The Influence of Mobile Technology on Indian Youth Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 20 April 2016

The Influence of Mobile Technology on Indian Youth

ABSTRACT

Over the last decade, the usage of mobile phones has increased incessantly. This revolution has been a result of a multitude of factors. The patterns of usage of this technology are varied between the two genders, namely: males and females. Also, the effects of using this technology for its varied purposes are many, some being negative, while others being positive. As advanced mobile technology becomes more widespread, the impacts on professional environments and on the personal lives of individual users continue to increase. The research was conducted over a month and online surveys were conducted all over the country. The research findings were not astonishing but rather stereotypical with statistics proving that women have higher consumption patterns of mobile phones than men and another finding was how there are more negative factors that affect our consumption than positive factors.

KEYWORDS:

Mobile technology, mobile phones, youth, male, female, patterns, influence, consumption

INTRODUCTION

In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing environment, technology is developed on a daily basis and is extensively by everybody for almost every purpose. Since the last decade, the progress of information and communications technologies has increased thanks to two revolutions: Internet and mobile technology. Adolescents today are growing up knowing that communication is mediated by technology. There, mobile phones become almost universally available across most of the age ranges and the rates of adoption of mobile devices such as WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), SMS and MMS have increased drastically. However, the perception of mobile phone has changed because it is taking on a new meaning especially for teenagers who feel comfortable with non verbal ways of communication. Indeed, the cell phone has superseded its utility as a medium solely for voice calls: it is increasingly perceived as a multi-purpose device for teenagers.

It could be used for adding logos or stickers, changing interface, playing games, Internet, educating oneself, starting new businesses, creating applications, etc. Thus, teenagers develop consumption competency, social skills and various usages through the mobile phone devices and their consumption learning is mostly made by using media within their leisure activities. The paper talks about the objectives of this paper, it compares the gender-wise the consumption patterns, and it also gives a comparison stating whether the usage of mobile technology is positive or negative. It concludes by discussing the findings, analysis and interpretation of the survey that was conducted.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Studies suggest the upsides of mobile phone usage. Power and Horstmansh (2004) proposed that mobile phone usage provides young people with an opportunity to create new relationships with others and to sustain them. Many researchers, Chapman and Schofield (1998); Taylor and Harper (2001); Carroll et al. (2002) emphasized on its use to increase the sense of security in case of emergency. Tjong et al. (2003) proclaimed that this technology provides means for social fulfillment of young people such as access, convenience and mobility. Frissen (2000) and Matthews (2004) suggested that mobility also put busy working parents at ease because through this technology they can better be in touch with their children. Markett (2006) suggested that learning in classroom can be promoted through increased interactivity among the students during the lecture and using the short messaging service (SMS)can promote this interactivity. Chen et al. (2007) proposed that having mobile phone is necessary for college students to keep in touch with their family.

Also they use mobile phones to fulfill their family roles by sharing their experiences with and getting an emotional and psychic support from their family. Ling and Yttri (2002) proclaimed that mobile phone technology has revolutionized the patterns of correspondence and coordination among peer groups, colleagues and family member. Cova (1994) proposed that youngsters seek peer group acceptance by using their mobile phones. But researchers, Bianchi and Phillips (2005), Paragras (2003), Monk et al (2004), Palen et al. (2001), also recognized the problematic dimension of excessive usage of mobile phone in young people. James and Drennan (2005) conducted a study on Australian students and identified a higher usage rate of 1.5 hours – 5 hours a day. They also highlighted the financial costs, emotional stress, damaged relationships and falling literacy as adverse consequences of excessive usage. Matthews (2004) concluded that Australian adolescents do not make more than 5 calls a day on average and 85% of them used SMS less than 5 times a day.

Situation becomes more pathetic when serious social, educational and health hazards come up as a consequence of excessive cell phone usage. Ling (2005) identified a linkage between its usage and criminal activities like alcohol, fighting, theft and narcotics use. Srivastava (2005) claimed that students even use their mobile phones while attending their lectures. McEvoyet al. (2005) proposed that young people are often prone to serious safety hazards as they use their mobile phone simultaneously while driving. Bianchi and Phillips (2005) and Palen et al. (2008) stated that youngsters also use their cell phones at prohibited places like petrol stations, planes and hospitals. Griffiths and Renwick (2003) stated that higher usage of mobile phone leads towards being indebt and other financial worries of adolescents.

