Mobile phones allow us to stay in 24/7 contact with everyone. Before we can consider their value we first have to look back at where it all started. Samuel Morse had a vision of telecommunication and in the 1830’s he constructed the electromagnetic telegraph and created the Morse Code. This was a series of dots and dashes to create words and sentences. This drove people with ideas about because they saw that messages could be carried through electricity. In the 1940’s, Reginald Fessenden’s invented the shore to ship radio receiver. This receiver was the first time the transmission of speech was able to be recognized. Next, Motorola employed Martin Cooper who is known as the father of the cellular phone and in 1954 he developed a portable product. Then on April 3, 1973 Cooper demonstrated the first cell phone call to the rival AT&T Bell Labs while on the streets of New York City. With this first call the communication shift toward the individual and away from a specific place was set in place. Fast forward now to 2012 where about 90 percent of the US population are mobile phone subscribers. This means that just over 285 million Americans that carry a mobile phone. Out of that number 50 million of them are smart phones. In 2009 alone, over 1.5 trillion text messages were sent. Text messages have become the new form of communication. A text message is the exchange of a brief written message between fixed portable devices. Text messages are also referred to as Short Message Service (SMS) and a message with an image or video is known as a multimedia Message Service (MMS). Text messaging has been taking off since the mid-2000’s and has allowed for more interaction between people. The mobile phone not only brings us closer together it keeps us constantly in contact with people with just one press of a button. Text Messaging allows people to send messages to another person without actually talking to them. While it does account for less actual communication with people it allows us to always stay informed about what is going on. In this day we are always on the go and want to get things done as soon as possible. Calling someone up to ask them something can lead into a long conversation about tangential topics when all you wanted to know required a simple answer. Text Messages now allow for this short and quick communication. Also when you call someone and they don’t answer, you have to leave a message and then wait for them to call you back and at that point you may not be able to talk. Text Messaging allows the person to respond to someone when they might not be available to actually talk. A smart phone is a device that allows a person to make telephone calls, SMS, MMS, emails, and most recently, to connect to the Internet. Some Smart phones now have downloadable software known as apps (short for applications) and music availability. Now a days all phones have the capability to make phone calls and send and receive text messaging, but only some phones have other capabilities as well. The Iphone, blackberrys, and Androids are all phones that have many capabilities. Apps are a huge innovation to smartphones. They allow people to view and edit files right on their phone without the need for a computer. You can also have apps to edit photos, even to play games. Another App is called WhatsApp. This app allows a person to text message with anyone in the world for free. On the computer, skype and ichat are very popular because you can video chat with someone who can be located anywhere in the world. Iphone has come up with facetime which allows you to videochat with someone right from your phone. I don’t know how much more personal that can be. Now with all these new inventions, there are many different impacts on populations and communities. Older people who have grown up without any of these new age inventions can be very reluctant to any of them. My Great Grandma has a mobile phone just for emergencies, but doesn’t use it as commonly as I do. She also has used item on a computer but has never wanted to learn to use it independently. just like she doesn’t really use the computer. My grandma has a mobile phone and uses it, but doesn’t know how to text. My mom has a smart phone and uses all the features including texting and using the internet. Now with my generation, we have grown up with the internet and as we got our first mobile phone, we started texting and as the phones developed more capabilities we jumped right on. Every generation has been affected differently from the mobile phone, but one thing is true, it has allowed us to always be in contact with people which has definitely brought us closer. There are people who believe mobile phones have completely destroyed the art of letter writing. We don’t take the time to write down how we feel about each other in these long letters that we then send to someone and wait for them to write a letter back. We are all about the instant gratification. Letters take time to write and send and then wait for a return letter. Text messaging gives us this instant pleasure when someone can get your message and then respond right back. This is what we have come to. Where we would rather text someone and try to infer about what they text with emoticons instead of vocal cues like intonations or physical cues like a smile to identify if something is funny. Were LOL or HAHA have replaced a real laugh. But even with this new form of communication, we have been able to talk to people more than we have ever before. In general we tend to travel more today and families are more and more separated. Mobile phones have become useful in maintaining a strong relationship with ones family even when distance is great. Communication is what bonds us all together. Similar to computers, the mobile phone has allowed for almost your own virtual community as ones social life has become increasingly faster and easier. Everyone has their own contact list right conveniently on their phone and only unique to them. Mobile phones are a very personalized object and for that reason mobile phones are an object people seem to not be able to live without. For people who are busy or not, the mobile phone provides the ideal means of keeping in touch with friends and family members while on the move. What is for sure is that mobile phones are here to stay and not going anywhere, so the best option is to join along and realize mobile phones can keep you always in the loop.
Foresman, Chris. "Wireless Survey: 91% of Americans Use Cell Phones." Ars Technica. 2011. Web. 04 Feb. 2012. <http://arstechnica.com/telecom/news/2010/03/wireless-survey-91-of-americans-have-cell-phones.ars>.
Cassovoy, Liane. "What Makes a Smartphone Smart?" About. 2012. Web. 04 Feb. 2012. <http://cellphones.about.com/od/smartphonebasics/a/what_is_smart.htm>.