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Cell Phones and Society

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Cell Phones and Society

Cell phones and other mobile technology devices have completely revolutionized the everyday lives of people all over the globe. I’m sure that anyone reading this right now owns a cell phone or at least knows several people who do own cell phones. Many people rely on cell phones and other mobile communication devices to proceed through their everyday lives. According to the U.N. Telecom Agency Report, there are at least 6 billion cell phone subscribers throughout the world (Goldberg). There are a little over 7 billion people living in the world ("How Many People Are There in the World?") so it is pretty obvious that cell phones are extremely common and are used by most people all over the planet. When cell phones were first introduced to society they were extremely large and awkwardly shaped. They were used only to make phone calls and were not used nearly as frequently as they are today. Today cell phones are not only used to make phone calls, but also can be used to send and receive text messages, browse the internet, play games, listen to music, take pictures, record videos, hold contacts, and many other useful things. Cell phones have evolved in many ways in the past 40 years. Today, cell phones are small enough to fit in your pocket and can be used almost anywhere in the world. The first mobile telephone call ever made was made on April 3, 1973 by a Motorola employee named Martin Cooper. Martin Cooper was in New York when he made his phone call to competitor AT&T saying “I’m ringing you just to see if my call sounds good at your end.” The call was made on a Motorola DynaTAC which was 9 inches tall, comprising 30 circuit boards, and had a talk time of 35 minutes and took nearly 10 hours to recharge. DynaTAC was an abbreviation for Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage. Even though the first call was made in 1973, this phone was not offered commercially until it went on sale March 6, 1983. It took close to 10 years for manufactures to advance the first cell phone so that it could be used by everybody. It was first priced at $3,995 and had LED light display for dialing or recall one of 30 numbers (Mobile Phone: 40th Anniversary Of The First Call). Over the past few decades, cell phones have evolved much more quickly than its earlier innovators had suspected. When cell phones first started to be built I’m sure that no one even thought about the day when a cell phone would instantly be able to search the internet and tell you what’s going on anywhere around the world. At today’s day and age, everyone has the world at their fingertips. Bringing the internet to cell phones and other mobile technology devices opened up a whole other world to the technology community, but there are many both positive and negative effects of this on society all over the world. The everyday lives and society in general have changed drastically in the past 30 – 40 years. Around 30 – 40 years ago, children would go outside and play or find some other productive activities to do to keep themselves occupied. Many children, teenagers, and even adults rely on their cell phones constantly and some couldn’t go a day without them. Kids everywhere are constantly getting in trouble for having their cell phones in school and other inappropriate places. Everyone is so reliant on their cell phones that they can’t find time, even in school, to take a break from their little phone screen and focus on more important things in life like school and work. A study, from researchers at the University of Haifa in Israel, focused on high school students at three different high schools. Out of the 591 students surveyed, 95 percent of them said they have regularly sent emails or texts during class and 94 percent said they have browsed the internet, usually on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Listening to music is another popular classroom activity, according to 93 percent of students. Even 91 percent of the kids admitted to making phone calls off their cell phones in school before. Overall, 60 percent of students use their cell phones in class ("High School Students Use Cell Phones in Class-but Not for Schoolwork, Says Study"). Not only is this a huge distraction form whatever these students are actually supposed to be learning, but students can easily cheat during school by communicating with other students, silently, whenever they want. Another very important issue with cell phones today is cyber bullying. This occurs in mostly teenagers and maybe even some children and adults, but either way it is still happening all the time all over world. People have the ability to say mean, hurtful, and embarrassing things to other people behind the keys of a message board. People can post embarrassing pictures, videos, sound recordings, and statuses about other people. This issue is getting so big and out of hand that there are bills and laws being made every day to try to stop it. There are already 16 states across America with laws against cyber bullying and there even have been federal laws proposed against it. Close to every single school across the country have rules and regulations having to do with cyber bullying. Cyber bullying has led to things like fights, suspension and expulsion from school, crime, and even things as awful as suicide. Studies have shown that over 25 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones or the internet and more than 1 of 3 teens and adolescents have received threats via cell phone or internet ("Cyber Bullying Statistics."). And now that technology is as advanced as it is, teens have the internet at their fingertips and can be cyber bullies at any point and time. Cell phones also pose as a huge distraction when you’re driving. Many car accidents are caused by people using their cell phones while driving. People are texting and making phone calls while driving which causes their eyes and mind to be focused on their cell phone instead of the road. Drivers are severely distracted by ongoing conversations and are prone to ignore signs, signals, and other traffic. While responsible cell phone use might cut back on the most fatal mistakes behind the wheel, the best choice is to shut off the phone and concentrate fully on the road. Laws all over the country are continuing to get stricter on driving and using a cell phone. Not only is the person driving and using their cell phone putting themself in danger, but they are also putting all of the other innocent people on the road in danger as well. NSC updated its annual attributable risk estimate in 2011 using new data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The updated study estimates that at least 25 percent of all traffic crashes, or at least 1.6 million crashes per year, involve cell phone use per year ("NSC Estimates 1.6 Million Crashes Caused by Cell Phone Use and Texting."). Also, in a 2008 survey by Nationwide Insurance, 67 percent of people admitted to using a cell phone while driving (Usborne). Another study conducted by the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia, presented to the Pediatric Academic Societies in May, found teens using a driving simulator while sending text messages or searching iPod menus changed speeds, steered erratically, and in some cases, ran over pedestrians. These behaviors clearly pose a danger to drivers and others around them. