Cell Phone Technology

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“Whether we use cell phone technology at work, in public, or for personal reasons it all contributes to how connected we feel to other people and to our daily obligations.” (Hanson) Take a walk down any major city in the world Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, Mumbai, Shanghai, or New York City and you will most likely find someone attached to their cell phone or blackberry. The number of cell phone subscribers world wide reached 4.6 billion at the end of 2009 and estimates show a growth rate of one billion cell phone subscribers per year. (Wong) Secretary General Dr. Hamadoun Toure of The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is “confident we will continue to see a rapid uptake in mobile cellular services in 2010, with many more people using their phones to access the internet.” And it would be no surprise considering the latest estimates for 2009 for the number of mobile phones in service among the leading economic countries of Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC). Brazil is currently ranked 5th in the world with 183.7 million, Russia is ranked 4th with 208.3 million, USA is ranked 3rd with 285.6 million, India is ranked 2nd with 601.2 million, and China is ranked 1st with 786.5 million cell phone subscriptions.(CIA World Fact book) The fact of the matter is cell phones have become the prominent form of communication around the world. (ITU) These figures are clearly indicative of the cell phone phenomenon that is currently taking place on an international level. When faced with such astronomical figures we must ask our selves a few questions. How are cell phones affecting us culturally? and whats happening to our quality of life as a result of cell phone use? These are the topics that I will be exploring in this research paper. People use cell phones for a variety of different reasons. They are used to keep in touch with family and friends, to develop social networks, search the internet, send emails and text messages, shop for deals, navigate on the road, and conduct business. The traditional use of a cell phone as a form of communication no longer exists. The cell phone has evolved into a hybrid of some sort with its most notable technological feature; the mega pixel camera. As we move forward toward the unforeseen future we begin to realize the importance of the cell phone and emerging role the mega pixel camera plays in our society along with the impact it has on our culture. The camera’s indispensable features are coupled with innovative cell phone applications that are designed to better meet our cultural needs. I will explain the significance of the cell phone mega pixel camera and the effects cell phone applications have on our quality of life a bit further into this paper. But first I will focus on how cell phones are affecting us culturally?

We live in a society where multitasking has become almost second nature. Our cell phones act as an added extension to our bodies to help accomplish our multitasking needs. The brilliance of the cell phone is that you can send a text message to invite a friend to lunch, browse the internet to choose a restaurant, view the menu to select your meal, receive navigation directions so you don’t get lost, find the nearest parking to save on time, snap a picture of your food to post a review and rate your overall experience, share it with your social circle, and still have time to conduct a little business by sending an email to your coworker for your latest work project. All of these tasks can be performed with the use of a cell phone that fits conveniently in the palm of your hand. With such an expansive array of useful features the ubiquitous cell phone is now more appropriately known as the smartphone. According to PC Magazine the definition of smartphone is a cellular telephone with built-in applications and Internet access which provides digital voice service as well as any combination of text messaging, e-mail, Web browsing, still camera, video camera, MP3 player,...
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