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Negative effects of mobile phones on social interactions and personal well being Essay (Critical Writing)


Mobile phone technology has become a favorite method of communication among many people today. It is important to note that it has impacted negatively in their social life. Some of the challenges that this technology has brought and that will be explored in this essay include safety, communication, function, cost and evaluation issues.

Communication matters

Communication through the mobile phones has virtually changed the society and the way of life today. Individuals are able to pass information to friends in terms of phone conversations, text messages or e-mail. In the recent studies, up to 59.4% have expressed their likes for mobile phones as a means of communication and have lauded it for its efficiency (Bonde 154).

For instance, Sweden is proud of having 81.9% of individuals who like communicating using the mobile phones. Other nations like Japan and America have demonstrated least like of mobile phones as important means of communication (Burgess 140). This could be due to social impacts that this gadget has on the society.

While others in different parts of the world may like mobile phones because they use them to write text messages to friends and family, contact others and be contacted, and join social communities, others dislike it for reasons that they can’t be out of touch, they get disturbed, and that it forces them to respond when a call is made. Other reasons for dislike include the fact that it causes social disorder and that they regard text messaging as a stupid idea.

Furthermore, mobile phone technology creates social gaps (Roosli 900). These greatly affect the well being of individuals. According to research studies, the poor who cannot access mobile phones for communication have been left out of the communicating class (Roosli 900).

This has created the troubling idea of socio-economic classes and whereby the poor cannot access or be accessed by others (Baron 12). These problems could be due to lack of capital, social barriers, deficiency in infrastructure and technological barriers. The fact that others are able to contact friends, send text messages and join social groups while others can’t plays a role in affecting the well being of the latter group (Bonde 154).

Another issue posing a problem to communication is misinformation. The debilitating and confusing information can be due to effects of the environment the mobile phone user is in, noise and lack of coherent order of information (Calabrò & Magazu 611).

Misinformation has dangerous effects in the society as it can cause potential disastrous consequences from ill-founded decisions, misunderstandings that may cause political and military espionage and other related issues (Bryant &Oliver 595). Those who like mobile phones least understand the possible effects of social disorder that that misinformation in mobile phone communication can cause.

Safety concerns

The changes that have been brought by the mobile phones in terms of safety affects both the old and the young. Even though most students find it beneficial to use the phones to communicate to their parents during emergencies, it is worth observing that it has its many pros and cons (Baron 12).

Research studies have indicated that individuals in different countries have expressed their likes and dislikes of mobile phones based on both good and bad effects. The continuum if responses from mobile phone users in Japan and Sweden over their safety included issues of high crime in Japan while radiation and brain damage issues caused fear among Swedish citizens (Gelbrich 44).

Also, other social issues that affect individuals in the society and especially among the students are arranging drug deals, and cheating in tests. These have significant roles in causing distraction on their studies and eventually affect their grades.

Certainly, there are other safety issues affecting the society due to mobile phones. The prominent problem that has been affecting many people is the issue of radiations. Daily use of mobile phones have posed medical threats to users and caused safety concerns among practitioners (Bryant & Oliver 595).

Even though some users may find it appropriate and convenient to use mobile phones while driving, it is important to observe that not only does pose the danger of causing road accidents, it also increases the strength of microwave field in the vehicle.

Recent studies have indicated that with the revolution of mobile phones, the number of brain cancer patients has increased all over the world. Additionally, children have not been left out of the dangers of radiations (Kumar & Ahmad 85).

Radiations of the mobile phones that normally affect the eyes, ears and the nose come from the microphone mouthpiece and the keypads that emit a high intensity of microwave radiation. The impact of radiations affecting the brains comes from constant placing of the phone near the ears (Glotz, Bertschi & Locke 193). It is important to note that safety concern comes from long term usage and lack of appropriate safety measures while using the phones.

The potential dangers posed by mobile phones have greatly affected the society (Baron 12). In he research studies carried out in 2010, a bigger percentage of individuals complained about safety issues around phone usage (Kumar & Ahmad 85). By contrast, the remaining percentage liked mobile phone usage due to its convenience which perhaps exceeded safety concerns. The safety concerns raised plays a significant social role of threatening lives of people by posing several health hazards (Röösli 900). For instance, it triggers cell aging due to interference of the DNA structure by the microwave frequencies (Roosli 900).

Functionality

Mobile phones are gadgets that can be used to perform several functions. The systems of the phone contain mechanism for application utilization, management, representation and preprocessing. Another important is context acquisition where data can be obtained through the mobile phones via sensors (Bonde 154).

This information can be accessed, used and distributed to friends and families. Other important functions of the mobile phones are in the user interface and the systems architecture (Baron 12). It is important to note that mobile phones physical attributes poses social interaction challenges which include lack of standardization in handset and lack of direct manipulation. Additionally, it may pose a challenge of small devise size, lack of standardization in software design, functionality of rich devise and the context of use (Burgess 140).

Retrieving of data for the mobile phone users who depend on its functionality may create a huge challenge. In the research studies carried out in Japan on whether individuals liked the mobile phones for its functionality and physical attributes, 28.5% appreciated its function (Calabrò & Magazu 611).

The rest did not. In Korea, most individuals had sophisticated handsets and due to these, a greater percentage liked the physical attributes (Bryant &Oliver 595). Those who did not could have evaluated the legal, social and technical challenges of the attributes. Some of the ringtones could create ambient noise or distraction where attention is needed. Additionally, depending on the quality of features of a mobile phone, individuals may not like the cost of buying them as they would be expensive (Burgess 140).

