For this assignment I will discuss, from the materialistic perspective, social changes that have occurred with the invention of the cellular phone. I will explore this technological innovation and examine 10 effects the cell phone has had on society. To begin I will briefly examine the evolution of the cell phone. In the not so distant past if two people wanted to communicate they did so by meeting face to face. If they were geographically separated the means changed to writing and post a letter. It wasn’t until Alexander Bell invented the telephone that people began to communicate electronically. Fast forward to the 1980’s and the first commercially produced cell phone came into existence. Ironically the first cell phone cost $4,000 and measured 13” x 1.75” x 3.5” inches and weighed 28 ounces, it was so big and heavy, even its creators had nicknamed it "The Brick." The battery life lasted a whopping 30 minutes. Can you imagine what havoc that would cause today? Life as we know it might come to a screeching halt. Today cell phones are pocket sized and have battery lives that last days. They are not just phones either; most can perform many of the same functions that are accomplished on our home and work computers. Having briefly examined the historical change from writing letter to today’s cell phone I will now examine 10 effects cell phones have had on our society. I will begin by examining some positive examples. You might be surprised to learn that cell phones make saving and spending money easier. For example if you live in a town with no bank your cell phone can be used to make digital transactions that are cheaper and safer that paying with cash or credit. Cell phone-based finance also makes credit available to those less fortunate. They can invest in building a home or starting a small business simply by owing a cell phone. According to the Department of International Development (DFID), “Over a billion people own a mobile phone but do not have a bank account. DFID support for the Consultative Group to Assist Poor technology program alongside the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aims to use mobile phones and other technology to help 30 million people get better financial services (https://www.gov.uk) Cell phones help save lives. Mobile health (mHealth) programs are helping remote communities with healthcare services. Another use of mobile phones is the SMS for Life program. Text messages are used to deliver malaria medication to remote communities. Using text messages, the program helps get malaria medicines to the people who need them, and checks on stock levels to avoid running out. (Higgins, 2013) The next example may see obvious however according to the World Bank, three quarters of people on Earth have access to a mobile phone. There are now at least 6 billion mobile phone subscriptions active, up from 1 billion in the year 2000 -- and 5 billion of those are in developing countries. So a key way cell phones change the world is what they were designed for: communication. (The World Bank, 2012) Cell phones assist farmers. Ever wonder when you go to the market why corn cost more this year than it did last year? The availability of cell phones to farmers helps them make more informed decisions about what to plant, when to harvest, and how much to sell crops for. The Journal of Economic Perspectives reported; “Mobile phones also allow households to obtain information about potential shocks, allowing them to use such information to make planting and harvesting decisions, which can have important effects on yields (Rosenzweig and Binswanger, 1993)." Cell phones benefit employers as well as workers and customers. This is primarily due to its ability to connect people quickly. Cellphones can be abused along with other technologies, but they offer advantages that customers appreciate. One simple method is by the use of texting or email. Cellphones allow business owners...
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