Thanks to the advancement in technology, cell phones have over the years transformed their identities from being luxury products to being a necessity. This is evident from the growing number of cell phone owners which currently stands at 5 billion. The trend has in turn brought with it changes to the different facets of society such as relationships, business, information and many others. This article looks at the various ways – both negative and positive – cell phones have affected the society.
- Social Networking
It is not long ago when people used to write letters or make periodic calls to loved ones. These means of communication meant that a person only kept a close circle of relations that included close family and friends. That has however changed today as cell phones allow people to connect with anyone and everyone, wherever and whenever.
Such connectivity is not only restricted to calls or texts. Social media has redefined the way people meet and interact. Today, it is easy to make friends with someone you have never met before. Cell phones are thus helping the society keep up with the “world is a global village” phenomenon.
- A More Knowledgeable Society
Slightly over two decades ago, one had to go to the school or local library or cyber café to retrieve the information they wanted. It was not only time consuming, but it was also expensive. Cell phones have brought information closer to the people. Today, one only needs a few seconds or slightly more depending on the strength of internet connectivity to retrieve information on any topic. For instance, students studying for exams today don’t have to go to the library for books. They can readily read e-books and even access the school’s library on their cell phones and from the comfort of their homes.
- Artificial Interactions
The consequence of the proliferation of mobile phones has however affected meaningful relationships among people. It is not uncommon for friends or even family members to stay out of touch for weeks or even months on end. People, therefore, spend less time interacting on a personal level and instead rely on social media platforms on their cell phones to keep in touch. They thus act as a substitute for small talk among friends.
Additionally, cell phones have become pervasive to an extent where people don’t notice each other in a public gathering. Owners are so attached to their cell phones that most find it difficult to hold meaningful conversations without glancing the way of the cell phones. It is not uncommon to find travelers on a train or plane reading a book or watching a movie on their cell phone instead of conversing with the person sitting next to them.
People have different views of how cell phones have changed society. Some people will praise the technology while others will castigate it in equal measure. Whichever side of the aisle you are on, you will agree that society will never be the same again. What matters is how society approaches these changes.