Introduction to Mobile phone Technology boom
Human intelligence is far more unfathomable to have created smart means of transport and communication like high speed aircrafts, LCD televisions and, of course, mobile phones. Advent of mobile phones is rather recent spanning over a maximum of two decades (Saylor, 2012). Nobody ever thought before how mobile phones will be impacting the society, by and large, what we see exactly today. Also, when we ask a question how such a small device can impact the society to such an extent, the answer, which comes spontaneously, is “Mobile phones are continuously in the process of getting upgraded by ongoing technological advancements”. Indeed, we are thankful to the scientists and technologist to make new models of mobile phones with improved functions, but what happens to the people who use it? Do we know the answer? Possibly Yes or No. Yes, some of us think that mobile phones are a great blessing to mankind. It is only with the means of mobile phones we can access so much of information with such a great ease, but actually the scenario of use of mobile phones is quite grave because it leads to addictive behavior. Accordingly, our main focus in this essay is to emphasize the addictive behavior of people to mobile phones, which often has devastating consequences.
Reasons behind rampant usage of mobile phones by the young generations and its overall impact
Primarily the youngsters, of age group between 15 to 40, have been influenced a lot by mobile phones (Lopez-Fernandez et al. 2014). The prime reasons for such an influence being the interest and adaptability of young people towards new technologies. Also, fashion trends for the usage of new models of mobile phones and an inclination of youngsters to access the functions like camera, GPS, music players and the internet are the reasons for heavy usage of mobile phones.
Although the benefits of mobile phones are faster connectivity to friends, families and various networking sites and news on the internet, there are several downsides to the usage of mobile phones. Not only are the youngsters, small children also getting trapped by the addictive behavior of mobile phones thereby losing their precious childhood years of outdoor play and relationships with parents. Addictive behavior of the young generation to mobile phones is also creating an indirect influence on the social alienation for the elderly. Hence, social alienation of the elderly can be considered as one of the devastating effects of mobile phones.
Various ways the mobile phones impact the young generation can be summarized in a point wise manner.
- How are mobile phones associated with entertainment?
This comprises of myriads of online games and watching online television, which often leads to addictive behavior.
- How do Mobile phones influence the virtual world?
Social networking, without the knowing the person in reality, is a curse to the youngsters. Booming up social networking and dating sites and their easy accessibility on mobile phones is creating havoc on the psyche of the youngsters by addictive social networking.
- How do Mobile phones influence fashion and jealousy amongst youngsters?
With the availability of a wide range of handsets from color to shapes and sizes; it has often become a fashion statement for the youngsters. Also to keep up with the current trends of fashionable mobile phones and accessories are creating a lot of jealousy and competition amongst the youngsters, which are considered as serious social issues.
How do Mobile phones impact health?
Any kind of overindulgence leads to serious health issues. Also, mobile phones are not an exception to that. Actually, mobile phones are all-in-one devices, which create a lot of options, for exploration, to the young generations. The list of options is endless and the youngsters aimlessly go behind exploring such options. As a result, serious health issues crop up. Such health issues and aftermaths of the health issues are listed as.
- Mobile phones and Insomnia-Often overindulgence in mobile games and social networking and dating sites renders a person sleepless and tired (Borbély et al.1999).
- Mobile phones and accidents-The earphone attachment of the mobile phone for listening to music or to be busy on a phone conversation during driving or crossing roads are the major culprits of fatal accidents happening on roads, amongst the young generation (McEvoy, 2005). Also, taking on mobile phones near a gas station may lead to fire hazards.
- Mobile phones and radiation-Mobile phones known to emit certain electromagnetic radiation, which are harmful to people's health. Accordingly, it is advisable to keep a mobile phone at a distance while sleeping, and not directly under the pillow.
How are relationship issues associated with the rampant use of mobile phones?
