THE NEGATIVE ROLES CELL PHONES PLAY IN THE SOCIETY

Introduction

Goggin, (2012) discuss; as technology advances, more innovation that seeks to enhance life is becoming a great part of lives. Among the technological innovations that have revolutionized how life is today are the cell phones. This tool of communication has become a part of our day to day activities ranging from, communication, entertainment and access to information. Mobile phones are a cutting edge technology engaging with various aspects of people’s lives. How people communicate, relate and go about daily activities is massively influenced by mobile phones. Real-time access to information is critical and with mobile phones, the transmission of information especially through social media has radicalized communication. Today, we do not have to rely on the mainstream media for information. For instance, information about a terrorist attack in some mall within the city can be received real time through the platforms that cell phones provide like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram among others. Health information, weather updates, money transfer and other services like online shopping and emails have been enhanced through cell phones.

However, this has come with associated social problems that can be felt across the society framework. As such, this paper seeks to discuss some of the negative roles that cell phones play in the society, i.e. Negative impact of cell phones on peoples’ interpersonal relations; proposed solutions to the problem as well as some of the Social Problems solved by cell phones;

Thesis Statement

Despite the tremendous positive effects that mobile phones have had on human lives the cell phone technology has impacted negatively on peoples’ interpersonal relations through decreased face to face interaction; increased sedentary lifestyles; increased isolations; emotional disconnection; relationship expectations and increased antisocial behaviors.

Research Question

Do cell phones have negative effects on interpersonal relations in the society?

Significant area of the topic

This paper focuses on the interpersonal relations between people and how the use of cell phones has affected it. With the advent of mobile phone technology and associated advancement in technology especially on the internet, there have been a lot of changes witnessed in how individual relate to one another in the society (Billieux, 2012). The interpersonal relations between people have been affected in various negative ways. Cell phone technology has impacted negatively on peoples’ interpersonal relations through decreased face to face interaction; increased sedentary lifestyles; increased isolations; emotional disconnection; relationship expectations and increased antisocial behaviors.

Social Problems of cell phones to the society

  1. Deceased face to face interaction

The use of cell phones has enhanced communication reducing the distance between people in different geographical areas. An individual in the US can easily communicate to someone in London without having to travel to the destination. Similarly and individual 100metres away can communicate with someone without necessarily moving to that place. As a result, there have been little face to face interactions. Well, this can be argued as to save time and money that could be spent from one location to the other.

On the other hand, this has resulted in a social problem. The reduced face-to-face is leading to social disintegration I n the community. The sociability of individuals is reduced to on phone conversations. As such, the close ties that people have ends up breaking. One would argue that they can call their parents at home and have a conversation with them or better still engage in some chatting platform via their phones. As such, they don’t feel the need to see physically them and have a face-to-face chat. This reduces the connections between individuals especially those that were closely tied. For instance, couples in an intimate relationship but are separated by distance and use phones to catch up, over time the connection between them gets lost due to the lack of face-to-face interactions.

The cell phones have thus led to relationship break ups because; initially, one would have to move to the others that increased the bond between them. Today, however, couples can choose to be simplistic and hold a conversation over the phones either as a chart or a phone call. This provides room for non-committal responses that would abate the sizzling feeling that the couples had for one another. ii.    Increased sedentary lifestyles

according to Barkley, Lepp, & Salehi-Esfahani, (2015), the availability of cell phones has increased the availability of opportunities for sedimentary behaviors. These behaviors include surfing the internet and gamming among others. The consistent users of cell phones have a higher propensity for sedimentary behaviors. It is also true that those who engage in less physical activity due to their sedimentary kind of life are less physically active. Additionally, they become less physically fit which exposes them to greater risk of contracting health problems.

For instance use of cell phones to an extent of one having a sedimentary behavior has been related to cardio respiratory fitness problems. This is because high users of cell phones have a higher propensity of preceding physical activities to find time for their cell phone use. This is one way though which we can see the sedimentary behavior effect of cell phones. The virtual connection that cell phone offers links the frequent users to their virtual audience or friends promoting the sedimentary behaviors. As a result, physical activity is reduced by cell phone use increasing an individual’s chance for cardio-respiratory disease (Lepp, & Salehi-Esfahani, 2015).

