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ICT and Society Essay

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My mobile phone is a Nokia 6020. I got it a year ago, for my birthday. It is on a pay as you go tariff, and I have to pay it all my self. I have had to get myself a paper-round to contribute towards some of the costs. I use it to make phone calls, but mainly to text, and take pictures, with the camera. I often use the video camera to make low quality videos. I quite like the look of my phone but it is getting slightly old now. It is still a very good, basic phone however I think that the memory is much too small. It can acess the internet; but I don’t use that mainly because of the cost.

Describe how you use the ICT technology.

My phone is mostly used in the social category because I use it most to communicate with others. However, it can also come under the personal category because I use it to entertain myself by playing games on it among other things. Because I have to pay for it myself I tend not to spend as much as my friends, who’s parents pay for it. I am probably more conscious about the cost than them too. I am not someone who relies on it completely, I have lost it for a whole week before, without even realising. Saying this I do tend to text friends who don’t live near me. This way I can keep in touch with them. I would like to text them more but a phone is quite expensive to run and I would rather spread out my remaining money on other things. I also use my mobile to arrange outings with my school friends during the holidays or weekends. I like to text them because it is quick and easy. I don’t really use any kind of predictive text when I write text messages. This is because I don’t really like it that much. The avantages of it is that it writes texts quicker with less movement of fingers. However it doesn’t have text talk words in the program, like “2moro” so therefore the text is longer and you can’t fit so much in the text.

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I find having a camera on the phone very useful too. Like most people I can take a picture any time, any where. This means I can caputure really cool pictures. I can send the good pictures to people via multimedia messages. If I’m on holiday they can see what I’m doing and generally keep in touch. Another thing which makes my phone more personal is the fact that I can change the background and the order of the lists in menu. I like to do this but it is quite complicated to do. I also use my phone for entertainment, I play games when I am bored like on the train. Although the games are not that advanced, they keep me entertained. I use the calculator appliance a bit but I can’t use it in school because the school has banned mobile’s. I often use the calander. The calander, if set, will remind me of people’s birthdays a week or so before. However it does take a while to set and add information. My phone also has an alarm, which I use when I am camping or sleeping in a hotel. I use most of the things that are on my phone and usually they work well.

What are the advantages of using the ICT technology.

One of the things which I find most useful about having a mobile phone, is having so many things on one device. It has endless uses all in one tiny object. It saves people carrying around lots of different devices each with one use.

The other thing which I find most useful about having a mobile is that it gives me freedom. This is so important. My parents will let me go out and know that I can phone them at any time. They’ll say “well, as long as you have got your mobile with you”. For my parents, it gives them a slight chance to relax. My parents also know that they can log onto a website and track my phone, this is an advantage for them. Say, should the worst happen, I was hurt and got rushed to hospital. The paramedics could look at my phone and find ‘mum’ in my contacts and immediately let her know. Another reason for having a phone with lots of things on it, is money. It could actually save money, not having to buy a digital camera, ect.

What are the disadvantages, if any, of the ICT technology.

There were several studies recently that warned of a possible health risk to teens who use their phone a lot. It was worried about the waves that a phone uses damaging heavy users. Now I don’t use my phone that much but I don’t exactly like the thought. Nothing has been proved yet but, then again, nothing has been not proved. So at the moment I am just cautious. For me, the fact that my parents can track my phone is generally a bad thing. I don’t want my parents to know exactly where I am all the time, they’ve got to learn to let go a little. But if I got into trouble I think that I would be really glad so as long as they only use it when they are really worried it’s OK. The fact that it costs quite a lot to run a phone also is a bad thing. Handsets cost a lot to buy, the better and more features it has, the more expensive the price. Packages where users are lured into by the promise of “free weekend texts” or “100 free picture messages” are often not right for the customers. Most people end up paying a set amount per month, say �20. That’s fine if they would use �20 credit on pay as you go tariff but most won’t. They don’t realise that they’d get a better deal if they went onto another tariff. I think this is how phone companies make all their money.

Bullying is another major problem. More and more, younger and younger children possess phones for all the reasons I have listed above. Bullying via text messages is becoming a substantial problem, big enough for many schools to start to ban mobile phones. This leads us onto the next disadvantage. Many schools have banned phones completely. My school still allows us to have phones in school however we’re not allowed to use them or get them out during the day. We can turn them on at the end of the school but not otherwise. If a teacher sees them they confiscate them. This is a real pain because a parent needs to come in and collect it.

A wider problem is security. If you have a phone apparently some hackers can hack onto phones, steal personal information and stuff. Also having a phone makes you a target to thieves and muggers. They will just whip your phone anytime. It has now been made harder for thieves as you can block the SIM card and make it un-useable. However if you take out the blocked SIM, and put in another the handset will still work perfectly. This still makes stealing a phone worth it. What companies need to develop is a way of blocking the handset too.

If I lived and the mobile phone wasn’t around today I wouldn’t be able to keep in touch with my friends as easily or arrange to meet up with them. My parents would feel less comfortable with me going out so I would have less freedom and if I got into trouble I couldn’t ring for help. The mobile is so convienient that many people would have to change too.

So although there seem to be more disadvantages than advantages I still find a mobile the most useful piece of IT I use, secondary only to the computer. This is simply because it gives me the freedom I want in more than one way. The freedom to go out without my parents worrying and the freedom to walk around with one little device in my pocket.

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