Do We Really Need Mobile Phones?

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 4
Words: 1091
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: College

Introduction

The paper “Debate” dwells upon the benefits of the use of mobile phones. The author stresses that face-to-face communication is sometimes impossible and mobile phones help people communicate irrespective of distances. The writer provides two major arguments in favor of the use of mobile phones. One of the arguments is that people are able to disregard space and time as they can access their close ones whenever they need. This is a really important thing to have an opportunity to communicate with people. Nonetheless, users of mobile phones tend to abuse this option. At present, many people suffer from such accessibility as they are often disturbed and distracted by meaningless conversations.

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Another argument mentioned in the paper “Debate” is the availability of the most urgent news and the availability of the vast amount of information. The author argues that people can obtain any kind of information using their mobile phones. According to the writer, the information may help people shape their schedules and avoid a variety of unpleasant experiences ranging from traffic jams or even aftermaths of terroristic attacks and natural disasters. Admittedly, mobile phones help in many cases as they are available at any time, and there is no need to wait for programs on TV or radio. Nevertheless, the abundance of information is often confusing. Mobile connection is prone to many failures as the signal may easily be blocked or base stations can be damaged by natural forces (hurricanes, floods, etc.) or by humans (terroristic attacks, military conflicts, etc.).

People Should Reduce the Use of Mobile Phones

I believe that mobile phones should not play such an important role in people’s lives and we should not rely on these devices. It is possible to consider a number of factors that justify minimized use of mobile phones. These factors are a negative impact on people’s mental health, hazards associated with the use of mobile phones while driving and possible changes in the way people interact.

Mental Health Issues

One of the most important factors against the use of mobile phones is its particular negative effect on people’s health. The negative impact of mobile phones has been an issue of quite a heated debate. Many researchers have considered the long-term effects of phone radiation. These effects are still being researched. However, there is particular evidence that people do suffer from the use of mobile phones. Phillips, Saling and Blaszczynski (2008, p. 192) claim that people’s 24/7 accessibility associated with the use of mobile phones leads to numerous health issues and addiction. People overusing mobile phones tend to develop such symptoms as sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression and stress. According to Thomée, Härenstam and Hagberg (2011), people report that they are dissatisfied with their availability. Many people are disturbed at night which leads to the development of a variety of mental health symptoms.

Moreover, an abundance of information does make people distracted from more important affairs. Thus, instead of extracting some important information people get distracted by numerous applications available on their phones. These days, mobile applications have grown into a huge industry (Goggin 2011, p. 29). Many people now spend a lot of time communicating on social networks or playing games and using other applications. This time could be spent more effectively. People tend to expose themselves to a vast amount of information, which negatively affects people’s performance and can lead to mental health problems. Therefore, it can be helpful to reduce one’s accessibility. This can be easily achieved by switching off the mobile phone when one goes to sleep. People should also reduce time spent on social networks and time wasted playing different games. This will help people to reduce the amount of incoming information, which will positively affect their mental health.

Mobile Phones and Driving

Furthermore, the use of mobile phones poses particular threats to pedestrians as well as drivers. Mobile phones cause a lot of distraction to drivers, and this leads to a variety of accidents (Brace, Young and Regan 2007). It has been acknowledged that using hand-held phones distracts drivers to a great extent as they need to hold a phone and have to use only one hand while driving. They are also less focused on the road while talking on the phone. However, it is also necessary to note that using hand-free devices also poses a lot of threats. For instance, drivers are distracted while reaching for their devices to initiate communication. Instead of stopping the car and talking on the phone, people continue driving and may become a cause of an accident. It can be effective to minimize time spent talking on the phone while driving.

The Way People Communicate

Finally, the very nature of communication is changing now. Castells (2007) stresses that people tend to search for communication online rather than in real-life settings. For instance, many find it easier to communicate in social networks as there is a certain kind of anonymity and a certain kind of safe distance. At the same time, many people find it difficult to develop proper relationships with people in real life. Besides, the accessibility of close ones can also have two sides. On the one hand, it is so good to be able to talk to a relative who is far away. On the other hand, communicating each day or each week often makes people feel they do not need to meet their close ones, as they talk to them so often. Thus, visiting parents living in a different part of a town becomes unnecessary as there is certain communication. Of course, mobile communication can make people more alienated as they do not meet and do not interact face to face. Sharing news on the phone or mere jokes cannot be equal to physical interaction when interlocutors can see each other smiling or frowning when people can hug and shake hands. Without interpersonal communication, people can close in their shells, which is inappropriate for human society in the twenty-first century.

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Conclusion

On balance, it is possible to note that the use of mobile phones has a number of negative effects. It negatively influences people’s mental health, it often leads to accidents associated with talking on the phone while driving and it can also shape the way people communicate. Excessive use of mobile phones can cause really serious issues in the long run. It can significantly affect the way human society develops. We need to remember that people cannot afford to be distracted by meaningless things as the contemporary world provides lots of possibilities that people cannot waste.

References

Brace, CL, Young, KL & Regan, MA 2007, ‘Analysis of the literature: the use of mobile phones while driving’, Monash University. Web.

Castells, M 2007, Mobile Communication and Society: A Global Perspective, MIT Press, Cambridge.

Goggin, G 2011, Global mobile media, Routledge, New York.

Phillips, JG, Saling, L & Blaszczynski, 2008, ‘Psychology of mobile phone use and misuse’ in Mobile telephones: networks, applications, and performance, eds AC Harper & RV Buress, Nova Publishers, New York, pp. 191-210.

Thomée, S, Härenstam, A & Hagberg, M 2011, ‘Mobile phone use and stress, sleep disturbances, and symptoms of depression among young adults – a prospective cohort study’, BMC Public Health 11:66, pp. 1-11.