There are many reasons why people own and use mobile phones; they are a big part of society today, so much so that as a mobile phone owner myself, it is difficult to imagine what life would be like without one.
Presently there are over sixty million people world wide who own a mobile phone.
One main effect of owning a mobile phone on society is that people can be contacted when they are not at home or in their place of work. This is useful in business if a member of staff has to regularly leave the office. A mobile phone allows regular contact, even speaking on a mobile phone while driving is feasible if a hands free kit is owned. An example of this is with estate agents who have to leave the office to show people around properties and also have office work. Mobile phones help to keep everyone co-ordinated and organised in the work place.
We are a very sociable species, people love to talk and keep in good contact with friends and loved ones, mobile phones have had a very positive effect on this although phone calls from a mobile phone or to a mobile phone are more expensive than a land line you can be sure to get hold of the person who you want to contact.
Mobile phones can also be used to send a text message which is a cheaper alternative to ringing someone which will allow people to keep in contact even if they haven’t got much money. The pre pay mobile phones use credit bought and then put into the phone which means that the owner can make phone calls that they have already paid for, therefore prevents people getting into dept due to large phone bills.
In the phone the names and numbers of people can be stored and when someone calls the phone the name appears on the screen of the phone so you can see who is calling. For people who suffer from receiving crank calls a mobile phone would cut out a lot of the stress and worry that these calls make, especially among the elderly who find crank calls frightening and upsetting.
People tend to feel safer if they have a mobile phone with them especially whilst walking alone at night. It is a reassuring feeling to know that there is quick and easy access to help if needed. This also applies for people who spend a lot of time driving on their own encase the car breaks down or they have an accident. It is very dangerous on the side of a motorway and the police advise people to stay inside their vehicle, so telephoning a rescue service from inside the car is a lot safer than walking along the hard shoulder to find a public telephone.
Recently there has been a lot of media coverage on mobile phone muggings which mainly affects young teenagers. “˜for those aged under sixteen and living in a deprived area in big city’s twelve per cent have had a mobile phone stolen at least once’ (A Travis 2002) . A new law was passed in January so that anyone convicted of mobile phone mugging gets sent to prison for a minimum of three years and if it was a violent attack then they are sent down for no less than four years, the major mobile phone companies can also help to prevent these muggings by developing phones that can be disabled once they are reported stolen.
In the case of an emergency the services of the police or the fire department can be called upon quicker if a witness has a mobile phone as they can make the call on the spot instead of having to find a phone box. In an accident where someone was seriously injured every second counts to get medical treatment to them and so, in effect, the use of mobile phones could help to save a life.
One of the most recent advances of mobile phones are WAP phones, which are internet phones. If someone doesn’t have access to a computer connected to the internet then they can surf the net or send an e-mail using their phone. They can also be used to check the weather reports or traffic conditions to help plan a quick and safe car journey.
There is a large number of different mobile phone accessories available so that everyone can personalise there phone; you can even have your favourite song as the ring tone. It is very fashionable to own a mobile phone which could lead to peer pressure in schools. As mobile phones are practical and fashionable the craze for them among younger people is going to increase and therefore parents will feel pressured into buying them for their children. Mobile phones are not that cheap to buy and they quickly go out of fashion when a better model with more features is brought out.
Conclusion In society today people have very busy lives with work and social activities. We love convenience products, which in a way is what a mobile phone really is. There is no real need to own a mobile phone but it makes life easier both in and out of work. Mobile phones have had a large impact on society since the eighties. Just by walking down the street you can permanently see people tapping text messages or chatting on their mobile phones. There has been a rise in muggings due to the popularity of mobile phones but I think that if the companies who manufacture the products should be more responsible and develop a phone which can be disabled as soon as it has been stolen then the street crime will lessen. I think that largely the effects of mobile phones 9on society are positive increasing efficiency in the work place, making it easier to contact friends and relations, and by helping people feel safer walking the streets and whilst driving.