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among people between the ages 16 – 20. Teenage drivers are four more times more likely to crash than older drivers when not texting (Moore). Another huge problem with cell phones and other similar devices is that not everyone uses them the way they were intended to be used. An issue across the country that continues to grow more and more important is sending nude pictures or “sexting”. “Sexting” is where minors send sexually explicit or nude and semi-nude photos by cell phone. The frequent offenders of this are teenagers, but it is committed by adults as well. Many people don’t realize that once they send an inappropriate picture like this, that that picture is going to be out in cyberspace forever. Issues on this topic have grown so bad that as of 2012, 13 states have already introduced bills or resolutions aimed at “sexting”. The importance of a child’s action in relation to sexting is not always fully understood by them or their parents, but all 50 states have some type of legal enforcement. While most parents understand that a child caught with sexually explicit pictures on their phone is against the law, the severity of the charges that could be charged against the child can be more than expected. For example, in states that have not specifically addressed sexting, it is very possible that the state will turn to its child pornography laws to solve the problem. Not only is “sexting” a legal issue but also relates back to cyber bullying. Once one of these pictures gets in the wrong hands, it can instantly be spread amongst classmates and other friends. This can lead to endless harassment, teasing, and bullying to the person who originally took the picture. People can stay connected 24/7 through texting and social networking sites online, so for the person that is being abused it may seem very overwhelming because there really is nowhere to escape ("U.S. Sexting Laws and Regulations."). Even though cell phones have resulted in many negative effects on society, they will never go away or die out so it is better to focus on the positive effects that cell phones have on society. Sure the world has changed a lot because of cell phones, but it hasn’t necessarily changed for the worse. Cell phones have improved the world and our everyday lives in many ways, hence why so many people around the world own them. One positive effect of how common cell phones are today is that they are always there when you’re in trouble and in emergencies. Many lives have been saved because of a simple 911 call off of a cell phone. Even if you are alone and get in trouble, you can quickly call someone or call 911 to save you. Most of the more modern cell phones also have tracking devices in them so if you are ever lost or in the unfortunate case of a kidnapping, there is a good chance on someone finding you. Cell phones continue to become more and more convenient and portable. They continue to decrease in size and weight with longer battery charges and newer features. Anyone who owns a cell phone is able to instantly contact anyone, pretty much anywhere in the world, whenever they want. Long distance calls can be made at extremely low charges. In this way you will have little difficulty in keeping in touch with your friends, family and especially those who are geographically distant. For students doing projects, in times of uncertainties, can easily phone your group mates or teachers to consult them and solve any questions you may have. Internet connection in most phones also mean we can access the web outdoors through sources other than our laptop, yet smaller and more convenient. However, it is of course not as powerful. Text messaging is the most common means of communication in the world. It is definitely the most convenient way to communicate with somebody and not be heard. Text messages can also be sent to large groups of people simultaneously. It is also much cheaper to send and receive a text message than to make a phone call. Cell phones are not only used for communication purposes. There are thousands of other things that you can do on your cell phone through the internet. Having almost any information that you can need at your fingertips is a huge benefit of cell phones on society. There are thousands of educational applications that people can download on a cell phone to help them learn. They can also search the web and research and find information on almost anything they can think about. The most modern and popular cell phone on the market today is the iPhone 5 manufactured by Apple. To say a cell phone like this has thousands of uses would be an understatement. Cell Phones continually to become more and more advanced that it’s hard to think what it can’t do. It can easily be used as a GPS device, flashlight, dog whistle, and many other interesting features that people take for granted. The cell phone industry in general also employs hundreds of thousands if not millions of people all over the world. This industry would not only include the people who work for the many cell phone companies, but the people who design them, the people who put them together, and the people who actually make it possible for them to have service. Depending of the type of cell phone that you buy and the type of service you get, cell phones can be relatively cheap. You can buy a cheap track phone at the dollar store for a only a few dollars, or pay hundreds of dollars a month to have a nice touch screen smart phone that’s able to search the web and do almost anything you could imagine in the palm of your hand. I guess you get what you pay for but it is unbelievable that amount of money that is spent on cell phones. The average cell phone bill in the U.S. is around $63per month and around $760 a year for an individual user ("How Cell Phones Have Changed Your Budget."). This money is what keeps the cell phone industry going strong. Without cell phones, the economy would be severely damaged all across the planet. Not only do people make money on making it possible to have a cell phones and providing them, but people also sell accessories like phone cases and screen protectors. There are also companies that cell ringtones and other cool things to make your phone as custom to you as possible. Cell phones have also helped most people around the world more active and a more participating citizen in society. Even if you are shy, it is very easy to send a text message or talk to someone online on some kind of social networking site. Many people meet new friends and even husbands and wives on apps you can download on your cell phone. There are constantly advertisements for dating websites that are meant to help people find their soul mates over the internet. Cell phones with internet on them make it even easier to talk to and socialize with people all over. No matter where you are you can pretty much to whoever you want. I would say that this is more of a positive effect on society than a negative effect. People meet new people and involve themselves in interesting things all over the world because of the convenience of today’s modern cell phone. Either way whether cell phones are affecting society in a positive or negative way, they are going to affect it forever now. They have become such an important part in everyone’s lives that no one would be able to even imagine a world without cell phones. They are constantly being improved and this evolution of technology is the same as the evolution of anything else, it’s going to continue forever. It is even common now to see little children at ages like 5 and 6 years old to be seen with their own cell phone. Society will never be the same as it was before cell phones were invented and before they were popular. Many companies and businesses even use social networking sites that people access on their cell phones like twitter, Facebook, and intstagram. You only need to take a quick drive around the city to see that cell phones, cell phone advertisements, and promotions to get cell phones are everywhere. At this point and time in our generation, it is probably the best advice to get a cell phone now if you don’t already have one which would be a very rare case. Society is constantly changing and evolving and it is best that you change and evolve with it. Mobile technology will always be involved and infiltrated in the everyday lives of most people all over the world. Even though they have caused many problems in society like less physical activity, cyber bullying, and using the phone while driving, cellphones have proved themselves so helpful and necessary in everyone’s lives that they will never go away. It is crazy to think about how far the simple and large cell phone that was made just to make a short and simple phone call has evolved into a small touchscreen piece of technology that is able of almost anything and everything right in the palm of your hands. Every day, people see new advertisements and other forms of news that an even more advanced cell phone or mobile technology device will so be coming out. This is just a prime example cell phones are going to always continue to affect society.

