What Role Do Mobile Phones Play in Society? Discuss the Influence of Technology on Everyday Life: Relationships, Social Movements and Education.

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The amount of use of mobile phones in modern society has grown to an enormous scale. They have been accepted into everyday life and have become a way of life, not only for instant communication but now days, mobiles are integrated into everyday life with email, photography, playing music and also a form of security for people. Mobile phones have changed global cultures, especially for the younger demographic as contact with friends is instant and easily accessible. This essay aims to explore the extreme acceptance and impact that mobile phones have to gain a better understanding of the effects on the world today whether positive or negative.

It is now a norm to see mobile phones in educational and learning environments such as the school ground. Once an isolated learning environment, now a constant connection to outside distractions and interruptions. A survey of 1,000 young people aged 11–15 years found that 90% had their own mobile phone (Kendall 2001). Of those young people owning a phone; the majority (73 percent) had their mobile phones on during the class and a further 13 percent said that they had received a call or message since the class had begun. This shows the change from a student who should be focusing and learning, that is now distracted and socializing.

We must ask ourselves, what quality of education are the youth getting? Along with education, work and leisure time have been radically impacted by the introduction of mobile phones. Usually these two lifestyles, work and private family life, were distinctly separated although the mobile phone has changed these limitations making it extremely permeable. The usage of mobile phones may be altering, in a profound way, the structure of leisure time. It has changed the idea of ‘killing’ time when you would read a newspaper, book or magazine.

Now, killing time can be more productive by communicating with someone, planning things or even checking emails (Fortunati, 2002). Also, work life can now be taken wherever the individual goes and so can their family life (Beaton & Wajcman 2004). This changes the role that mobile phones play in society by making contact hours much more flexible and readily accessible. Not only is work and educational lifestyles changing but also people's social dynamics in public life. The way that we meet people, form relationships and maintain those relationships is an entirely new world thanks to the mobile phone.

By having the Internet incorporated on the mobile phone meeting people is as easy as opening a chat room or adding people on ‘Facebook’. These relationships are then enhanced and maintained through the instant and regular contact of emails, chat rooms, SMS, picture messaging and more. It is also becoming more common to hear of people in long distance relationships. This would normally be an extremely difficult task of keeping in constant communication but now you can carry the easy and relatively cheap connection with another in your pocket.

The impacts of this technology on society can be seen in both a positive and negative light. There is a huge loss of personal interaction, as this is replaced by real-time voice calls, video calls and text messages. Through the mobile phone you can talk to 20 people in a day and at the same time not see a single person all day. However, these innovative advances in technology are allowing people to talk while on the move and have a conversation, which includes characteristics and facial expressions. A more negative side of phones is the cameras that are integrated in.

This permits users to abuse this technology and invade peoples right to privacy, by having such a portable and small camera anything; anywhere can not only be recorded but also uploaded on the World Wide Web (Beaton & Wajcman 2004). Yet we have a camera incorporated into nearly every phone you can buy today because the average, moral user is given the opportunity to take photos of special moments and use the camera in a respectable way. Another way the mobile can be viewed as a positive incorporation into society is that it can be used to create a sense of security for the individual.

In a worst-case scenario you are always able to call for help or advice. It also creates a sense of security for parents who are able to contact their children in any given moment. By carrying a mobile phone parents feel they can allow children to be unsupervised by not accompanying them on certain journeys due to the fact that they can be contacted any time. This changes the culture of the younger demographic as it offers them more freedom and empowerment. In conclusion, mobile phone technology has been embraced by the world and has become an advance technology.

One in which much more research is needed to fully understand the pros and cons of the effect on society that they have. The mobile phone isn’t a new technology but one that is rapidly advancing and has a phenomenal impact on society, they don’t just play a role in society they are becoming apart of society and a way of life. References: Beaton, J. , Wajcman, J. (2004) The Impact of Mobile Telephones in Australia. Social Science Research Opportunities, viewed March 26 2009, Daily Telegraph, Sydney. (2004). It's the biggest little thing - Mobile phone impact to be revealed. iewed March, 19, 2009 from http://ezproxy. lib. swin. edu. au/login? url=http://search. ebscohost. com/login. aspx? direct=true&db=anh&AN=200409231024941719&site=ehost-live&scope=site Fortunati L. (2002), ‘Italy: stereotypes, true and false’, In: J. E. Katz and M. A. Aakhus (Eds. ), Perpetual contact, New York: Cambridge University Press. Kendall, P. (2001) A mobile generation: huge majority have their own phone, survey reveals. Daily Mail 29 June 7. Love, S (2005) The Mobile Connection: The Cell Phone's Impact on Society. International Journal of Technology and Human Interaction ,1. 4, p101.

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