Mobile phones are intelligent devices, created by human beings, which have been a breakthrough discovery in technology spanning over past one to two decades (Saylor, 2012). Mobile phones have indeed impacted societies, by and large, in addition to, just being a technological breakthrough. Importantly, mobile phones are quite user friendly. Societies, primarily youngsters, of age group between 15 to 40, have been influenced a lot by mobile phones. Indeed, the benefits of mobile phones are faster connectivity to friends, families and various networking sites and news on the internet. The downsides of usage of mobile phones are addictive behaviors, exposure to harmful radiation from the phones and social separation due to excessive connectivity. However, small children are also getting trapped by the addictive behavior of mobile phones thereby losing their precious childhood years of outdoor play and relationships with parents. Also, the older generations, who have not fallen prey of addiction of mobile phones, are indeed facing alienation because of their children and grandchildren getting addicted to mobile phones. In this essay, we have point-wise discussed the interrelated social aspects of addiction to mobile phones.
Mobile phones and young generations-Overall impact
Mobile phones are a fashion, as well as, an entertainment device amongst the young generation people. Also, the new generation mobile phones are equipped with a lot of functions, like camera, GPS, music players. In fact, the old generation mobile phones had only couple of options like phone calls and text messaging. Various ways the mobile phones impact the young generation can be summarized in a point wise manner.
- Mobile phones and entertainment- This comprises of myriads of online games and watching online television.
- Mobile phones and 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 a havoc on the psyche of the youngsters.
- Mobile phones and fashion statement- 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. Mobile phones, along with, mobile phone accessories, are one of the major focus of today's generation.
Mobile phones and 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.
Relationship issues and use of mobile phones
The foremost criteria of any relationship are effective communication and empathy. However, the predominant usage of multiple functions of mobile phones by the youngsters have taken a heavy toll on judicious use of mobile phones for effective communication. The relationship issues, associated with, improper usage of mobile phones are.
1. Misunderstandings and mobile phones-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.
2. Mobile phones and impulsive behavior-At times, youngsters resort to the mobile phones to vent out their anger in an impulsive manner, which has often serious repercussions affecting the health of people.
3. Mobile phones and psychological effects- 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.
Social responsibility, mobile phones and behavior change
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.
- Educating children about correct and wrong behavior-This can be done right from the primary school level.
- Use of mobile phones should be restricted to a few applications/functions in young people-Government policies should be made to implement this.
- Creating 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.
Human beings are thrilled by the dream of freedom and hence, strive to achieve this freedom by exploring new things. Furthermore, mobile phones come handy for such explorations because of multiple functions. Also, mobile phones being inanimate objects need judicious usage by the user, such that, his/her usage of mobile phone does not lead to addictive behavior and a bunch of associated problems. Most important, is the awareness of youngsters, towards such a great harm caused by the addiction to mobile phones, which might be able to curb this problem.
- Saylor, M. (2012). The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything. Perseus Books/Vanguard Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-1593157203.
- 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.
- 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.