The foremost criteria of any relationship are effective communication and empathy. However, the predominant usages of multiple functions of mobile phones by the youngsters have taken a heavy toll on judicious use of mobile phones for effective communication (Sansone RA and LA. 2013). The relationship issues, associated with, improper usage of mobile phones are
- Misunderstandings, which can arise during mobile phone conversations
Long conversations on mobile phones often lead to misinterpretations and misunderstandings. This is because one is not able to see the body language during phone conversations.
- Addictive use of Mobile phones often leads to impulsive behavior
At times, youngsters resort to the mobile phones to vent out their anger in an impulsive manner, which often has serious repercussions affecting the health of people.
- How addiction to mobile phones impacts the psychology of an individual?
Addiction to mobile phones are so much that the youngsters feel rather lost if they were to live without a mobile phone just for a single day. Most often a youngster describes his/her life as confused, anxious, insecure, irritable, lonely, restless, crazy, panicky, paranoid, jealous, angry and depressed without a mobile phone. Accordingly, such imbalances in the psyche of an individual lead to serious relationship issues.
How can behavior change and social responsibility help in reducing the devastating effects of mobile phones?
Addiction and social attrition go hand in hand. Such is the havoc created by mobile phones. The potential of mobile phone to wipe of human relationships and harmony, which in turn, can lead to increased incidence of crime in the societies. Strict measures need to be taken to mitigate such addiction to mobile phones and their associated behavior.
- We need to educate children about correct and wrong behavior towards the usage of mobile phones
Parents and teachers can take a major role in implementing this right from the primary school level.
- We need to restrict the usage of mobile phones to a few applications/functions in young people
There is a necessity of Government policies to implement this.
- We need to create awareness regarding ill effects of mobile phone addiction
People should be educated regarding such ill effects right from an early age and continued education must be provided to people creating awareness towards ill effects of mobile phone addiction through television advertisements, posters, newspapers and media.
Addictive behaviors are mostly influenced by crazy interest of people towards various ideas and objects. Initially, the people are in the exploration phase for such things of interest, like mobile phones, but, eventually such addictive interests take a heavy toll on the psyche of the individual, which in turn, affects the society. As any addiction becomes a serious social issue in the long run, it is important to create awareness of youngsters, towards such a great harm caused by the addiction to mobile phones, which might be able to curb this problem. Importantly, scientists have been trying to create measuring scales for addiction, which might also help to categorize individuals based on the extents of addiction (Kwon et al. 2013). Accordingly, therapeutic de- addiction strategies can be designed.
- Borbély, AA; Huber R., Graf T., Fuchs B., Gallmann E., Achermann P. (1999). Pulsed high-frequency electromagnetic field affects human sleep and sleep electroencephalogram. Neuroscience Letters , 275 (3): 207–210.doi:10.1016/S0304-3940(99)00770-3. PMID 10580711.
- Kwon, M., Lee, J.Y., Won, W.Y., Park, J.W., Min, J.A., Hahn, C., Gu X., Choi, J.H., Kim, DJ.(2013). Development and validation of a smartphone addiction scale (SAS). PLoS One, e56936. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056936. Epub 2013 Feb 27
- Lopez-Fernandez, O., Honrubia-Serrano, L., Freixa-Blanxart, M., Gibson, W. (2014). Prevalence of problematic mobile phone use in british adolescents. Cyberpsychological Behavior Society Network. , 17(2):91-98.
- McEvoy, S.P., Stevenson, M.R., McCartt, A.T., Woodward, M., Haworth, C., Palamara, P., & Cercarel, R. (2005). Role of mobile phones in motor vehicle crashes resulting in hospital attendance: a case-crossover study. British Medical Journal, 331: 428-432.
- Sansone, R.A., Sansone, L.A. (2013). Cell phones: the psychosocial risks. Innovations in Clincal Neurosciences, 10(1):33-37.
- Saylor, M. (2012). The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything. Perseus Books/Vanguard Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-1593157203.