Role of Technology, Effects on Etiquette

Topics: Mobile phone, Sociology, Cellular network Pages: 4 (1441 words) Published: March 29, 2008
As of the end of 2004, it is estimated that 180 million Americans were wireless subscribers and had talked a total of 1.1 trillion minutes, up one third from the end of 2003 (Humphreys). These social trends are significant as the statistics show how prevalent the use of technology such as cell phones has become in modern day societies. Cell phones now come equipped with multiple functions, with one device replacing the functions formally performed by several. The convenience offered by cell phones has promoted their now ubiquitous usage. Cell phones now seem to be involved in every aspect of people’s daily lives as multitasking grows in popularity especially amongst the new generation of young adults. In light of these factors it is important to explore the role of cell phones in terms of the potential erosion of social norms and interpersonal communication skills that could possibly result in an increasing tendency of people to interact with their hand held devices instead of communicating with those around them. A study conducted by Cook, Lesch, Lipscomb, and Totten focused on cell phone etiquette specifically among college students. Their findings were based on a survey designed to outline out what behaviour is considered appropriate and inappropriate as part of establishing the existence social norms regarding the use of cell phones amongst this segment of the population. Social norms are standards of expected “behaviour maintained by a society”; though some are formal and have been written down specifying strict rules others are informal in that they are “generally understood but not precisely recorded” (Schaefer 70). The researchers examined the perceived appropriateness of the use of cell phones, using a scale to determine the agreement, disagreement or ambivalence of participant opinion under specific circumstances; what was found to be completely inappropriate by the respondents was the use of cell phones when in the company of others, in the library or...
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