The Impact of Cell Phone Use on Social Networking and Development Among College Students

Topics: Mobile phone, Cellular network, Rotary dial Pages: 17 (5115 words) Published: April 10, 2013
The American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences Journal (The AABSS Journal, 2011, Volume 15)


Mikiyasu Hakoama & Shotaro Hakoyama
Central Michigan University

Cell phones have become increasingly popular in recent years. While people of various ages find cell phones convenient and useful, younger generations tend to appreciate them more and be more dependent on them. Based on a survey conducted in a midsize, Midwestern university, college students’ cell phone use was examined. The survey consisted of 44 questions that dealt with various aspects of cell phone use, such as cell phone ownerships, time spent for cell phone calls, monthly cell phone bills, communication networks, text messaging, and cell phone dependency. The survey results indicated that, of the 501 responses, 99% owned cell phones and nearly 90% of them have had cell phones for more than three years. The results also showed significant gender differences in several aspects of cell phone use. Multiple interpretations of the findings are discussed.

Key Words: mobile, dependency, social, network, technology


The American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences Journal (The AABSS Journal, 2011, Volume 15)

Cell Phone Popularity
The cell phone is one of the most rapidly growing new technologies in the world (Rebello, 2010). In 2001, cell phone subscriptions were less than a billion worldwide with the majority of the subscriptions from the developed countries. At the end of 2010, however, cell phone subscriptions had reached five billion worldwide with subscriptions from developing countries outnumbering that of the developed countries (Kelly, 2009; Rebello 2010).

Cell phones have become quite popular in a short time among the younger generations. A study in Norway, for example, reported that almost 100% of 16 yearolds owned a cell phone in 2001 while less than 20% of 16 years olds owned them in 1997 (Ling, 2001). For cell phone users, this possession has become as important as wallets (International Telecommunication Union, 2004).

Influence of Cell Phones
The increased popularity of cell phones in recent years has attracted research attention. Some of the common cell phone related research topics include cell phone use while driving (Caird, Willness, Steel, & Scialfa, 2008; Horrey & Wickens, 2006; McCartt, Hellinga, & Braitman, 2006), cell phone etiquette (Lipscomb, Totten, Cook, & Lesch, 2007), cell phone cultures and behaviors (Campbell & Park, 2008; Bakke, 2010; Ling, 2004), text messaging (Pettigrew, 2009), health risks from cell phone radiation


The American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences Journal (The AABSS Journal, 2011, Volume 15)

(Anna, Kari, & Anssi, 2006), and cell phone dependency/addiction (Billieux, Linden, D,acremont, Ceschi, & Zermatten, 2007; Ezoe et al., 2009; Zulkerfly & Baharudin, 2009). Recent studies suggest that cell phones have evolved into something more than a simple communication tool, gaining its own place in various aspects of social interaction. For instance, a qualitative study on Australian adolescents revealed that cell phones play an integral part in the lives of young Australians (Walsh, White, & Ross, 2008). Some of the participants in the study reported very strong attachment to their cell phones; they felt as though their cell phones were part of them. In another qualitative study, Bond (2010) examined children's cell phone use and concluded that cell phones were fundamental tools with which the children maintain and manage their relationships contributing to reinforced peer ties.

Among the cell phone users in romantic relationships, a higher number of voice calls was associated with positive relationship qualities (Jin & Peña, 2010). Other studies reported that the presence of cell phones provide a higher sense of security in...
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