Mobile Phones: The Current Challenges
Mobile phone technology has emerged as the favorite method of communication among many people today. It is important to note that it has impacted negatively on their social life and human wellbeing. Some of the challenges that this technology has brought and which will be explored in this essay include safety, communication, function, cost and evaluation issues.
Mobile phones are gadgets that can be used to perform several functions. The systems of the phone contain mechanism for application utilization, management, representation and preprocessing. Another importance is context acquisition where data can be obtained through the mobile phones via sensors (Bonde 154). This information can be accessed, used and distributed to friends and families. Other important functions of the mobile phones are in the user interface and the systems architecture (Baron 12). Despite the above importance, mobile phones pose serious problems to human life which include the following:
Communication through mobile phones has virtually revolutionized the society and the way people live today. Through mobile phones, individuals are able to pass information to different people at all times; this may be via verbal conversations, play games, text messages otherwise called s.m.s and e-mail. In recent studies, up to 59.4% have expressed their likes for mobile phones as a means of communication and have lauded it for its efficiency (Bonde 154). For instance, Sweden is proud of having 81.9% of its population using mobile phones as their preferred means of communication. Other nations like Japan and the United State of America have demonstrated a little liking of mobile phones as an important means of communication (Burgess 140). This could be due to the social impacts that the mobile phone gadget has on the coexistence of human beings in the society and the health of the individuals. While others in different parts of the world prefer mobile phones because they use them in their communication with friends and family and to contact others and to be contacted and join social networking sites like face book and twitter, others dislike it for reasons such as lack of privacy and mental psychological disturbance when strange people get your number and the nuisance associated with it when one is in class or meeting. Other reasons for dislike include the fact that it causes social disorder and others regard text messaging as time wasting.
Furthermore, mobile phone technology creates social gaps (Roosli 900). This greatly affects the well being of individuals and social interaction. According to research studies, the poor who cannot access mobile phones for communication have been left out of the communicating class and delinked from some forms of human interaction (Roosli 900). This has led to the troubling idea of socio-economic classes where the poor are delinked from the upper class (Baron 12). These problems may be due to the lack of capital, deficiency in infrastructure and limited technological access. The fact that other people are able to contact friends, play games, send text messages and join social groups while others can not access the same services demonstrates massive inequalities in the society (Bonde 154).
Another issue posing a problem to communication is misinformation. The debilitating and confusing information can be due to effects and nature of the environmental location the mobile phone user is in which often is a recipe for noise and incoherent order of information (Calabrò and Magazu 611). Misinformation has dangerous effects in the society and to human existence as it can cause potential and disastrous consequences like ill-founded decisions, misunderstandings between the parties; it may also result in political and military espionage and other related issues which are threat to human security (Bryant and Oliver 595). Those who like mobile phones do not understand the possible effects of social disorder and misinformation that mobile phone communication can cause.
The changes that have been brought by the mobile phone technology in terms of safety matters affect both the old and the young. Even though a lot student considers it beneficial to use mobile phones to communicate with their parents during emergencies, it is worth observing that it has its many pros and cons (Baron 12). Research studies have indicated that people in different countries have expressed their likes and dislikes for mobile phones based on both the good and bad effects. The continuum of responses from mobile phone users in Japan and Sweden over the safety concerns included issues of high crime in Japan and radiation and brain damage issues caused fear among Swedish citizens (Gelbrich 44). Also, other social issues that affect people in the society and especially among the students are organizing drug deals, and cheating in tests. These have the significant roles of causing distraction on their studies which eventually affects their grades.
Certainly, there are other safety issues that affect the society due to mobile phones use. The conspicuous problem that has been affecting many people is the issue of radiations. Daily use of mobile phones has posed medical threats to its users and has been subject of safety concerns among practitioners (Bryant and Oliver 595). Additionally, children have not been left out of the dangers of radiations (Kumar and Ahmad 85). Radiations of the mobile phones that normally affect the eyes, ears and the nose come from the microphone mouthpiece and the keypads that emit a high intensity of microwave radiation. The impact of radiations affecting the brains comes from constant placing of the phone near the ears (Glotz, Bertschi and Locke 193)
Another safety concern of mobile use is using it while driving. Even though some users may find it appropriate and convenient to use mobile phones while driving due to immediacy of some matters, it is important to observe that not only does it pose the danger of causing road accidents, it also increases the strength of microwave field in the vehicle. Recent studies have indicated that with the revolution of mobile phones, the number of brain cancer patients has increased all over the world. It is important to note that safety concern comes from long term usage and lack of appropriate safety measures while using the phones.
