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Dependent On Their Cell Phones English Language Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 2727 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Cell phones are a must have in the modern society. They have become so central to the daily life that most people find it really hard to do without them. Just by a swipe, everything from banking services to online shopping to payment of bills are done right there on the small gadget (Brown et al. 381-394). You can listen to music and also create cyber friendship. Yes these devices are reliable, yes they are convenient and yes they simplify life. But too much of something is unhealthy. People have become too dependent on them. In as much as they provide wide and far reaching advantages, they also have their downsides. People who are addicted to the cell phones are more likely to suffer from brain cancer, physical and psychological symptoms, have broken relationships and literally be isolated from the community life (Sellman 74-76). The purpose of this paper is to take this discussion in detail by answering the question why people have become too dependent on their cell phones. In doing so, this paper begins with a brief history of cell phone origins and proceeds to tackle the advantages and drawbacks of the small gadgets in today’s culture. It concludes with a brief summary of the entire contents discussed.

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History of Cell Phones

The history of cell phones is somewhat long and not so certain, though many argue that it could have started around 1843 with the small research of Michael Farady. He had hoped to find a space through which electricity could be conducted. His findings were later to become the reference points of the 19th century scientists. In 1865, Dr. Mahlon developed what is believed to be the first wireless communication technology. He is also thought to have transmitted the first telegraphic message in 1866 through Earth’s atmosphere. In the 1940s, new devices were created based on radio technology. They were primarily a two-way radio communication. For instance, this was the time when police officers communicated with each other via a central base. In 1946, the Swedish police officers were able to use cell phones that were connected to the car battery. But these devices could only make (utmost) six calls before draining up the car-battery.

In 1947, D.H. Ring developed hexagonal cells, though they were too a two-way technology. Soon after, another engineer came up with the cell towers technology, which enabled the devices to collect and convey signals in a three-way direction rather than two. Like the previous technologies, they heavily consumed battery and had to be connected to car battery. For example, the Swedish police cell phones weighed about eighty pounds. By 1967, cell phones were already in use in different places; however, the users could only make their calls from fixed cell areas. Besides, these cell phones could only handle a set range. Later on, Amos Edward Joel developed another technology that enabled users to make longer calls, but still from fixed cell locations.

Proper cell phones first featured in the early 1970s. Dr. Martin Cooper is thought to have been the first inventor of these portable phones. Interestingly, he equally became the first man to make a call through a portable device. He also established the first portable cell phone station, and named it Motorola. This technology was approved by the U.S government (FCC) in 1983. The DynaTAC 800X only weighed twenty eight pounds compared to the previous devices, and was exceptionally small for its time (Rainer & Cegielski 243). Since then, hand-held phones have been in constant improvements with new applications and models created almost every other time. In the 1990s, the 2G technology boomed the cell phone market. The hand-held devices were small and had an advance battery. What is available in the market today is the third generation cell phones. These phones are based on a 3G technology. Their innovations are extremely advanced (Rainer & Cegielski 236-266).

It was not until recently, however, that they became an integral part of human life. Like many other technologies that boost the superiority of social status, the small devices began as a class symbol of the selected few (affluent in particular). In 1983, for example, the Motorola model was sold in the market for 100 million U.S dollars. You can imagine how many people could afford that. Then somewhere out of the blue, the reserved affluent privilege changed when the devices became reasonably priced and accessible to everyone. Better still; the advancement in technology also saw the devices move from two-way radios to world coverage towers. People are now talking about the extremely advanced 3G technology (Brans 61-72).

Why do People Rely on Cell Phones in today’s Culture?

People depend on cell phones in today’s culture for a number of reasons. Essentially, the devises provide reliable advantages with few downsides. Never in human history, has a device influenced and transformed the means of communication as seen today. Cell phones have done it. They are inevitably intertwined into the human social life for good reasons. The cell phone technology has facilitated rapid communications and has made it possible to communicate with everyone from anywhere. Apart from the vocal communication, the technology has also enabled its subscribers to send multiple text messages to millions of people every single day if they so wish (Brans 61-72).

