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  • 1. Surname 1NAMEPROFESSORLITERATURE AND LANGUAGEDATE Cell Phone Usage: Interaction between Social and Technological Development.History denotes how man has rapidly evolved from the Stone Age to the Agrarian Age to theIndustrial Age. All these periods have been marked by certain forms of revolution. Currently,many say that man is in the Informational age, otherwise referred to as technoculture. Thisperiod has been characterized by the proliferation of information and technology. Every otherday, new invention is being released into the market. Information and CommunicationTechnology (ICT) is one of the technologies that have taken the world by storm. Traditionalforms of ICT such as the television and telephone are quickly being replaced by computers andcellular phones. 1. History of cell phones.Cell phones have grown to become a basic necessity to people. They are part and parcel of day today living.The genesis of cell phones is in the year 1832 when a man by the name Samuel Morseinvented the electromagnetic telegraph (Marples 1). His experiment using underwater cables wasinterrupted as a ship pulled the cable. Undeterred, Morse went on giving birth to wireless byconduction concept. His research was improved on by an analytical chemist, Michael Faraday in1843. As time went on, major leaps and bounds were made. In 1954, Martin Cooper, famouslyreferred to as the father of the cellular phone, led the Motorola cell phone research. The first cell
  • 2. Surname 2phone was a Motorola Dyna-Tac, weighing 2.5pounds (1.13kg).Its features included talking,listening and dialing with a recharge time of upto ten hours. 2. Modern day cell phones.Modern day cell phones are nothing compared to the Motorola Dyna-Tac. For starters, they donot weigh 1.3 kgs! They are more portable and have very many features. Today‟s cell phone isnot limited to texting and calling. Apart from this, they have other features such as applicationstores. With these, one can easily access the internet via their cellphone and download whateverkind of information they need.The mobile phone technology has revolutionized the world. Katz gives statistics revealing thatthe cellular phone enjoys over two billion subscriptions (1). However,it is seen as the culture ofthe youth. Young people are the primary users of the mobile phone. Most mobile phonemanufacturing companies design cell phone models with young people in mind. In fact, some ofthese firms only employ young people to give their products a youthful touch. Since the targetmarket is into entertainment, smaller industries have cropped up that design mobile games and“mobisides” video content tailor-made for the mobile phone.It is important to look at how the cellar phone technology has affected the general welfare ofpeople. On the social front, one may suggest that it has enhanced interaction between people. Notonly is cell phone interaction cheap but also fast. Nowadays, a person is just a phone call away.In restrictive cultures where interaction between boys and girls is curtailed, all they need is a cellphone. The mobile phone has contributed to the maintenance of social relationships. In additionto this, people can access social networks via their cell phones. Thus, the global village keepsgetting smaller and smaller.
  • 3. Surname 3The cell phone technology has revolutionized the business sector. Businessmen and women havecell phones as their companions. This is because communication between them is now not onlywith their suppliers but also with their customers. Such interactions have helped many businessesto grow. If one ran out of supplies, all they have to do is call their suppliers. I f the customerwanted to know if a certain product is in stock, all they have to do is call the retailer.Developing markets have also benefited from the cell phone. With large numbers of subscribers,telecommunication industries are growing at a fast rate. The revenue collected in turn goes to thegovernment which then improves on the welfare of its people. In turn people‟s living standardimproves.In addition to that cell phones have given rise to mobile money transfers. Financial services cannow be enjoyed by all and sundry. A good example of such a service is the M-Pesa service inKenya. Through this service, people can buy airtime, pay their bills and even access their bankaccounts in the comfort of their houses. One no longer needs to make long queues at differentservice centers.Another benefit of the cell phone is the creation of employment opportunities especially in thedeveloping countries. The cell phone has created jobs for people to work as mobile softwareengineers and developers, designers, customer service providers, airtime dealers and moneytransfer agents; just but a few.The cell phone technology has also contributed to the enhancement of other technologies.Wireless cell phone technology has been applied to the internet connectivity. Apart from this,Bluetooth technology is now applied to both cell phones and computers. With this technology,one can easily transfer data from one phone to the other.
  • 4. Surname 4On the other hand, a pessimist may argue that mobile phones are tearing apart the social fabric ofsociety. A while back, parents would be in constant contact with their children. With the adventof the mobile phone, relationship between parents and children has been reduced to phone callsand text messages.In the education sector, mobile phones have been used to propagate exam cheating. After all,they are small portable gadgets. In classrooms, the concentration span of the student is reducedsince they are always on their phones chatting away. Teachers also fall prey to the lure of themobile phone. Several times have teachers walked out on students as they excuse themselves toreceive phone calls.Today, it is no longer about one having a cell phone but the type of cell phone you have. Cellphones are used to determine one‟s status. If one has a cell phone, that has only the basicfeatures, they are categorized differently from one who has a phone with much more features.Nowadays it is almost a crime not to have a smart phone.The use of cell phones has affected the behavioral tendencies of a person as explained byOmotayo et al (127-135). Cell phone use has negative effects that its use not allowed in certainsocial places as restaurants. It has been known to dilute the interaction expectations. The researchgoes on to suggest that the use of the cell phone impoverishes the user‟s cognitive capacity thatis already limited in the first place. The use of the cell phone puts a lot of physical and cognitivedemand on its user.To add insult to injury, nowadays robbery can easily be propagated through the cell phone. Withthe inception of mobile banking, conmen are on the rampage to steal from cell phonesubscribers. All they need is to hack into your cell phone details and they will smile all the way
  • 5. Surname 5home from the „earnings they have made. Others are audacious enough to actually call a personand under whatever guise, ask for money.We cannot be oblivious to the impact of cell phones on the moral fabric of the society. Since thecell phone is used to access the internet, one can use it to access for example pornographic sites.This contributes to the decadence of behavior.In conclusion, the cell phone technology has contributed hugely to the improvement of lives.However, it calls upon us to embrace the benefits and work at eliminating its disadvantages.
  • 6. Surname 6WORK CITED.Katz, James, Wang, Jing. “Cell Phone Culture”. http://web.mit.edu?comm.forum/forum/cell- phone-culture.htm, accessed on Nov 4 2011. Web.Marples, Gareth. “The History of Cell Phones: A vision realized”, www.thehistoryof.net/history- of-cell-phones.html, accessed on Nov 4 2011. Web.Omotayo, Banjo, Hu,Yifeng , Sundar, Shyam.S. “Cell Phone Usage & Social Interaction with Proximate Others: Ringing in a theoretical model”The Open Communication Journal.2008. Print.