The health dangers posed by mobile phones have greatly affected the society and human life (Baron 12). In a research studies carried out in 2010, a bigger percentage of individuals complained about safety issues around phone usage (Kumar & Ahmad 85). But similar sample in the survey at a greater percentage liked mobile phone usage due to its convenience which perhaps exceeded safety concerns. The safety concerns raised constitutes threat to human life by exposing them to dangerous and several health hazards (Roosli 900). For instance frequent use of mobile phone triggers cell aging due to interference of the DNA structure by the microwave frequencies (Roosli 900).
It is important to note that mobile phones physical attributes poses social interaction challenges which include lack of standardization in handset quality and size and lack of direct manipulation. Additionally, it may pose other challenge as devise size, lack of standardization in software design, functionality of rich devise and the context of use (Burgess 140).
Retrieving data by the mobile phone users who depend on this functionality may create a huge challenge. In a research studies carried out in Japan on whether individuals liked the mobile phones for its functionality and physical attributes, 28.5% appreciated its function (Calabrò and Magazu 611) and the rest did not. In Korea, most individuals had sophisticated handsets and due to these which are a clear indication that people valued the physical attribute (Bryant and Oliver 595). Those who did not value physical attribute could have evaluated the legal, social and technical challenges of the attributes. On the matter of noise pollution, some of the ringtones and music from the mobile phones could create ambient noise or distraction where attention is required.
Evaluations / assessment
Research studies have indicated that one of the issues affecting mobile phone users is based on their evaluation. For instance, the responses for those who liked their mobile phone after taking an evaluation was less higher than those who did not like with 20.2% and 35% respectively.
Individual in Japan and other nations who liked their phones did so due to its portability (Bonde 154). They were able to carry their phones around to their workplace or at home also it would be convenient for them to use it. Mobile phones that are portable are easy to use and could be used anywhere and at anytime and also it is practical to use (Bryant and Oliver 595). It is easy to access information and not complicated for phones which are simple to operate. On the other hand, individuals who did not like portable phones feared having to carry them around all the time (Laura and Claire 6) and they want to avoid a case where information stored in the phone memory can get lost when the phone is stolen and this can cause panic and stress especially if the information was vital.
Moreover those who did not like portable phones feared being enslaved by the gadget like being serial browsers which affect their commitment (Gelbrich 44). Most individuals get emotionally attached to their phones creating a sense of dependency and attachment. Lastly, some considered it annoying especially in the cases of bad connection and transmission hitches (Baron 12).
On the matter price dimension of mobile phones, it varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and from phone type to another depending on the quantity of features of a mobile phone and their quality, individuals may not like the cost of buying them as they would be expensive (Burgess 140).
Mobile phones usages in the entire world have increased tremendously and as a development tool, it has helped a lot of people overcome institutional hurdles (Ling 254). It has been used by every individual in every nation and continent in the society and has revolutionized societies and businesses (Laura and Claire 6). It has also boosted economic performances of most nations leading to prosperity.
However, it is not all people who appreciate its abilities due to the costs incurred in making phone calls (Roosli 900). Cost of procuring and servicing mobile phones has become the greatest barrier despite its benefits. In 2010, research studies indicated that many individuals complained about cost factor (Glotz, Bertschi and Locke 193). For instance, 18.1% of Japanese expressed their dislike of mobile phones due to its cost and in Italy unsatisfied 13.7% complained about the cost (Gelbrich 44).
The greatest barrier in Italy and Japan to mobile usage and integration was the cost of purchasing and maintaining as some had to pay their own bills since their parents were unwilling to cater for this cost as they were shouldering other expenses like paying college fees (Bryant and Oliver 595). In the research, it was realized that this costs could be high depending on country due to varying regulations. (Burgess 140). It is important to note that among the populations that were unable to afford the tariff costs, mobile phones accessibility was low and for those who accessed it could only call at night hours when the tariffs were low (Laura and Claire 6). Cost issues affect communication between individuals and the benefits accrued from communication. High cost of mobile phone communication undermines growth. The high cost of mobile phone could be due to regulation issues such as taxes by government and service activation fees (Eltiti 115).
All these factors determine the individuals’ likes or dislikes of phones and play an important role in affecting their well being in life. As stated above, cost issues vary according to mobile phone users and choke the benefits of technology that would have otherwise kept people on or made them better off (Gelbrich 44).
To sum up, even though the use of mobile phones has created social relationships and richer friendships and also eased communication matters, it is worth noting that the negative physiological and psychological effects that affect individuals well being have also increased.
There have been subsequent declines in family communications and social circles for individuals who cannot access mobile phones which have led to loneliness and depressions. Lastly, cost, evaluation, communication and functional issues have been considered the major issues affecting mobile phone users.