What holds the society together and what supports its structures is communication. Without it, everything else is down. Accordingly, there is no device (at least not for now) in the modern world that facilitates communication better than the cell phone. For instance, just before cell phones boomed into the market, people relied majorly on landlines to communicate with their loved ones and also for official purposes. But the communication had to be on fixed locations because landlines were established on fixed areas. As a result, people on the move could not communicate over landlines. Cell phones, on the other hand, have made it possible to communicate with the loved ones and make official arrangements from anywhere even while on the move (Kavoori & Arceneaux 85).

The device has also brought revolution in the telecommunication sector. Statistical data in America, for example, reveals that over 74 percent of its citizens have used the hand-held technology to respond to emergencies. They widely use it to alert the police, call a doctor, report a car-crash or seek other forms of emergency responses. In addition, while parents could not initially keep in touch with their children while away from home, they can now check on them from wherever they are.

Apart from calls and text messages, modern cell phones also facilitate data sharing. They can be used to transmit convenient and reliable information, but can also be used to store a great deal of data. With the large cell phone memory, people do not need to spend the whole day in book-keeping or having to deal with the computer drawbacks. Everything is right there in the pocket. Just a swipe and the information will be there.

The cell phone technology has also enhanced the quality of life. It is no longer a luxury like many other technologies; it has become part of life. It is strongly woven into the social structures of the society. People need them for the quality life. Of course this is not to say people cannot do without them. They can if they so decide.

Overall, the positive sides of cell phones are wide and far reaching. The e-mail messages, text messages, phone calls, cell-phone internet, data-sharing cards, music, phonebook, cameras etc., are brought together by the cell phone technology. Besides, the devices have also entirely transformed the telecommunication industry and brought the world more closer to the people. People are talking about cell phone banking services, shopping, paying of bills and fees, security devices and easy transfer of money, all because of the technology. The convenience, reliability and functionality perhaps explain the reasons behind the booming cell phone market (Rainer & Cegielski 236-266).

Drawbacks of Cell phones

In as much as the cell phones have united the world, enhanced quality life and made life simpler, the devises have also had their dark sides. Most people have become too dependent on them. Cell phones are the first things they see when they wake up, and last things they touch before they sleep. People run for them in the market, but do not really pay attention to their side effects on one’s social life or health (Makker et al. 148-157). In America, for instance, it is really hard sit together as a committee or family to deliberate on important issues for even an hour without having one or two people excusing themselves for other important calls. It is not true that those calls are urgent; it is all about obsession with the devises.

Even scarier, nobody thinks about the impacts of the electromagnetic microwaves from the small devises. Well, according to the medical reports, they hinder one’s ability to communicate, analyze or concentrate on complex activities. People who use cell phones while driving, for instance, have caused several accidents (Farmer 466-470). It is also true that people who rely too much on cell phones cannot solve problems that need prompt solutions. Everything for them is about swiping, and when they cannot then they can’t do anything (Schlehofer et al. 1107-1112).

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Studies also show that children whose mothers were addicted to the small device during pregnancy have high chances (over 70 percent) of developing behavioral predicaments. The ADD and ADHD are typical behavior problems of such children. They also have problems socializing with their peers and extremely display emotional weaknesses. Further, the National Cancer Institute of America has revealed that there is a connection between brain cancer and mobile phone radiations (Sue 62-70).

There is also a possibility that these devices, which were essentially made to enhance the quality of life and unite the world, could consequently destroy the very things they were supposed to construct. People are getting so obsessed with reaching out to those who are far away forgetting that there are people right in front of them that they can talk to. Even problems that can easily be resolved from within are simply taken far because one finds it rather easy to pick a phone and seek help elsewhere. It is also a major concern that children are increasingly withdrawing from their families because they have to main their cyber friendships (Sanchez-Martinez & Otero 131-137).

