How have cell phones affected society as they have developed technologically? What ethical and moral issues have been encountered along the way?How would you argue that 'cell phones' are/are not...

How have cell phones affected society as they have developed technologically? What ethical and moral issues have been encountered along the way?

How would you argue that 'cell phones' are/are not moral or ethical?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While an inanimate object such as a cell phone cannot be either moral or ethical, the usage of it can present certain ethical dilemmas.  One of the most salient is the invasion of one's privacy and personal freedoms.  For instance, people surreptitiously photgraph and record others without their knowing it.  Then, these recordings are employed in plots against the people such as the cases of students taping their teachers only at certain moments so that they can manipulate the teacher's words, taken out of context, to implicate the teacher in order to retaliate against the disciplinary measures of the teacher, etc. Likewise, photos of people, taken out of context--or even in context--can implicate them in various ways.  In schools, cell phones are used for cheating, also:  students photograph tests, text each other answers, etc., or they look up answers on search engines when they have phones that access the internet.

In another example, without people's knowledge, sexually perverted people can "steal" photographs of people without their knowledge.  Or, treacherous people can use photographs or taped words stolen from private moments of people in order to extort money from them.  Photos of credit cards have been taken and card numbers have been used to purchase merchandise illegally.

While the unethical use of cell phones has negatively affected society, there are certainly many positive affects, such as the access of significant information that can enable investigators in the solving of crimes.

See the site listed below for more information.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Cell phones have made it easier for people in society to stay constantly in touch, both with other people and with information.  As they improved in quality, added features and services, and decreased in price (with increased competition for market share) they have become more popular, more accessible to the average consumer, and society in general has become more reliant on them.

Privacy has been the biggest moral and ethical concern, as it is fairly easy for someone to steal your signal, eavesdrop, or steal your phone and contact information.  Remember when some famous peoples' phones were stolen and then the contacts to all the other famous people were made public? Just one example.

Moral and ethical issues with cell phones has been asked and answered both on the discussion board and the question board.  Actually, it was your question, right?  I'm providing the link.