Does Cellphone Make People Less or More Connected?
Cellphone use has predominantly increased all over the world and is becoming the most preferred mode of communication for everyone. A mobile is principally a hand-held telephone that makes and receives phone calls over radio links in a broad geographical zone. Cellular phones are essential items nowadays with every individual expected to have them on themselves wherever they are regardless of what they are doing. Manufacturers of cellphones have improved their designs and capabilities to the point that cellphones can do everything from surfing the internet, communicating, and even scheduling one’s itinerary. These have increased human attachment to mobile phones, with most individuals interacting more often within the contacts on their phones rather than meeting up physically. It is common to find everyone in a room focused on their cellphones rather than engaged in face-to-face communication with other people. Research and studies have established that humans are continuously getting less connected due to their excessive use of cellphones.
Increased usage of mobile phones has led to a loss of communication in the society where people do not talk anymore (Kluger 5). Through research, Kluger shows that there is a persistent problem in society where numbers on phone calls and text messages are compared. It is established that the number of text messages sent has increased consistently over the years and is still increasing on a daily basis. Many individuals prefer to text someone rather than call and engage in meaningful conversation. Increased cell phone use has given rise to conversation-phobia and breakage of the classic communication process of talking to one another. This is a trend that is taking its toll on the younger generation and is speculated totally to disorient the communication process that has been in place if nothing is done about it. Excessive usage of phones has taken its toll on the younger generation who seem to avoid talking at any opportunity they get. The process of communication is continually getting corrupted by cell phone usage that gives preference to texting rather than calling.
Constant cell phone usage by individuals does not only have a negative impact on their communication but also on their behavior towards one another (Sifferlin 1). Several studies have been conducted that show how increased usage of mobile telephones affects human behavior by making them less socially responsible and reducing their desire to engage each other in conversations. Sifferlin attributes the glut of information and availability of alternative means of communication as the primary contributing factor to the loss of desire to communicate to one another. Increased mobile phone usage and the advent of smartphones have led to theformation of social circles within the internet. Individuals are grouping themselves on virtual networks and forgetting to relate to one another on a physical basis. As much as social circles can be said to improve communication of individuals within it, it is known for locking out those who are not members. Individuals within social circles deny entry to those deemed non-members thereby adversely affecting the connectivity between them. Continued use of smart phones has encouraged discrimination of people and a total disregard for people who are thought not to belong within a social set up.
Scientific research also shows that there is a worsening case of pro-social behavior due to usage of mobile phones. These deteriorations of behavior have an adverse effect on interpersonal communications, which in the end causes a loss in connectivity. Scientists have proved through research that active mobile usage causes a loss in desire to communicate on a face-to-face basis. In addition, persistent phone usage causes a loss of empathy where individuals lose the desire to engage in community building activities like charity.
Persistent engagement with the phone causes one not to engage frequently with the community as admitted by several athletes who said they used their phones as a means to avoid others (Abraham 3). Their focus often is on the social relationships within their virtual networks. Such self-centered relationships only expose them to what the group goes through in life, setting standards that are the norm within that social set-up. Attitudes are therefore set for those perceived not to be qualified enough to be within their virtual setting. Such categorizations and clusters breed hatred and a total disregard for other challenges that might be affecting other members of the community. For instance, people will be less affectionate about the homeless and the poor in society, provided individuals do not belong to their social set ups; it is of least concern whatever happens to them (Abraham 15). In the end, such a community of cell phone users does not connect effectively with everyone; rather, they openly shun and keep away from one another, and hence, a total breakdown in communication.
Regardless of the adverse issues involved with an upsurge of mobile phone usage, it has its benefits that are beneficial to communication. Experts have continually suggested that continued use of mobile phones increases interpersonal communication. In fact, the more people communicate with mobile phones, the higher the likelihood of engaging in face-to-face communication (Goscicki 1). However, the cons outweigh the pros and its high time classical communication strategies were encouraged over the contemporary ones that promote the use of smartphones.
Abraham, Ajay T., Anastasiya Pocheptsova, and Rosellina Ferraro. The Effect of Mobile Phone Use on Prosocial Behavior. University of Maryland: Smith School of Business, 2012. Web. 30 March 2015.
Goscicki, Claire. “Study Discovers How Cell Phone Use Affects Social Interactions.” The Michigan Daily 31 March 2011. Web. 30 March 2015.
Kluger, Jeffrey. “We Never Talk Any More: The Problem with Text Messaging.” 31 August 2012. CNN. Web. 30 March 2015.
Sifferlin, Alexandra. “Is Your Cell Phone Making You a Jerk?” TIME 20 February 2012. Web. 30 March 2015.