Cell Phones The new millennium has finally arrived and technological advancements are still being made at a rate faster than is often conceivable. Among the various inventions and discoveries of the modern era is one that has already become a mediocre item to the average individual – the cell phone. As one takes a stroll down the street, grabs a bite to eat, or simply takes a single step into the outside world, one may realize that nearly each and every individual is affected by the cell phone phenomenon. Cell phones are a means by which individuals are able to communicate with others that are not present. However, the fascinating characteristic of the cell phone is that it allows the personal and private act of talking on the phone to take place in public, around complete strangers. As a result, the cell phone has various roles as a mode of communication; whereas one may use the cell phone simply to ensure connection and communication with people not around, others may treat the cell phone as a mechanism used to display a specific attitude towards outsiders.
These varying manners in which people utilize the cell phone are extremely significant. The cell phone, when utilized as both a means of communication with a single person and the general public, simultaneously depicts the users inherent dependency on other people, as well as an element of the user’s sociability, confidence, and importance. The cell phone is a channel by which people may communicate a message both in an interpersonal and mass fashion; however, the typical perception of the cell phone is that is a form of interpersonal communication. When Jane was preparing to leave the house to see a movie, I suddenly felt the need to question her instinctive drive to toss her cell phone into her purse. It perplexed me that Jane felt she would answer a phone call or need to initiate a phone call while sitting in a dark theater. Jane responded that at any possible moment an emergency could occur and her cell phone would be the only possible thing that could save her.
She explained that it comforted her to know that in case her mother, who is currently ill, needed to reach a hospital, Jane will be the first to know and respond promptly, no matter where she may be. In addition, Jane stated that she nevertheless needed to always know that if she became stuck on the freeway due to a shortage of gas, help is only a phone call away. After hearing these comments, Jane’s reasons for making sure to grab the cell phone seemed plausible and acceptable. Jane utilizes the cell phone as a possible form of communicate during emergencies, and carrying a cell phone with her provides Jane with a feeling of comfort and security when going out into the world. Although Jane’s usage of the cell phone is practical and understandable, Jane nevertheless contains a dependency on her cell phone that seems slightly unnatural.
This is a result of the fact that Jane ranks her cell phone as one of her most necessary and helpful material possessions, even above the car that she drives. When questioning Jane about this comment, she stated that she doesn’t always take her car when leaving her house, but prefers to walk to most of her destinations. As a result, Jane feels that she will take her cell phone with her and possibly utilize it while outside more than she utilizes her car on a regular basis. This perception of the cell phone did not seem accurate; I believed a car would be a better means to transport one to the hospital, rather than a dinky piece of metal that would allow one to only make a phone call to the hospital. I soon realized that Jane’s need to carry her cell phone around at all times due to the possibility of an emergency was not only inaccurately rooted, but also possibly more hazardous.
This became clear as I noticed, upon entering Jane’s car, that her gas level was near empty. I asked Jane if she wished to stop at a gas station, upon which Jane replied, “If we get stuck on the road, I’ll just call for assistance.” Jane’s dependency on her cell phone is so extreme that she does not even attempt to take all measures to ensure that an accident and emergency does not occur. (IE: getting gas). Rather, she contains the inaccurate belief that all can and will be saved with the aid of her cell phone. While maintaining this attitude towards her cell phone Jane may potentially be placing herself in further danger. Jane and other people who maintain a similar dependency on the cell phone, may not think twice about walking alone at night or even getting into a stranger’s car, because of the feeling that help is just a phone call away.
This attitude, as a result, allows us to realize that cell phones may become a negative form of communication if an unhealthy dependency on the cell phone exists and persists. Cell phones, in addition to promoting a possibly dangerous dependency on others, also depict and promote an unhealthy dependency on others in regular life, day to day situations. This is clear upon observing various women in several shopping malls and clothing stores. When entering the GAP, I noticed a young woman in her mid-twenties scanning a row of dresses. The woman decided to take seven completely different styled dresses with her into the dressing room.
After leaving the dressing room, I noticed that the woman walked out with only a single dress in hand. However, while waiting in line to pay, the woman took out her cell phone in order to describe the dress to a friend in great length. After about five minutes of a conversation solely about the dress, the woman walked out of line and returned the dress back to its rack. I was completely in shock; the woman, rather than using her own judgement, decided not to buy the dress based on the word of her friend who has never even perceived the dress. I then realized that it was essentially the cell phone that allowed the woman to call her friend and ask what decision to make regarding the possible purchase. As a result, the cell phone has become a mechanism for communication to the point to which it inhibits our personal judgements and allows us to instead rely on those of our loved ones, friends, and business associates in all day to day situations.
The cell phone essentially provides people with the comforting feeling that we are not alone in the world and in the actions we take, but that an additional guide and aid will always be present. This communication that the cell phone provides may, however, be viewed as inhibiting to personal growth and independence, because it encourages the easier route of relying on others to assume our decisions rather than on ourselves. In addition to increasing our dependency on others, communication through the cell phone provides for and encourages our interpersonal imperative, or our human drive and need to be social. Among the three basic social needs, cell phones allow people to develop both an inclusion and a control need. The cell phone provides for the possibility of interaction with others who are not present through speech, at any place or any time.
As a result, the cell phone allows people to connect with others and share their experiences while they …