problems to face and issues to tackle. Whether it’s how to navigate friendships and relationships or simply how to pick up learning and revision tips in order to get through high school or college, there are all sorts of things that a modern young person has to learn – and that’s before they’ve even picked up their phone.

Apps, and the devices that the young people use to access them, can quickly become an extra problem. In the middle of revision and exams, for example, the last thing that a young person needs is to become victimized by cyberbullies or other similar threats – yet this is sadly all too common in modern app culture. With many apps being widely noted for their addictive qualities, it’s unlikely that anything will change soon.

Communication skills

In many ways, apps are essential tools for learning how to communicate in the modern world. They show people both young and old what the effects of certain types of communication are, and they also reveal how easy it is for things to go wrong when you communicate the wrong sort of message.

However, apps are also deadly when it comes to communication. By emphasizing screens over humans, it can become easy for young people to lose interest in interacting with other people in a real-world way – even if, ironically, communicating is exactly what they’re doing on their screens. This can lead to a host of problems, including a decreased ability to empathize and an increased risk of becoming isolated. As a result, it’s wise to try to strike a good balance between on-screen and off-screen communication.

As with any new technology, it’s important to remember that nothing is perfect – and even apps come with their good sides and their bad sides. While apps may provide convenience and skills to the younger people who use them, it’s also clear that it can lead to problems – especially in the fields of communication and focus. Ultimately, it’s wise to approach apps with a sensible and clear head, and simply ensure that they are consumed in moderation as a way of enabling an easier life – rather than taking over your life.