Cell phones have also been used to break relationships. If you are upset with your lover you just text and tell the person it’s over. Many people have also been caught up in cheating just by a simple phone call. Many marriages are also breaking up because spouses are too busy with the outside world than with their families. The devices have made people not to appreciate those they stay with. Ass a result of the mobile technology, people no longer communicate with each other in full sentences. ‘No longer’, for example, is simply text as ‘lol’. In effect, the medium has created a huge gap between the younger generation (dotcoms) and the older generation. To say it all, these gadgets have become an integral part of the daily life, but at a great expense (Kavoori & Arceneaux 61-84).

Are People too Dependent on their Cell Phones?

Essentially, the purpose of cell phones is to make life easier and productive. If one wants to connect/contact a group of people, one simply goes to phonebook or opens email, then selects everyone he wants to share the information with, and right away clicks the send button. Within no minute, they are already on the same with the sender. This is the beauty of having a cell phone.

It is true that people have become too dependent on cell phones. In as much as they have improved the quality of life, they have also become an epidemic in the modern society. But the problem is not with the cell phones. It is people who have taken the devices too seriously. Others depend on it too much. It is ridiculous to see how some people react, for instance, when they lose their cell phones. It’s like they have lost the rest of their lives, or the world has come to an end. Others seriously get pissed off, while others it’s like they have lost a limb or an equivalent. These are the kind of people that cell phones not only play an integral part in their lives, but also central to their whole being (South 100/93).

It is quite easy to identify those who are too dependent on the technology. Generally, this category of people will display serious mental and physical symptoms. Apart from distress, they will also employ the rhetoric of addiction and dependence when trying to demonstrate their experiences of going without a phone. Others talk about how scared they were when they lost their cell phones. Of course it is normal to be frustrated when one loses a property, let alone an important device like a cell phone. But it is total madness to literally shed tears, be lonely, call off life, or suffer from the major psychological effects. Nothing would make somebody panic or shiver if it is not an obsession (Sanchez-Martinez & Otero 131-137).

According to ‘The World Unplugged Project’, students who seriously depend on their phones cannot afford to stay away from their phones for more than 24 hours. At the end of day 1 of the research, all the student participants claimed to have developed psychological symptoms, while others literally displayed physical symptoms (Silk et al. 241-257).

Another method of identifying those who are too dependent on the hand-held device is to withdraw the phones from them for a while and wait to see how they react. Obviously, they are those who would be imagining phone vibrations in their pockets even though they do not have them. Others would be receiving non-existent text messages when they do not even have the phones. The last group will make several attempts to pick their phones from pocket even when they were taken with their full knowledge. This is how much this category can be addicted to the small device (South 100/93).

People have become so acclimatized to mobile phones that when they leave them behind they openly become frustrated. Walk into an examination room and hear how many phones go on and off when they are not even supposed to be there in the first place (Schlehofer et al. 1107-1112). Walk into an office and you will be rudely shocked into how much people are buried on their cell phones. Visit homes and you will see how people are isolated by the cell phones. It is all about obsession with cell phones.


Yes these devices are reliable, yes they are convenient and yes they simplify life. But too much of something is unhealthy. People have become too dependent on them to the extent that they can not do without them. It should indeed, be a great concern to everyone that these devices which were essentially made to enhance the quality of life and unite the world, could consequently destroy the very things they were supposed to construct. They have destroyed the community life, have destroyed relationships and have created problems that would have otherwise been avoided if they were not in use. In reality, people have seriously become too dependent on their cell phones. People cannot spend a day without them without showing negative physical and psychological symptoms. The reactions when people lose their phones perhaps tell it all. They will display patterns of frustrations, anxiousness, irritability, bitterness, insecurity, depression, restlessness, nervousness, loneliness, stressfulness, withdrawal and confusion. Others will be pissed off, while others will see no more meaning in their continued existence. But it is not just about the physical and psychological effects, dependency on the phone increases chances of getting brain cancer, behavioral problems and communication disabilities.


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