Works Cited
"A Cell Phone Is One of the Most Unique Forms of Technology That Has Beencreated within the past One Hundred Years." A Cell Phone Is One of the Most Unique Forms of Technology That Has Beencreated within the past One Hundred Years. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2013. <http://www.personal.psu.edu/swm5212/finalproject.html>.
"Cyber Bullying Statistics." - Bullying Statistics. N.p., 2009. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. <http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/cyber-bullying-statistics.html>.
"Evolution of Mobile Phones: 1995 – 2012." Hongkiatcom RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2013. <http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/evolution-of-mobile-phones/>.
Goldberg, Adam. "World Has About 6 Billion Cell Phone Subscribers, According To U.N. Telecom Agency Report." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 11 Oct. 2012. Web. 07 Mar. 2013 <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/11/cell-phones-world-subscribers-six-billion_n_1957173.html>
"High School Students Use Cell Phones in Class-but Not for Schoolwork, Says Study." The Digital Shift. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. <http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2013/01/k-12/high-school-students-use-cell-phones-in-class-but-not-for-schoolwork-says-study/>.
Hinduja, Sameer, and Justin W. Patchin. "State Cyberbullying Laws." N.p., Jan. 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2013.
"How Cell Phones Have Changed Your Budget." How Cell Phones Have Changed Your Budget. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2013.
"How Many People Are There in the World?" - World Population. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2013. <http://jamesjoe.com/joe-taylor/articles/how-many-people-are-there-in-the-world.asp>.
"Mobile Phone: 40th Anniversary Of The First Call." N.p., n.d. Web. <http://news.sky.com/story/1073128/mobile-phone-40th-anniversary-of-the-first-call>.
Moore, Charles. "Texting While Driving Is More Dangerous than Driving Under the Influence." Cell Phones and Driving. Ed. Stefan Kiesbye. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven, 2011. 58-65. Print.
"NSC Estimates 1.6 Million Crashes Caused by Cell Phone Use and Texting." NSC Estimates 1.6 Million Crashes Caused by Cell Phone Use and Texting. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2013.<http://www.nsc.org/Pages/NSCestimates16millioncrashescausedbydriversusingcellphonesandtexting.aspx>.
"U.S. Sexting Laws and Regulations." U.S. Sexting Laws. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. <http://mobilemediaguard.com/state_main.html>.
Usborne, Simon. "Any Technology Can Distract Drivers." Cell Phones and Driving. Ed. Stefan Kiesbye. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven, 2011. 66-70. Print.

Cited: "Evolution of Mobile Phones: 1995 – 2012." Hongkiatcom RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2013. &lt;http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/evolution-of-mobile-phones/&gt;. Goldberg, Adam "How Cell Phones Have Changed Your Budget." How Cell Phones Have Changed Your Budget. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2013. "How Many People Are There in the World?" - World Population Usborne, Simon. "Any Technology Can Distract Drivers." Cell Phones and Driving. Ed. Stefan Kiesbye. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven, 2011. 66-70. Print.

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