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People use mobile phones because they believe the phones make their lives better, safer and more convenient.
They believe that having a mobile phone enables them to get in contact with whoever they need to talk to, whenever they feel the need to talk. They no longer have to wait until they get to some place with a phone they are allowed to use.
They also believe it lets them be safer because it allows them to call for help if their car breaks down or some other small emergency happens.
The need for communication is of critical importance behind the use of cell phones. In addition to this, being able to expand the phone as an extension of one's own sense of self is another purpose of the cell phone. Being able to personalize and customize one's phone is of critical importance to individual identity. Ringtones, cell phone covers, screensavers, as well as individual options to one's phone has become critical to individual identity, especially amongst adolescents and pre- adolescents. At the same time, the technological capacity of phones have also increased. Phones are now not merely for talking, as video capacity, and web browsing features have helped to transform the cell phone into multiple entities which can make life (supposedly) easier and more user friendly. Technology has met with demand as well as individuality.
At one point in my life no one used mobile phones. Now almost everyone has them. I am not convinced that this technology has made life any better and some may argue that it has made life more difficult. People were fine without them and they did just fine. So, why does everyone have one now? I have a sociological answer - because more and more people have them. This is the mode of conversation and discourse now. Therefore, it is now almost a necessity. The world has changed and those who do not adapt are estranged to some degree.
Many employers nowadays insist that their salespeople, technical staff, etc. carry cell phones so that they can be reached at a moment's notice. Like employers, parents also wish to keep track of their teens, so their having a cell phone is, indeed, a device that reduces anxiety for these parents. Of course, nowadays an iphone or Blackberry allows a person access to the internet, affording boundless options.
However, as the previous editors have noted, having a cell phone has now become de rigeur, as it were. Interestingly, in the preface to his novel "Brave New World," Aldous Huxley stated that he wrote the work to examine the effect that technology would have upon human beings. Certainly, the dehumanization that Huxley foresaw is evident as people talk less vis-a-vis to one another, they write much less, and they have little time to merely contemplate nature around them or ponder and relax in solitary moments away from any psychological and/or physical attachments.
Technology has a prediliction to making things go faster, from log to wheel, from steam to jet engine. Of course, increasing speed does have down sides.
For much of the world, where wire was never in place, cell phones represent the only means of easy, direct communication. Those of us who live where wires have been hanging for a century or more have less of an excuse -- but as the automobile in the 1950's became the standard by which people went to work (at least in the US), so the cell phone is now for people to communicate, simply because it's more instantaneous than the old system, and where time is saved, business becomes more efficient. The intangible costs of efficiency, well, that's another matter.....
People use mobile phones because they make our simpler in many ways. We also feel safer with them. From personal experience, I can say that I feel safer knowing that my teenager has a cell phone. I can get a hold of her whenever I need to and she can a hold of me.
In todays society we also like things to be fast, the faster the better. Cells phone definitely allow this to be a reality.
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