Aoki and Downes (2003) conducted a research on students in United States. They proposed that majority of the students tend to make calls at night. This can lead to sleep loss and other adverse outcomes. Warner (2003) proposed that, young people use SMS to be in touch with their belongings and to feel a sense of their presence all the time. Similarly, Ito (2006) claimed that, young people seem to be desperate to be in touch with their friends. Niaz (2008) proposed that addictive mobile use has now become a public health problem and awareness about the dangers associated with excessive usage and addictive behaviors must be extended among common people. There must be consideration on securing the children and young cell phone users from the abuses and addiction of this technology. Thompson and Ray (2007) emphasized security of children using mobile phone. They pinpointed the potential risks of uncontrolled expenditures, exposure and access to prohibited, damaging or adult material and bullying via mobile phone.

Age matters when we talk about the extent of mobile phone usage. Kurniawan (2008) claimed a passive usage of mobile phone among older people because they got a fear of getting familiar with new technology. Walsh (2009) conducted a qualitative research to explore the behavioral patterns of young mobile users in Australia. He proposed that young people are too much attached to their mobile phones that they demonstrate the symptoms of behavioral addiction. Studies also show gender related differences among young users of mobile phone. Devís et al. (2009) studied the pattern of usage of new technology among school students. They concluded that boys spend more time on using mobile phone than girls do. Also, adolescents consume more time on using mobile phones on weekend than on casual week days. It reflects that various factors contribute towards the extent of mobile phone usage.

Turner (2008) proposed that phone-related behaviors are differentially associated with user’s personality and individual attributes (age, gender etc.). Rice and Katz (2003) revealed that mobile phone usage is associated with income, work status, and marital status of the potential users. But few studies proved a non-significant relationship among gender of the mobile phone users and its usage. Prezza (2004) claimed that mobile phone usage among adolescents was almost independent of type of class (computer science or not), gender and socio-economic status. Many studies prove excessive usage of mobile phone just as an abuse or a necessity of the time. Carbonell et al. (2008) proclaimed that excessive usage of mobile phones does not lead to the rapid emotional changes so it can be considered abuse but not addiction.

OBJECTIVES

To find the usage pattern of mobile phones gender-wise of Indian youth.

To ascertain supremacy of positive factors over negative factors of mobile usage among Indian youth.

HYPOTHESIS

1. Consumption pattern of females will be higher than males. 2. Positive factors for using mobile technology will have supremacy over negative factors.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The research was conducted using primary methods of data collection. Given the exploratory nature of the research questions, a qualitative study was conducted through in-depth questionnaires of 40 young people aged between 16 and 24. The questionnaires were conducted via an online portal called ‘Obsurvey’ and were also sent to interested participants via electronic mails. The sample consisted of adolescents and the selection criteria for participation in the study were age and gender and it was based on random probability sampling. The gender criteria was used in the study because there is some limited evidence that males and females differ in the way that they use the mobile phone device. The survey was conducted using adolescents residing in many different parts in India and it wasn’t restricted to a specific geographical area within India.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS

Mode Analysis
The average monthly billing pattern gender-wise:
Usage Pattern (In Rupees)
Less Than 500
Between 500-700
Between 700-1000
More than 1000
Table 1.1

Males
8
6
3
1

Females
6
10
5
1

The above table shows the consumption amount of both males and females per month in Indian rupees. In the aspect ‘less than 500’, there are more males than females who have exhibited this consumption pattern. Since the mode analysis shows this tally of males to be higher, and from the next 3 categories, where the tally on females is equal or higher than male, it is very evident that the monthly billing consumption of females is higher than males. The mode analysis thus states that females spend more than males for their mobile bills. Their consumption patterns are thus high.

Usage of mobile phones per day, gender-wise:
Usage Pattern (In Hours)
Less Than 3 Hours
3-6 Hours
Used throughout the day
Table 1.2

Males
5
7
7

Females
3
8
10

By utilizing the mode analysis for this aspect as well, it can be inferred that females use their mobile phones a lot more than males. This could also be one of the reasons why their monthly bills are higher than males. As evidently shown above, more males use their mobile devices for lesser than 3 hours where more women use their mobile phones for a period of 3 to 6 hours or for the entire day. Thus women have higher consumption patterns compared to men, as based in our hypothesis.

