The sociology of the mobile phonePresentation Transcript
The Sociology of the Mobile Phone The A Team Poster Presentation
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The Sociology of the Mobile Phone “We’re changing the world with technology” - Bill Gates “When you get in your car, you reach for it. When you're at work, you take a break to have a moment alone with it. When you get into an elevator, you fondle it. Cigarettes? Cup of coffee? Nope, it's the third most addictive substance in modern life, the cell phone. ” (Markman, 2006) Since the mobile phone became affordable and more universally used in the early 1990s; it has become an essential piece of technology for many people. However, despite the many benefits it has created, it has resulted in changes to the way users interact with the real world. The necessity of the mobile phone is in constant exponential growth and as such is beginning to create a new, technological way of looking at ones self and the world around us. “We’re better connected”? Mobiles phones have played a key role in the advancement of globalisation, helping to create a smaller world. Geographical boundaries are now no obstacle to communication, with those previously separated by thousands of miles able to communicate in seconds. As highlighted by Sarah Plant noting, “… unable to meet her fiancé face-to-face, a young woman in Dubai described the ease with which the mobile allowed her to talk to him.” (Plant, 2000, p.56). This is an individual example but the global impact is just as evident with an average of more than 6.2 billion international calls per year from the US. (Federal Communications Commission, 2003). Dependency? Having our whole lives at the push of a button can get addictive. More and more people in the world are becoming dependent on their mobile phones as almost half of participants in a survey aged between 25-34 felt they could not live without it.(BBC) Safety Mobiles phones are also viewed safety devices with 35 per cent of 8 years old now owning a mobile (Adams, The Telegraph, 2009). Some claim this improved and accessible commutation technology has resulted in the lowest child abduction figures there has ever been with Parents able to keep in touch with children outside the safety of the home (Personal Safety Advice). Online VS Face to Face People become encapsulated within their mobile phones and its various forms of communication allowing them to create tighter bonds with close friends or family. However, people begin to lose the ability to interact with strangers. Which leads to people’s reliance in technology its cyber world. People become ‘Under the illusion of [technology] allowing us to communicate better, it is actually isolating us from real human interactions in a cyber-reality that is poor imitation of the real world’ [Harris, P. 2011]. As a result people lose the ability to see the link between self and the world and are unable to access the sociological imagination. Fashion Forward The mobile phone is seen as a must-have product which is recognised by designers who therefore make it more attractive to buy so people in society that this is something they have to have as it is fashionable “they indicate a consistent presence of ‘modern’, ‘cutting edge’ and ‘futuristic’ themes” (Katz & Sugiyama, 2006: 68). People see them as a fashion accessory and something that is compulsory to have meaning there is pressure on people to conform to this and keep up to date with the latest craze which may involve even buying into a certain lifestyle that they do not necessarily want to have but feel pressured into living.
There are now 1,000 new users per minute buying phones around the world
The use of “textisms” can improve literacy among pupils by giving them extra exposure to word composition outside the school day
In a survey, 75% of participants said they never leave the house without their mobile phone
In 2009 there was “a daily average of 265 million text messages and 1.6 million picture messages”
“Once considered a luxury, [the mobile phone] is Now the closet thing to our hearts” (Alexander, 2008)
Shifthappens 4.0 The following video is a compilation of clips from an online presentation called “Shift Happens”.
Communication Highlights the impact mobile phones have had on an individual perceptions of themselves and the world People in remote locations have access to different cultures and people More homogenised world “Borderless world” (Heywood, 2007, p.143)
Online vs Reality
Dependency Lifestyle conformity Holds our social relationships At times also holds our vital communications for our careers A “need” to have a mobile rather than a “want”
Safety mobile phones contribution towards personal safety, particularly among children. Safety and connectedness However, also negative implications 10,000 mobiles stolen every month 2/3 are children between 13-16 Seen as most valuable possession
“We’re changing the world with technology” - Bill Gates