Sedimentary behavior does not just relate to cardio-respiratory disease but other effects that include obesity.  This is due to reduce physical activity that makes one gain much weight beyond their required Basal Mass Index. The much an individual dedicates their time to cell phone use can directly be used to give as a reliable predictor of their likelihood to have health issues relating to sedentary lifestyle.

Therefore, cell phone use if unwatched can be one’s gateway to obesity, cardio respiratory problems among other inactive lifestyle related conditions and diseases.

iii.    Increased isolations

Cell phones are good for information access; they offer individuals with internet services where they can download music, watch videos on Youtube channels, connect with friends online and play games. Nonetheless, this behaviors can sometimes be addictive are attention demanding to an extent that an individual isolates themselves from their families, friends or peers. The social isolation that comes along with the use of cell phone can be greater than imagined.

Initially, people were closer to certain individuals with whom they discussed important matters.  Closer ties existed with those in the neighborhoods as well as those in the voluntary associations. However, the cell phones especially due to the availability of the internet were expected to advance these ties. Contrary to the expectations, the ties have weakened even though widened. People are connected to others from dispersed geographical areas; the cycle too has widened, but the connection is a rather weak one.

The cell phone use due to the availability of internet is pulling people from the traditional social ties that they have hard over time. The neighborhood and voluntary associations that formed the core of society integration are disintegrating. Instead, the stronger ties are being replaced with wider and more diverse networks that are not as strong. Facebook and Twitter including charting sites like WhatsApp, and Viber among others have replaced the traditional institutions that provided ties and networks (Elphinston, & Noller, 2011). This has resulted in a disintegration of social fabric with individuals isolated from the people most close to them. More value has been laid on the virtual connection unlike with family, neighborhoods, and friends.

  1. Emotional disconnection

The cell phone use has also impacted on people’s intimate relationships. The emotional connection between couples or individuals who are closely related either to friendship or intimacy has become a casualty of the cell phone social problem (Twenge, 2013). Today the arguments are not only about, sex, money or kids but on the list of couple’s issues of contention is cell phone use.

Many relationship disruptions have been as a result of cell phone use. These include chats, games, and social networking sites among others that come with cell phone use. There have been lower relationship satisfactions reported due to cell phone interruptions. Technoscience disrupts relationships making individuals feel more depressed which lowers their overall relationship and life satisfaction (Twenge, 2013). The implication is an emotional disconnection.

Twenge, (2013) adds that the romantic moments have been canceled for individuals to attend to their cell phones to watch certain videos or read certain blogs. The divided attention, or distractions that happen with cell phones over a date conversation makes one feel less empathy or disrespect from their dates. When a balance cannot be struck by one in accessing their cell phone when with their significant other, it may be misconstrued as showing a lack of concern. This image is bad for a relationship and in most cases has been a reason for couples’ fights.

  1. Increased antisocial behaviors

Ehrenreich, Underwood, & Ackerman, (2014) posits that, with regards to children, the cell phone access and use can be a cause for increased anti-social behaviors. Phones with internet access enable information access to children in a manner that cannot be controlled. This exposes children to certain images or videos that can influence their behavior. Physical aggression or use of drugs can be observed in the cell phones though the internet use. There exist a lot of videos especially on social media where children can watch people engage in antisocial behaviors and want to imitate the same. Children have a tendency of observing and wanting to do what they observed. As such those who have aggressive behaviors learned mostly from the internet through their cell phones. Children tend to view people who are aggressive in the films as heroes. Therefore, the individuals they watch engaging in antisocial behaviors like aggression become their role models. This makes them want to behave like they see in the films (Ehrenreich, et al., 2014).

