Before the introduction of mobile cell phones, people had to either be at home or in an office to be able to make calls through the telephone. This was because the telephone had to be fixed and had a cord hence it could not be carried around. After a while, public telephones surfaced. They were of the same kind but they were now placed in booths for public use at specific points within cities and towns. They came with a directory book which had codes and toll numbers for both local and international calls. The call booth had a slot where you could insert the required number of coins so as to make a call. In a way, this became easier for people to communicate but if you were on travel or somewhere remote where there was no telephone booth, you could not make a call. Then came the cordless telephones. Their only issue was they could only be used in one distinctive base station. People could not make wide geographical calls.
Eventually, the first generation of cell phones was introduced. They were very heavy and could only offer limited services and were fixed in vehicles indefinitely. Further improvement in a couple of decades brought about the cell phones we use today also known as smartphones. Advancement in technology has ensured that cell phones can be fixed and carried around. For example, they can be fixed in cars. They are mobile because of their light weight nature unlike their predecessors. In addition, due to their use of cellular frequencies, they offer multiple services. For instance, making calls, watching movies, and listening to music. However, this evolution of cell phones has brought about its pros and cons.
Smartphones have enabled people carry technology with them regardless of their location. As mentioned earlier, this was not the case years back. Phone calls can now be made in a wide geographical area. As most people like to put it, the world has now become a global market place. Smartphones have made carrying out of business easier than before. Transactions can be conducted by people in different geographical locations through the use of mobile phones. Organizations which have different branches around the world can hold conference calls or online meetings without meeting physically. Businesses have established their online presence making them have a wide reach on their customers with smartphones. Clients can order and pay for their products online thanks to e-commerce.
Moreover, this has led to increase in employment opportunities like social media managing and content creators. Aside from business, smart phones have improved our modes of communication. People can keep in touch with their families and friends without having to be with them all the time. Smartphones have advanced features like video calls where people can speak to each other face to face without having to wait until they are in the same area. Also, there are other ways to communicate besides making calls. Social media apps give people another option of staying in touch. There are different social media apps for different forms of communication. Some are mostly for social reasons while others are used for business purposes. With all these advantages, smartphones have had some bad effects on human morality as well.
Use of smartphones while on the road by both pedestrians and drivers should be controlled especially on highways and extremely busy roads. Texting and calling while driving ranks up there with driving while drunk. They are both a form of distraction on the road. When attending important events like an art showing or theatre, people are asked to keep their phone on silent mode. When phones ring in such cases, it is considered an annoyance and may be subject to ejection from the event. On the other hand, people texting and calling while on the road are given a pass or warning. This should not be the case. There needs to be strict policies that govern usage of smartphones while on the road. People doing so might not be annoying anyone but they are endangering lives of other people on the road (Jeff K.Caird). Take for example, a public driver of a bus carrying sixty passengers texting on a busy highway. He/she is risking the lives of both those in the bus and outside (Jeff K.Caird).
On the same note, someone crossing a busy street with earphones on listening to music is unable to make decisions accurately. They may end up being run over or distract the driver into risking the people in the vehicle while trying to avoid them. Texting while driving has garnered a lot of attention from both concerned people and nonprofit organizations to the point of raising campaigns that advocate against the act both in the media and through peaceful demonstrations (Texas). Policies have been enacted concerning the same in most countries but people ignore them because it is easy to do so. Considering how dangerous it is, every government should pass hefty consequences on people who use their phone while on the road.
There should be laws regulating use of smart phones in terms of people’s privacy. With a majority of people in the world owning a mobile phone, lack of privacy has been something common these days. People use social media to post the progress of their everyday life out there for everyone to see and judge. This leads to cyberbullying and body shaming over the internet (LENHART). This has led to victims having a low self-esteem to the point of injuring themselves or even taking their own life. Other people go even to the extent of making known to everybody a part of their life they should keep private. That is not even the worst of it. Smartphones come with advanced features like AI cameras which can be used to take pictures of parties who are either uninterested or in other cases un aware of what is going on. Their photos end up in the internet having been manipulated and spread for selfish and wrong reasons.
Moreover, smartphones come with GPS tracking which means people with bad intentions against you can spot your immediate location and use it to get to you or use the information otherwise. In some cases, some websites and applications sell their customers user data to third party companies for their own gains and to push adverts to the consumers without their knowledge. This has happened to several companies in the past when some policies had not been established and they walked free. Currently, there are several policies governing use of applications but some companies manage to do it anyway. On the side of personal privacy and things like cyberbullying, there needs to be cut throat laws advising against such.
All things considered; smartphones come in handy for everyone depending on what they intend to do. Whether you are a business man making calls to clients or receiving payments through your mobile phone, you need a smartphone. Schools require smartphones, both teachers and students alike for learning purposes. We cannot ignore how much easier life has become with the invention of the smartphone. Nonetheless, we cannot also disregard the negative effects it has on our human morality. We need to put systems in place and codes of conduct regarding the use of this new technology. Smartphones are not bad. Humans invented them which means we are in charge of how good or bad we use our smartphones. Let us gain our morality back by using the technology for the right reasons lest it be our undoing.
- Jeff K.Caird, KateA.Johnston,Chelsea R.Willness, MarkAsbridge, PiersSteele. “Accident Analysis & Prevention.” A meta-analysis of the effects of texting on driving Volume 71 (2014): Pages 311-318. Document. 26 May 2020. .
- LENHART, AMANDA. Cyberbullying. 27 June 2007. PDF Document. 26 May 2020. .
- Texas, Defensive Driving. 4 Anti-Texting and Driving Campaigns You Should Know About. 27 February 2014. Article. 26 May 2020.