Try to spend an entire day without your cell phone. For most of us, it would be next to impossible. We are all so connected and in touch with each other, the loss of a cell phone handicaps us in so many ways. Many of us would probably not be able to survive very long without one. Children are also getting cell phones at much younger ages. Technology keeps advancing and with it, changing the way we do things. In our Naga context, cell phones are one of the primary reasons for speeding up the advancement of knowledge and propping up our economy. A lot of business and work is done today using cell phones, from the sms notifications of bank transactions to recharging your DTH connection. We also see the phone being a distraction in church and in class with many unable to stop checking their phones. The cell phone has been one instrument that has slowly taken over many traditional ways of communication and the way we work and socialise.
Cell Phones: Pros and Cons
- Berlin Kent, Asst. Professor, Political Science
In the early days, pigeons were used as means of communication. Later, written messages were sent through letters by post. As time passed, telephones came into existence and today, the era of wireless communication has given rise to mobile phones. Martin Cooper, an American pioneer and visionary in the wireless communications industry and innovator in radio spectrum, started Motorola (the cell phone company) in the 1970s. He is considered the “Father of the cell phone” and is also cited as the first person in history to make a public telephone call placed on a portable cellular phone. A few years ago, the basic function of mobile phones was limited to just attending and responding to calls. But in this day and age, mobile phones have become an integral part of our daily life. Many of us cannot imagine life without a cell phone; without mobile phones life has become handicapped because we use it for all of our essential work. A corporate person makes use of mobile phones to maintain contact with their clients, business partners, vendors and employees, etc. A musician also uses mobile phones to track down the latest trend in music industry. It has even replaced the wrist watch, since people find it easier to tell time through their cell phones; it also acts like a mother and helps you to wake up early in the morning. It even reminds us about upcoming events, meetings, etc. This feature is a cheap way of staying in touch, not just locally or regionally but also globally. As we all know, the main utility of the mobile phone is the ability to contact family, friends and during emergency etc. Most parents also provide phones to their children to stay in touch and also to reduce anxiety as and when they are away from them.
Mobile phones are becoming ubiquitous among adolescents. With newer cell phones having features, such as cameras, internet access, and availability of different types of mobile phones- high-end and low-end, in the market has made a students’ life easier and simpler. Besides the obvious communication advantages, internet access also helps college students with their assignments and project works. It also helps them to upgrade their development skills and social lives. They even get information and updates through their college website which keeps them in track of what is happening in and around the institute. They stay connected with their parents, friends and even teachers which make communication more effective. With the use of apps, students can easily access additional information of their surroundings and effectively learn more about the world they live in. Hence, fostering these skills is probably the most important mission of education worldwide.
The evolving technological capacity of mobile phones has increased scope for educational purposes. However, mobile phones can sometimes be disruptive rather than useful. Usually, use of the mobile phones among college students is concentrated on the production of images and video clips. They hardly use it for learning purposes. Sometimes students may use cell phones inside the classroom for other purposes which aren’t educational. This sort of misuse of cell phones proves to be a distraction in the educational environment; it also hampers their studies and can lead to poor career choices.
Using mobile phones also has further disadvantages. Most students have become addicted to social networking that they hardly have time for anything else. Extreme addiction to social networking can lead to poor performance in tests and exams. The addiction can lead to communication gap even among the members of their own family. This is a clear instance of the misuse of cell phones and other electronic devices. Cell phones have also been found to be used for malpractices in test and exams. Students even create false emergencies in an attempt to get out of class just to log into their social networking sites and escape from class activities. All this has led to an individual not being socially active and can result in a lethargic younger generation.
The use of cell phones has its fair share of advantages as well as disadvantages. Ultimately, it all depends on the individual and on how he or she uses it. Mobile phones are important tools for communication. They are indispensable tools in our daily lives and a vital aspect for advancement, which is why, we must learn how to balance its pros and cons and use it to our advantage.