Proposed solution to the problem

It is true that Cell phone technology has impacted negatively on peoples’ interpersonal relations through decreased face to face interaction; increased sedentary lifestyles; increased isolations; emotional disconnection; relationship expectations and increased antisocial behaviors. Nevertheless, some solutions exist for these problems.  First, self-discipline for adults and children who use cell phones to an extent they acquire sedentary behavior (Lamanna,Riedmann, & Stewart,2015). Their cell phone use should be controlled by an individual to prevent the health problems like cardiovascular, respiratory problems. With regards to increased isolation, individuals may only have a change of attitude (Billieux, 2012). This involves appreciating the fact that the online relationship is a virtual one and cannot compare to real relationships that people have with their families and friends.  For children who learn antisocial behavior, there can be parental control applications installed on their phones to regulate contents that they access via such phone. However, parental guidance is still important to ensure that the children are responsible enough to have discretionary thinking.  Hong, Chiu, & Huang, (2012) explains that emotional attachment to cell phones and addiction to using of cell phones can also be addressed through behavior therapy that will enable an individual to adjust from such habits.

Social Problems solved by cell phones

Brian & Ben (2014) explain that some solutions can be provided by the Cell phones on contemporary social issues. Cell phones have can be used as devices that enhance access to medicinal services in developing Nations, through both the advancement of new technology and the advantages of moment correspondence. Ideas proposed amid the November 2010 mHealth Summit in Washington, D.C., included both the basic – giving a day by day writings pre-birth tips to eager moms – and the very perplexing, for example, an SIM card biosensor to identify jungle fever. A report discharged by the UN in association with Vodafone, “mHealth for Development: The Opportunity of Mobile Technology for Healthcare in the Developing World,” depicts ventures in nations, for example, India, Burkina Faso, Brazil, South Africa, Thailand and Rwanda that range from training and attention to pestilence following to analytic and treatment support.

Further, the universality of PDAs can enhance access to training, especially among ladies and young ladies. A UNESCO study in Pakistan, focusing on females somewhere around 15 and 24, has demonstrated the viability of advancing proficiency through content informing. The phone “is not just a gadget; it is a way to more noteworthy instruction and data,” said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the October 2010 dispatch of the mWomen Program, which is intended to extend the utilization of phones among ladies in the creating scene to advance instruction and equivalent access.

Past their advantages to people in developing nations, phones have likewise been utilized to gather information and data for NGOs trying to enhance human rights. For instance, the Asian Pacific Network for Sex Workers gathers mysterious data from sex specialists using an instant message that they use to recognize and forestall brutal patterns. The “Open Data Kit,” programming permits not-for-profits to gather information in remote zones through mobile phones and has been utilized by the University of California’s Human Rights Center to gather data on atrocities and human rights infringement. Phones have in this way extended the capacity of NGOs to comprehend and address human rights.

Conclusion

Cell phones as tools of communication have become a part of our day to day activities ranging from, communication, entertainment and access to information. As a cutting edge technology engaging with various aspects of people’s lives, interactions with a cell phone are massively influencing our society in various ways. Real-time access to information is critical and with mobile phones, the transmission of information especially through social media has radicalized communication. Health information, weather updates, money transfer and other services like online shopping and emails have been enhanced through cell phones. However, cell phones have come with associated social problems that can be felt across the society framework (Davis, 2013). The paper has discussed negative impact of cell phones on peoples’ interpersonal relations; proposed solutions to the problem as well as some of the Social Problems solved by cell phones;  among the negative roles of cell phones in the society include decreased face to face interaction; increased sedentary lifestyles; increased isolations; emotional disconnection; relationship expectations and increased antisocial behaviors. Some of the proposed solutions include managing the cell phone usage, advising the children to the safe use of cell phones, couples striking a balance between cell phone use and their relationships among others discussed.

Similarly, Cell phones have solved certain social problems. Cell phones have can be used as devices that enhance access to medicinal services in developing Nations. Secondly, cell phones have demonstrated the viability of advancing proficiency through content informing and finally, phones have been utilized to gather information and data for NGOs trying to enhance human rights.

Annotated bibliography

Hong, F. Y., Chiu, S. I., & Huang, D. H. (2012). A model of the relationship between psychological characteristics, mobile phone addiction and use of mobile phones by Taiwanese university female students. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(6), 2152-2159.

The author offers an insight into the underlying concept of mobile phone addiction and its effect on psychological characteristics of female students. The work explores the increasing social realignment that characterizes behavior of female students as representative of the global population. This work is relevant in respect to the increasing debate on negative effects of mobile phone in the social framework. However, there is criticism in line with limited data to support the authors’ argument. The book is generally thorough in terms of topical coverage.