Evaluations / assessment

Research studies have indicated that one of the issues affecting mobile phone users comes from the way they evaluate it. For instance, the responses for those who liked their mobile after taking an evaluation was less higher than those who did not like with 20.2% and 35% respectively.

Individual in Japan and other nations who liked their phones did so due to its mobility (Bonde 154). They were able to carry their phones around with the workplace or at home. Also, it was convenient for them to use it. Mobile phones were easy to use and could be used anywhere and at anytime. Furthermore, it was practical to use (Bryant & Oliver 595). It was easy to access information and not complicated.

On the other hand, individuals who did not like the phones feared having to carry it around all the time (Laura & Claire 6). Additionally, information stored in the phone memory can get lost and this can cause panic and stress. Moreover, they did not like the fact that it causes dependency (Gelbrich 44). Most individuals get emotionally attached to their phones creating a sense of dependence. Lastly, some considered it annoying especially due to bad connection and transmission issues (Baron 12).

Expense/cost

Mobile phones usage in the entire world has increased tremendously and as a development tool, it has helped countless poor people to overcome institutional hurdles (Ling 254). In every sector of the society, it has been used by individuals, nations and continents to revolutionize societies and businesses (Laura & Claire 6).

Additionally, economic performances of most nations have been boosted by its usage thereby making them better off in terms of development. However, it’s not so many people that appreciate its abilities due to the costs incurred in making phone calls (Roosli 900).

Cost of using its services has become the greatest barrier to recognizing its benefits. In 2010, research studies indicated that many individuals complained about cost factor (Glotz, Bertschi & Locke 193). For instance, 18.1% of Japanese expressed their dislike of mobile phones due to cost and in Italy a disgruntled 13.7% complained of the cost (Gelbrich 44).

The greatest barrier in Italy and Japan to mobile usage and integration was the cost as some had to pay their own bills or their parents were unwilling to cater for the cost as they were shouldering other expenses like paying college fees (Bryant & Oliver 595).

In the analysis, it was realized that the costs could be high due to regulations hence across the countries cost issues proved challenging (Burgess 140). It is important to note that among the populations that were unable to afford the costs, mobile phones became less accessible and those who accessed could only call at night when the tariffs are low (Laura & Claire 6).

Cost issues affect communication of individuals and the benefits that come with keeping in touch. High cost of mobile phone communication undermines growth. The high cost of could be due to regulation issues such as taxes for special communication, service activation fees and so on (Eltiti 115).

These determine the individuals’ like or dislikes of phone and plays an important role in affecting their well being. Cost issues wary mobile phone users and chokes the benefits of technology that would have otherwise made people better off (Gelbrich 44).

Conclusion

To sum up, even though the use of mobile phones has created social relationships and richer friendships, it is worth noting that the negative physiological and psychological effects that affect individuals well being have also increased. There have been subsequent declines in family communications and social circles.

Individuals who cannot access mobile phones have been subjected to periods of loneliness and depressions. Additionally, due to cost, evaluation, communication and function issues affecting mobile phone users, research studies indicate that these have been daily life stressors affecting their social involvement and psychological well being.

Works Cited

Baron, Naomi. The Dark Side of Mobile Phones. (2010): 1-35.

Bonde, Peter. “Male reproductive organs are at risk from environmental hazards.” Asian Journal of Andrology 12.2 (2010): 152-156. ProQuest Medical Library, ProQuest. Web.

Bryant, Jennings & Oliver, B. Mary. Media effects: advances in theory and research, New York: Routledge. 2009.

Burgess, Adam. Cellular phones, public fears, and a culture of precaution, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2004.

Calabre, Emanuele, & Magazu. Salvatore “Inspections of Mobile Phone Microwaves Effects on Proteins Secondary Structure by Means of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy.” Journal of Electromagnetic Analysis and Applications 2.11 (2010): 607-617. ProQuest Science Journals, ProQuest. Web.

Eltiti, Stacy. “Does Short-Term Exposure to Mobile Phone Base Station Signals Increase Symptoms in Individuals Who Report Sensitivity to Electromagnetic Fields? A Double-Blind Randomized Provocation Study. ” Environmental Health Perspectives 115.11 (2007): 1603-1608. ProQuest Medical Library, ProQuest. Web.

Gelbrich, Ketja. “Beyond just being dissatisfied: how angry and helpless customers react to failures when using self-service technologies.” Schmalenbach Business Review: ZFBF 61.1 (2009): 40-59. ABI/INFORM Global, ProQuest. Web.

Glotz, Peter, Bertschi, Stefan & Locke, Chris. Thumb culture: the meaning of mobile phones for society, London: Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld, 2005 Kumar, Vijay & Ahmad, Mushtaq. “Harmful effects of mobile phone waves on blood tissues of the human body.” Eastern Journal of Medicine 15.3 (2010): 80- 89.

Laura, I. Langbein & Claire, L. Felbinger, Public program evaluation: a statistical guide, New York: M.E Sharpe, Inc. 2006.

Ling, S. Richard. Mobile communications: re-negotiation of the social sphere, London: Springer-Verlag Ltd, 2005.

Roosli, Martin. “Systematic review on the health effects of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from mobile phone base stations. ” World Health Organization. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 88.12 (2010): 887- 903.

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