Cell phones have been connecting people since the 1970s. The first ever cell phone was discovered on April 3rd, 1973. It was invented by Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher and executive who became a pioneer in the wireless communications industry. From a 2kg handheld brick phone known as “Motorola DynaTAC 8000X” to a touchscreen smartphone like iPhone 7, cell phones have come a long way.

Today, it is axiomatic that almost every individual has access to a mobile phone. It has revolutionized the human existence and the mode of communication. According to 2016 statistics, around 2.1 billion people in the world own smartphones.

In India? 300 million people are carrying a smartphone.

Surprisingly, even in the rural communities smartphones have become a hot topic. The aim of this invention was to ‘connect people’ but as time moves on, the focus is slowly degrading. It has created an era where phones are equivalent to a life source. No one can live without it. It has become a part of one’s daily life. For instance, checking your phone right after you wake up in the morning is like a routine. Not only you or your friend, it is the same with millions of Indians across the nation.

As far as whether they are a boon or a bane for the society, it all depends on how one uses it.

On the contrary, it has helped many in numerous situations. Individuals of all ages have adapted to this generation which we call the “modern techno world”. Its basic function which is to receive and make calls have changed over time, one can do more than just calling on a mobile. A smartphone is like a mini computer. From sharing files to video recording a precious memory, it can all be done on this one small, portable handheld device with no need of multiple devices. It has made communication much easier since the phone booth era. Though there are many pros and cons to it, it still holds a great value in an individual’s life.

As they have given significant improvement in calling and texting people. A number of options are now available for us to stay connected with others. Apps like Facebook, Viber, Whatsapp, etc, give a touch of the modern world creating an advanced step toward a futuristic environment. It’s a truly efficient device because it aids in completing tasks in a short span of time rather than making one run around feeling helpless. For instance, we often don’t see paper maps anymore since we got apps like Google Maps with installed navigator which makes it easier for us to get to a destination with no hassle.

Moreover, one can move around with hundreds of documents with ease solely because they can store them in their phones and check on them whenever they feel like or whenever convenient. Another advantage of this point is, multiple people can connect and work on the same document at the same time using apps like Google Docs and Google Sheets, which gives them the benefit of efficient working.

They have revolutionized entertainment and news as a whole. Anyone can access and source information from four corners of the globe. You could sit right in your room and know what is happening from Tokyo to New York. Smartphones give us access to an unlimited range of entertainment. From comics to the latest buzz in the music charts. It enables to not just listen to music but watch music videos, movies and read news on the go. They have transformed the world of portable gaming as well.

Since smartphones give us ease to watch news, movies, play games and listen to music, there has been a drastic change in the television viewing statistics, especially of the age group 18-24years old. Now the age group is slowly widening from 14 years of age. A 13% global decline in TV viewership has come to light in the past year.

With its popularity rising, it provides many platforms to interact with other people worldwide. Smartphone’s partner in crime, WiFi, has given a new light on these devices. Since people spend more time staring at their phone screens and communicate through calls rather than face-to-face verbal interactions, it defeats the purpose and removes the essence of communication. Thereafter, it affects the person’s interpersonal skills since they are communicating nonverbally.

One cannot tell when addiction or obsession strikes, usage of smartphones should be kept at bay.

Parents blame their kids’ excessive use of phones as the reason for their academic and social problems but what about the parents who gave them access to those phones?

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Today, kids of age 10 are carrying smartphones, whether it be because of media influence or peer pressure. They can be seen hanging out with their friends holding their own smartphones. The reason phones are given to kids is because of security, however, most kids take it granted. The parents are not entirely to be blamed.

Even though this latest advanced technology has rendered us a great benefit in surviving this modern lifestyle, one bad move can be lead to a life and death situation. Since we have the habit of staring at the phone screens, we become completely absorbed that we become unaware of what’s happening around us. Texting-and-driving is the leading cause of traffic accidents, however, texting-and-walking is more dangerous. More than 5,000 people die every year just because of distracted driving.

A few months back, a popular reality single player game called “PokemonGo” made the world go crazy and walk around the streets. Even though it made people come out of their shells, it became life threatening around the world, especially on the roads.

Mobile phones are an epitome of pride. It gives one the power to perform basic communicating tasks with no external help. Moreover, Social Networking Sites or SNS like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram which are available as mobile applications affect individual’s attitude towards the world. They have become self-centering platforms that people’s way of interpretation and judgment of characters have downgraded. It also affects the person’s personality. Phones have given introverts a platform to feel confident about themselves but the con of this advantage is, it does not really help the individual to overcome social fear.
We all have to understand one thing that, smartphones have brought a significant change in learning and understanding things from four corners of the globe. It does have few negative impacts, but it solely depends on how we take it. Let us hope that the smartphones will lead us into a bright future.

 

Author: Amy Akatsuki

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