How You Use it Matters
Cellular or mobile phones are already considered a necessary thing nowadays. Along with the development of computer technology, mobile technology took prominence as well. However, despite its wide use, many people around still are not conscious (perhaps this is not very important to them) of the advantages and disadvantages of mobile phones. Especially for consumers, it is mostly important that they determine what these phones provide for man’s everyday life before they consider buying. In a general view, mobile phones are very useful and advantageous since the user will have many things done by single equipment. And since it is mobile, man is able to bring these things with him always. A more detailed discussion on these advantages and disadvantages will be the focus of this particular paper.
First, cell phones are essential for security purposes. In an examination why many people adopt cell phones, the participants acknowledged that these phones provide them ‘salvation’ from difficult situations (Kavoori & Arceneaux, 2006). This form of ‘salvation’ may imply certain things. First and probably the simplest one, most – if not all – mobile phones have “flashlight” features. Mobile phone users have the advantage of bringing light with them. They can even use this feature at night when walking on dark roads. Older women even treasure the advantage of cell phones when going to church at night, and the use of these phones are very beneficial when out on the road (Horst & Miller, 2006). And even this simple feature of mobile phones will bring great security to many during the night. In fact, this is also very useful during emergency electricity break-outs. Especially during natural disasters one may use a cell phone’s flashlight feature if ever any other means of light is unavailable. Another implication of how mobile phone brings ‘salvation’ to its users has something to do with direction. Since the demand for even greater technology, mobile phone manufacturers sought ways to bring in the feature of Global Positioning System or GPS. Although only the mobile phones of the higher ‘class/categories’ have this feature, this will – for sure – become a standard feature by some time. Now many may admit that going to a certain place by driving your own car is not a simple one – particularly when the place is not yet common for the driver. Mobile phones with GPS give relief to such travelers by giving a more detailed view of their position unlike with just a map in hand. As aforementioned, such mobile phones have other things in them. And that suits to everybody’s demand. Another implication of ‘salvation’ is the capability to call for emergency. When one is stuck in a place without knowing which way to go or when a car went wrong and stopped in the middle of nowhere, mobile phones will let the person in need to call for emergency from nearby public centers and offices. Although this is also under another advantage of mobile phones, which will be also discussed later on, it is also under the benefit of mobile phones when it comes to security.
Second, another advantage of cell phones has something to do with status. This advantage may not be very common to many, but research attests that there are certain people in some societies who adopt mobile phones for such purposes. But this refers to the lack of status implied by having older and less popular models (Kavoori & Arceneaux, 2006). Because of some self-esteem issues in people today, mobile phones are not only taken as technical objects but as social ones as well. People will always have their mobiles phones a means to have status among their peers. Although this advantage may not be very essential, it becomes a prominent issue nowadays.
Third, it is widely acknowledged that mobile phones are very beneficial especially when it comes to communication and entertainment purposes. Let’s look at this through the scope of people’s demands. First, parents embrace the fact that mobile phones are very essential for them to communicate with their children or even their household maid at home. Since women are already becoming busy in their jobs it is important that they become able to coordinate with their children for their comings and goings (Druin, 2009). This is definitely related to the benefit of mobile phones when it comes to security. Students have already been allowed in most schools to bring cell phone with them and use it anytime throughout the school day. Emergency updates, updates on the time for pick up, and other updates on the child’s activity is very important to be communicated. As Bruno stated, “cell phones are perfect mechanism to support this kind of communication” (as cited in Druin, 2009). Now let us look at the scope of students’ or young people’s demands. Mobile phones also serve as means of entertainment for many. Young people can use them beyond voice and text communication, and they can also use them for listening to music and watching videos. Mobiles phones have many features for this. In fact, the advent of the Bluetooth feature also complemented such use of mobile phones. Users are able not only to download music and video files but to share it with others as well. Having music and video in one’s mobile cell phone is very beneficial particularly when stuck up in heavy traffic, when hearing unpleasant music around, when wanting to relax from a day’s hard work, and so on. With the great inclination of this generation to music and video entertainment, mobile phones just suit well to their desires and preferences.
