Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “A revolution can neither be made nor stopped. The only thing that can be done is for one of several of its children to give it a direction by dint of victories” (Brainy Quote 2009). How could such a noble thought find its way in this fast-moving world drenched in an opinionated generation? Mobile telephony is a revolution, a necessary revolution. It has merits and demerits, just like any other gadget used in this, century but the merits outweigh the demerits.
Can you imagine a world without mobile phones? Mobile phones are unavoidable in society and as Napoleon states; the only applicable thing is to use them appropriately.
What are the merits of mobile telephony? Mobile phone usage cuts across all fields of human activities from business, through education to entertainment. With the arrival of internet facilities available on mobile phones, their use is inevitable.
Communication will never be the same again. Have you ever wondered how people in the ancient world communicated without any advanced technology? People got home to find series of voice mail messages on their landline phones. This was too inconvenient, but thanks to inventing of mobile telephony because this quandary is no more. The whole world is now within reach of anyone who can access and use a mobile phone. The operating costs are also affordable enabling over 70% of the world’s population to access mobile phone services. Locality of an individual is no longer a limiting factor in today’s communication.
In any kind of business, mobile phone usage plays a vital role such that without it, businesses would perform far below their potential (Biz help 2009). Mobile phones have piloted accessibility in the business world to great heights. By a touch of a button business transactions are completed, workers monitored and important information is delivered regardless of the location of an individual. This saves time and resources and business people can now enjoy their work without much ado. Imagine a situation where a businessperson is getting late to book a flight to an important meeting, no mobile phones and the airport is miles away. The stalemate remains solved via a mobile phone call.
Generally, businesses have undergone a revolution to become more efficient, courtesy of mobile telephony invention. Good evidence of business made easier is the e-shopping. Customers shop online, pay the bills online and receive their goods without even stepping out of the house. Mobile phones save time and resources given the nature of its operations especially during these hard economic times where resources are limited. Bank transactions have undergone transformations and customers need not queue wasting a lot of time waiting a teller to serve them in a banking hall. A customer can now carry out transactions online via a mobile phone.
Entertainment circles shall never be the same again following the entry of mobile phones in the sector. One can easily access unlimited music from anywhere at any time. Kaufman (2000) posits that, one can download songs even before they get into CD, play numerous 3D games and follow major entertainment issues among others. What could only happen in front of a desktop is now happening in the real world, be it on a vacation in Paris or on a tour in Masai Mara National Park in Kenya. Companies like Nokia have come up with mobile phones with memory cards to store large data. It is now possible to download music, store it on the memory card and listen at your appropriate time. With the incorporation of radio channels and television stations in these gadgets, one does not need to get home in hurry to watch the news. These gadgets come with earpieces where one can connect to radio stations regardless of the locality.
Socializing has had its share of this revolution. With the entry of social sites on the internet like Facebook, Twitter and Myspace among others, people socialize from all over the world, creating a global community. The good news is that technology keeps on improving by the day. These social sites came into existence just the other day; we do not know what mobile telephony holds for the future. Think of mobile phones incorporating services like webcam, this would make socializing snappier. Crucial information transpires through these sites on top of socializing. For instance, reports of an outbreak of certain diseases like swine flu in the United Kingdom can reach the whole world in a matter of seconds through these social sites available on mobile phones. People in long distance relationships can now smile because despite the distance separating them, they get in touch more than often.
In education, mobile phone usage comes in handy. Research by academicians indicates that allowing children to access mobile phones would foster education (Paton 2008). This would involve the transfer of information between teachers and students and students would access vital information from the internet. Exchange of vital academic information boosts the ultimate purpose of studying, which is, acquiring knowledge. Through the internet, students can access information say of a research going on in a particular laboratory in India whilst in Germany. Exchange programmes between students are now available across the world courtesy of mobile telephony. There are e-books available online and a student needs only to subscribe to some websites and access these books.
In health sector, mobile phones aid patients and doctors immensely. Bhatia (2009) concurs that mobile phones help HIV/AIDS patients to take antiretroviral drugs. Patients take these drugs at specific times to improve efficacy. By setting an alarm on these gadgets, the patients remember to take drugs. Doctors can follow up the developments of a patient from miles away. Home based care is very common due to improved communication. This help to decongest hospitals and cut down medical expenses maintaining the same treatment standards.
In Tanzania, mobile phones boosted economy by a great margin from 1999 to 2008 (The Citizen 2009). Every country has undergone through some positive changes in its economy from the use of mobile phones. In Kenya, Safaricom, one of the mobile operators in the region, scooped the best company of the year award, in 2009. The economy of many countries would be lagging behind were it not for the invention of the mobile telephony. Think of money transfer through a mobile phone. In Kenya, there is a service they call M-Pesa. Customers create an account in their mobile phones, then send, and receive money via mobile phones. This is a dream come true.
In social circles, mobile phone use plays a central role. Human beings are social animals and they socialize on a daily basis. Parents can monitor how safe their children are, even when away from home. Lovers can communicate and have a good time from miles away without the hustle of catching a late night bus to visit a friend in a neighboring state. According to Times Online (2008), doing a similar thing in real life in lieu of in front of a desktop is the next step in social networking. The era of spending a lot of time traveling to meet friends or relatives for minor issues is slowly disappearing. A call is enough to settle some issues in absentia.
Nevertheless, mobile phones have caused pandemonium in the society. Marriages have broken and relationships terminated, among other negative issues. Unveiling of long held secrets is a common occurrence in life today. A simple message in the message inbox and a marriage is no more. A call from a cherished friend at midnight and a long nurtured relationship is no more.