Most frequent uses of mobile phones, gender-wise:
Uses
Sending Text Messages
Downloading
Playing Games
Calling
Getting updates
Table 1.3

Males
3
3
7
7
2

Females
10
1
1
5
1

From the table above, we can infer as to why adolescents use mobile phones and what their most frequent use for this device is. The table above clearly shows that females or women have an extremely high usage for sending non-verbal messages or text messages whereas males are more prone to using their devices to play games and making calls. Making calls is a conventional use of the mobile phone, which you can see, has a multitude of alternatives in today’s times and thus the functionality of mobile is highly varied. Males though, have still managed to stick on to this functionality in comparison to females.

Graphical Representation of the Mode Analysis cumulatively gender-wise: Graph 1.1

Frequent uses of mobile phone

Females

Usage of mobile phones per day (in hours)

Males

Average Monthly Billing Pattern

0

5

10

15

20

25

Mean Analysis
Average age of owning a personal mobile phone:
Age (x)
10
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
24

Frequency (f)
2
2
3
5
3
11
9
3
1
1
∑f = 40

Fx
20
24
39
70
45
176
153
54
19
24
∑fx = 624

Table 2.1
Mean = ∑fx/∑f
Mean = 624/40
= 15.6 years.
The average age of getting a personal mobile phone among the Indian youth is 15.6 years. This shows that it is within the mid teenage that they get mobile phones and start utilizing them for the various purposes.

Correlation Analysis
Positive Factors of Mobile Usage and the Hours spent on using mobiles for such positive factors:

Factors
Increasing
Socialization
Education
Being
Updated
E-Commerce
Table 3.1

Rank
4

Hours
2 Hours

Rank
2

D(X-Y)
2

D2
4

2
1

4 Hours
6 Hours

4
3

-2
-2

4
4

3

8 Hours

1

2

4

∑D2=16
r = 1 – 6∑D2/N(N2-1)
= 1 -6(16)/4(16-1)
= 1 – 24/15
= -9/15
= -0.6

Positive Factors of Mobile Usage and the Hours spent on using mobiles for such positive factors: Factors
Environment
Issues
Health Issues
Limits Faceto-Face
interaction
Burden to
family
income
Table 3.2

Rank
1

Hours
2 Hours

Rank
2

D(X-Y)
-1

D2
1

3
4

4 Hours
6 Hours

4
3

-1
1

1
1

2

8 Hours

1

1

1

∑D2=4
r = 1 – 6∑D2/N(N2-1)
= 1 -6(4)/4(16-1)
= 1 – 6/15
= 9/15
= 0.6

In the cases above, two major variables have been taken to derive a correlation between. In the first case, positive factor of using mobile phones and the hours spent on using them by the surveyors is correlated. In the second case, the negative factors of using mobile phones and the time spent on that is being compared. The moderate ( -0.6 ) negative correlation shows that whenever the mobile phones are used for positive factors the time spent is very less but when the  phones are used for negative factors the times spent is more and there is moderate ( 0.6 ) positive correlation .

CONCLUSION

This research paper had dual objectives. It examined the various consumption patterns of mobile technology between the two genders. Using the mode analysis, mean analysis and correlation analysis, the paper brought out strong evidence proving how women use mobile phones a lot more than men and that the amount of correlation between positive and negative factors and the amount of time spent on them is almost equal and both are done extensively by men and women. The dual objectives and hypothesis of the paper were thus proved. The findings of the study proved that men comparatively spend lesser amount on their mobile phone bills as well. The survey found out that the market share of mobile users carrying Samsung phones and iPhones was very high. Only 2.1% of the sample did not use smartphones as well, showing that there has been an incredible in the number of smart phone users over the past few years.

Besides the dual objectives, most mobile phone users have a mobile because they personally wanted it and not because someone bought it for them or because everyone around them uses it. The most common and important aspect of why mobile users have a mobile phone is due to its convenience to make calls to family and friends wherever and whenever. While mobile users aren’t gravely worried about their privacy, they strongly agree that the introduction of this device into their lives has made their lives much more easier though it has also brought up a few negative effects or factors like health hazards, increasing the household expenses, environmental issues or making it harder to communicate face-to-face with others due to the excessive amount of time spent on device. On the whole, the study proved the objectives and hypothesis and by utilizing tools like mode, mean and correlation, the studies have been fruitful as mentioned above bringing about new evidence of the phenomenon that is so common in our daily lives.

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