There are more specific advantages mobile phones have. They are even used today as file storage systems. The advent of memory cards has allowed users to widely use their mobile phones for various applications like file storage. Cell phones may also be used as a means of payment nowadays. Some stores allow the users to just wave their mobile phones in front of the merchant’s wireless receiver equipment and eventually the credit or debit transactions will be successfully completed in just a matter of seconds (Shelly & Vermaat, 2008). Most mobile phones today even have n attached camera feature that allows users to take pictures anytime and anywhere. This is what has been aforementioned; a mobile phone is advantageous generally because of the various features in just one gadget. Indeed, it is worthy to consider whether these features are present in the mobile phone one is about to buy. If so, that mobile phone is worth buying.
However, one should not put his/her mind merely on the advantages of mobile phones in order to decide on purchasing one. First, mobile phones contain negative health factors as well. These gadgets have specific amount of radio frequency that is emitted, having absorbed by the head of user. This happens when the user puts his phone near his ear during conversations or when listening to music through headsets. Mobile phones are not permitted of use in the airplane or hospitals at some certain time simply because they can cause interference with other electronic equipment due to microwaves. So, in a logical sense, if equipments get affected by these microwaves from mobile phone it is very likely that this can be applied also in relation to the human body. Thus, too much exposure results to great health hazard for the user. Thankfully, ‘loud speaker’ feature is also available in mobile phones. One should be using this instead of putting the phone near the human ear. Moreover, the best safety precaution here is to refrain from too much listening of music and frequent voice communications. In addition to this, negative health resulting from too much radiation may refer to infertility. Research study confirms that the more time men spend on mobile phones, or carry turned-on phones in their pants, the lower their sperm quality is (Crotton, 2010). Indeed, people should keep from too much exposure to cell phones.
Another disadvantage in mobile phones is cost. Some dealers and manufacturers require consumers to pay monthly dues for features like voice service, roaming service, etc. If one would plan having more features in the phone, high costs will most likely be present. However, is the feature has something to do with voice communication, many would just prefer calling through landline. This is much cheaper than through mobile phones.
Another disadvantage of cell phones is great distraction. When the user forgets to put the cell phone in ‘silent mode’ it may ring aloud in the middle of movies, music concerts, theater plays, and other places where absolute silence is expected (Rochford, 2011). In fact, the light of the phones screen may distract others when inside theaters. In relation to this, one very popular issue on the distraction of the mobile phones has something to do with car accidents. There are countless issues that attest to the great danger of texting or calling while driving. For instance, shocking information in a conversation may greatly affect the driver’s consciousness in driving. Texting will require the user to look at the screen, thus making him half-conscious with the road and other things in the road: other vehicles surrounding his own vehicle and the traffic lights/signs.
Another disadvantage may point to the lack of privacy. People are able to clearly hear voice conversations. Unless the user prefers to use text messaging, private issues may be heard by the public. This mostly happens in crowded areas. For instance, when one is travelling through a transport vehicle with its windows open, the voice of the caller is not likely to be clearly conceived by the receiver of the call. Thus, the conversation will require one or both of them to speak loudly due to the noise coming from around.
Lastly, what others commonly fail to see as a disadvantage of mobile phones is the great tendency of addiction – particularly when it comes to children and young people. There was even one advertisement shown in YouTube portraying two children who woke up early from bed and each took his own gadget to update his status in the social network account. The video implied that doing such thing is good and satisfying to do. Many young people today even seems like they couldn’t live a single day without texting [senseless] messages to their peers, spending much time on their phone screens instead of making right use of time. People should know how to use these mobile phones in the right way. If these will be used too much at the expense of doing what is right and reasonable for a specific time, event, and place, then mobile phones will just bring about great disadvantages in life.
As the title of this paper implies, what really matters is the manner of use of these mobile phones. If one will just long for preferences and not needs, high costs will certainly happen. If one fails to discipline the self from spending too much on cell phones, health risks are more likely to be present. If parents would allow their children to use mobile phones for simply entertainment and other unreasonable purposes, instead of responsible and sensible objectives, then mobile phones will just be a source of addiction to some. There are indeed many advantages and disadvantages of cell phones. If this technology is used unwisely, disadvantages take greater prominence. Conversely, if this is used in the right manner, advantages are well deserved.
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