Elphinston, R. A., & Noller, P. (2011). Time to face it! Facebook intrusion and the implications for romantic jealousy and relationship satisfaction.Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 14(11), 631-635.

The author explores the increasing intrusion into other’s privacy through incorporates social networking apps in mobile technology. The existing social fabric redesign as a result of addictive mobile phone use is emphasized by Elphinston.The work is relevant to the topic but faces criticism due to limited empirical data to support some arguments. The relationship between increased phone usage and cybercrime makes the book great source of literature review.

 

Davis, K. (2013). Young people’s digital lives: The impact of interpersonal relationships and digital media use on adolescents’ sense of identity.Computers in Human Behavior, 29(6), 2281-2293.

Davis explores the overriding influence of mobile phone in the social development of adolescents. Mobile phone is considered as significant digital platform on which the adolescent derive their values with negative results. The observed social misfits among the adolescents show the overwhelming bad influence of mobile phones on interpersonal relations. The book is wide scope and explores the different human behavioral models.

Billieux, J. (2012). Problematic use of the mobile phone: a literature review and a pathways model. Current Psychiatry Reviews, 8(4), 299-307.

Billieux is emphatic on the costs of mobile use in the society. The theme of this work is social problems attributed to increased mobile addiction among people. The literature review is expansive and emphatic on the need to review mobile use and traditional social concepts. The methodology input on this work gives it a stronger argument and validates the premises of the author.

 

Twenge, J. M. (2013). Does online social media lead to social connection or social disconnection?. Journal of College and Character, 14(1), 11-20.

Twenge explains the evident social disconnect that mobile phone has created in the society. People have replaced face to face communication with virtual interaction hence affected interpersonal relationships. The author offers a qualitative approach towards the observed social challenges arising from mobile phone possession and use. The book is constructive in how it addresses the social media, mobile phones and interpersonal ties.

Ehrenreich, S. E., Underwood, M. K., & Ackerman, R. A. (2014). Adolescents’ Text Message Communication and Growth in Antisocial Behavior Across the First Year of High School. Journal of abnormal child psychology, 42(2), 251-264.

The author uses empirical data to explain how mobile phone acquisition upsurge among the adolescents has undesirable moral outcomes. The book explores how text messaging promotes antisocial behavior in children. Children who text about antisocial behaviors tends to practice the same. The diverse literary support from other authors on this book validates the arguments advanced.

Barkley, J. E., Lepp, A., & Salehi-Esfahani, S. (2015). College Students’ Mobile Telephone Use Is Positively Associated With Sedentary Behavior.American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 1559827615594338.

In Barkley et al, work, the upward trend in antisocial behaviors among the college students is discussed on the backdrop of mobile phone exponential use. The author reiterates that, the youth may use the cell phones to influence others on bad behaviors like us of alcohol, sex, and other irresponsible behaviors. Qualitative and quantitative research concept supports the book in terms of reliability and validity of presented ideas.

Brian, R. M., & Ben-Zeev, D. (2014). Mobile health (mHealth) for mental health in Asia: Objectives, strategies, and limitations. Asian journal of psychiatry, 10, 96-100.

The health related risks of mobile phone in the society is discussed by the author at lengths. In as much as mobile phone is an essential device for communication, mental health challenges attributed to its use cannot be ruled out. In essence, the author discusses the topic with objectivity, highlights strategies and points to limitations so as to expose the reality that surround long term possession of mobile phone.

Goggin, G. (2012). Cell phone culture: Mobile technology in everyday life. Routledge.

The influence of mobile technology is inevitable and places the life of many people at social risk. According to the author, literature review from other scholars augment the growing culture of overreliance on phone in interpersonal communication. Goggin is emphatic on evidence based research through other works thereby boosting relevance and reliability of the book in respect of the topic.

Lamanna, M. A., Riedmann, A. C., & Stewart, S. (2015). Marriages, families and relationships: Making choices in a diverse society.

The author argues that over time, individuals have ended up breaking up due to cell phone use. The author emphasizes attention given to one’s cell phone leads to emotional disconnection with their significant other. This is very unhealthy for a relationship. Qualitative data used in this case is significant in explaining choices made relative to mobile phone usage.

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