Social Sciences

Start Free Trial

Can you analyse the effect mobile phones have on society?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The answer to this depends greatly on the type of society that you are talking about.  The impact of mobile phones on developed, rich societies is much different than their impact on developing societies.

In developed countries, mobile phones are mainly for convenience and entertainment.  In rich countries, people use their mobiles for playing games and taking pictures and exchanging texts with their friends.  (Of course, there are many uses for business--people can make business calls while driving, etc.)  There are good effects (easier communication with family members, more things to do for fun) and bad (people are never out of touch with their offices and bosses), but the phones may be seen by some as just a convenience.

In developing countries, mobile phones can be much more important.  In countries without good infrastructures, mobiles can be the only real way of communication.  In many countries, mobiles are starting to be used the way credit cards are in rich nations; this means there are ways to buy things using your mobile.  There, the functions of mobile phones are much more vital than the uses of mobiles in rich countries.  In developing countries, then, the effect of mobiles is to greatly improve people's basic abilities to communicate and to buy things. These are things that have long been taken for granted in the rich world.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

One of the major effects that the proliferation of mobile phones has had on society is the way it has made people available nearly twenty-four hours a day regardless of their location.

Only twenty years ago, if someone was not in their office or at home, they were unreachable, and you would have to wait for them to return a phone call or write back an email, etc.  The availability of communication through mobile phones has changed the way we interact and even the expectations for those interactions.  For example, caller ID on mobile phones gives a way to see who is calling and the opportunity to decide whether to answer or not.  All sorts of relational implications can occur when someone doesn't answer.

Posted on