What is the problem with mobile phone use? Are the mobile phones the problem, or is it the users? Is it healthy to use a mobile phone? Research indicates that microwaves emitted by mobile phones are harmful to health. According to Salford, Wiley, Covey, Taylor and Kompmeyer (2003), non-thermal microwave exposure causes neurological disorders. Research also associates male infertility to these waves. Actually, these researchers insist that mobile phones are as harmful as x-rays. Research proves that the weak microwaves released by mobile phones change the structure of the brain especially in infants.
Britt (2005) noted that mobile phone usage increased the risk of causing an accident especially when used by the youth. This is because cell phone communication causes distraction thus increasing chances of losing control on the wheel. Increased traffic jam results from mobile phone usage on the road. Distractions occur more than often because mobile phone use engages the better part of the brain.
Research indicates that work performance dropped drastically among individuals who could not strike a balance between job and mobile phone usage. Without clear-cut rules on how to use mobile phones in the office can lead to business closure. Think of a situation where employees are absorbed into mobile use more than in their jobs. This definitely would lead to reduced productivity and if unchecked, lead to business closure.
Living trends have changed with increased levels of stress mounting by the day. Bawa (2009) states that research carried to establish social impacts by mobile phone usage revealed shocking statistics. Over a third of respondents admitted they would feel isolated from friends and family if they misplaced their mobile phones. Mobile phone use borders addiction in some cases. There are people, who if they lost their mobile phones, would become sick because of stress. Relationships are undergoing difficult times because people no longer spend quality time together. People no longer feel the urge to travel long distances to meet their loved ones. Consequently, the bonding effects disappear thus changing the organizational structures of the society.
Mobile phones are to blame in part for the erosion of family values. For instance, take a situation where children are on holiday with their parents. The father reprimands the mother, and their daughter rushes to the internet to share this with her friends. This fosters impunity amongst children of this generation. Generally, young people do not have the experience to handle pressures life and they risk becoming mobile phone addicts.
A report by Gold (2009) indicates that children and the youth face big challenges posed by mobile telephony. Children risk lowering their performance in class due to long hours spent on mobile phones. Due to peer pressure, curiosity and the adventurous nature of youth, they may prefer to spend a whole evening chatting with strangers at the expense of going to class or doing their home work. The long-term repercussions of these behaviors are far reaching. Unfortunately, society remains silent on the issue and watch precious sons ands daughters walk the road to self-destruction.
With the availability of internet services on the mobile phones, children access explicit materials like pornography materials and this should not be the case. Moral decadence is common amongst the youth by virtue of accessing vulgar materials from the internet. There are no strict policies governing the use of the internet by children. It is easy for a nine-year-old boy to log into some explicit websites and learn things beyond his years. As a matter of principle, this boy should not explore and learn sexual matters that happen in pornography. Due to their gullibility, these children move with speed to practice what they see on the internet. What is the destiny of these poor kids? What kind of leaders will we have in the future? Regrettably, some parents fall prey to these sites and become addicts too.
Felony has undergone a revolution with better coordination between gangs operating from different areas. Underground gangs and occult groups thrive well from improved communication. Given their clandestine way of executing their plans, mobile phones have only extended a helping hand to these packs. Some gangs can now easily go international because communication is not an impediment.
The use of mobile phones thus has varied applications, which come with merits and demerits. Unluckily, we cannot divorce the bad impacts from the good impacts. They associate so strongly creating upheavals in the society. The good and the bad seeds of mobile phone use will grow and thrive together. They are not mutually exclusive and this calls for hard decisions and implementation of policies to regulate their use.
However, mobile phones are not to blame for all the ripples arising from their usage. These gadgets are like knives and it depends on where you hold them by. You hold them by the handle and they become useful tools or, you hold them by the blade and they cut you. Society should choose to use them constructively because they are necessary irrespective of their detrimental effects on society.
Indiscipline coupled with irresponsibility has led to the tarnishing of the crucial role played by these gadgets in society. Change is inevitable and the perfect way to handle change is to embrace it with sober minds. If only people could use mobile phones with a sense of responsibility, the world would be a better place to live in. Never react to change, respond to it, focusing on the good side of the same. Mobile phones could not come into existence at a better time than this. Who ever thought a global community would come to be via a simple mobile gadget? Mobile phones thus are not a blight in society.
Bawa, J 2009. “Survey Reports on the Social Impact of Mobile Phones.” Web.
Bhatia, J 2009. “Global Health: Mobile Phones To Boost Healthcare. Web.
Biz Help 2009. “Mobile Phones in Business.” Web.
Brainy Quotes 2009. “Napoleon Bonaparte’s Quotes.” Web.
Britt, R 2005, “Drivers on Cell Phones Kill Thousands, Snarl Traffic.” Web.
Gold, S 2000. “The Adverse Impacts of Cell Phones on Children and Adults.” 2009. Web.
Kaufman, W 2005. “Cell Phones Transform into Multipurpose Entertainment Units.” Web.
Mobile Phone Use Boost Economy 2009. The Citizen, [Internet] Web.
Paton, G 2008. “Mobile Phones Boost School Standards,” Telegraph. Web.
Salford, G, Wiley, S. Covey, D. Taylor, P & Kompmeyer, G, 2003. “Nerve Cell Damage in Mammalian Brain after Exposure to Microwaves from GSM Mobile Phones. Environmental Health Perspectives” 2009. Web.