When the first cellular phone was invented, its uses only went as far as a phone call. As time and technology advanced, so did the development of the cell phone. A basic phone today can make calls, take photos and videos and even function as a GPS. But with the advantages comes the disadvantages. The increased use of cell phones has had a negative influence on society. For example, the use of cellphones has limited socializing, the demand and costs have affected consumers negatively and they have also been a common factor in many car accidents, including fatalities. The dependency of cellphones has had a negative social effect.
The cell phone is probably one of the most commonly owned devices in America. “75% of all American teens ages 12-17 own a cell phone, and 66% use their phones to send or receive text messages. ” (Madden and Lenhart 2) The cell phone has become the primary source of communication for many people. The simplicity of typing a message, or making a phone call rather than relaying that message in person has resulted in a disconnect from society for many people. “Reliance on a relatively quick and cheap form of interaction means that we might dispense with the longer and more ponderous process of a personal visit. (Ling 185). So, although you may communicate more often through cellphones, the physical part of a relationship is neglected. As a result of depending on cellphones as a main source of communication one may, in a sense, forfeit a substantial portion of a much needed social life. Moreover, socializing is an acquired ability, an ability that is significant in the growth and maturation of children and teens. The over use of cellphones can impede one from fully exercising these abilities. A large number of people own and use cellphones regularly. So much so that it has become a societal norm.
Almost every place one may go cell phones are practically expected of them. For example, at some doctors’ offices they offer a free texting service to remind a patient of any appointment that he or she may have. Many clothing and grocery stores offer coupons and sales alerts that can be sent directly to a mobile device. But the problem comes when not everyone can afford to keep up with what society has labeled to be “the norm. ” There are many people who cannot afford to buy a phone let alone afford a phone bill every month. The cost for cellular service is xpensive and always increasing. According to a survey, “Of the 1,400 readers who responded, 80 noted their bill was between $190 and $210. On average, that group had 3. 1 phones, meaning the cost is about $65 per phone. People with bills near $250 paid $67 per phone” (Sullivan). As a result, a number of people reported that they felt the need budget and cut back in order to afford a phone bill. Unfortunately, society essentially requires people to have a cell phone, even with cut backs and budgeting, having a cell phone is not financially realistic for everyone.
The use of cellphones has shown to be very dangerous to drivers and their passengers. This is mainly due to the increase in texting and driving as well as the amount of phone calls made while behind the wheel. According to Madden and Lenhart, 52% of cell phone owning teens ages 16-17 say they have talked on a cell phone while driving. That translates into 43% of all American teens ages 16-17 (2). With such a high percentage of distracted drivers, the likelihood of accidents, with and without fatalities has also increased. In 2008 alone, there were 5,870 fatalities and an estimated 515,000 people were injured in police reported crashes in which at least one form of driver distraction was reported” (Madden and Lenhart 3). Every time a driver decides to use a cell phone while operating a vehicle, they are not only putting their lives in danger, but also the lives of their passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers. Since the invention of the cell phone, its uses and capabilities have become a part of an everyday American life, an everyday life which cell phones has impacted society negatively.
With an increased dependency on the cell phone, society and its growth have experienced major setbacks. Socialization, personal financials, and automotive drivers have all been effected in negative ways. This is mainly because the cell phone has evolved and is now made to do nearly anything one may think of. So although the cellphone was intended to help with one’s everyday life, what seems like a good idea at first may not affect society positively in the long run.
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