CulturalArtifacts: Mobile Phones
CulturalArtifacts: Mobile Phones
Scientificand technological advancements form the basis of all the progressthat human beings have witnessed. The rapid development of moderntechnology has created wider opportunities for the development ofhuman civilization, social productive forces, as well as economicdevelopment globally. In scientific studies, an artifact refers toany item produced by human beings and serve to furnish cultural cluesabout individuals or people that used it (Goggin, 2013). Theappearance and the usage of an artifact change with time. The mobilephone is one of the cultural artifacts that has immensely improvedand changed various types of contacts that have been established intoday’s culture. Mobile phones outweigh other modern culturalartifact in its personification of intelligence and disquietingoverindulgence of capitalists. Although there are some disadvantagesassociated with mobile phones, they are associated with many benefitsthat have had enormous positive impacts on people’s lives.Undeniably, mobile phones affect all aspects of human life they havechanged the way people live, work, and socialize.
Mobilephones have changed the way people live
Useof mobile phones in communication
Thedevelopment of mobile phones opened new ways through which peoplecommunicated and establish social networks. Prior to the invention ofmobile phones, people communicated using ineffective means, such aslandline phones that could only be accessed by a few people.Currently, mobile phone is a common product and an indispensablecomponent of human life. It is estimated that about 2 billion peopleown cell phones globally, which is an indication that mobile phonesare now part of human life (Goggin, 2013). Cell phones have changedthe way people communicate in two major ways. First, the ease ofaccess to mobile phones has increased the tendency of people to calleach other instead of meeting and communicating face-to-face. Thismeans that people who more likely to communicate using their mobilephones even when they are a walking distance apart. This implies thatmobile phones have made communication faster, convenient, andcheaper. The aspect of making communication more effective hasgreatly improved the quality of life.
Mobilephones as Mobile phones have access to the internet services, whichallows people to establish social networks. For example, statisticsshow that Facebook has about 1.15 billion users while Twitter has 550million users (Bullas, 2014). These users of social network sitesshare messages, pictures, and ideas without the need to meetphysically. This is a relatively new means of communication thatenhanced efficiency in communication and reduced the cost of sharinginformation among members of the contemporary society. Socialnetworking has influenced human life by increasing chances ofestablishing social relationships with people from different parts ofthe world, which would otherwise be difficult without mobile phones.
Mobilephones as cameras, music players, and small computers
Apartfrom the widespread use of mobile phones in communication, they havea wide range of other applications that have significantly influencedhuman life. Technological advancement has allowed scientists todevelop mobile phones with the capacity to capture photographs andproduce high-definition videos. A study has shown that more thantwo-thirds of the cell phones shipped globally are camera-phones withthe internet access speed of 3G, which allow users to stream musicand videos online (eMedia Asia Ltd, 2014). This means that mobilephones are now a cheap and easy to access sources of entertainment.In addition, most mobile phones have the memory card slots that allowusers to record or store music and play it on their phones. This is aunique source of entertainment that could not be found prior to thediscovery of mobile phones. Moreover, the development of smart mobilephones has enabled cell phones to act as small computers. Smartphones have additional features that are supported by the use ofsoftware, just like the computers. Additional features of smartphones allow users to access more services in additional to SMSs,calls, and emailing. This is a new experience that could not beimagined during the era of landlines.
Mobilephones have changed the way people work
Mobilephones have made business operations easier
Theinitial objective of developing mobile phones was to enhancecommunication between people in different locations. This has beenexpanded to include the use of mobile phones to facilitate businesstransactions and operations. In essence, mobile phones are being usedin business in two major ways. First, mobile phone-based marketinghas expanded the ways in which marketers can present their productsto potential consumers or communicate with their customers in a moreeffective way. For example, Google has developed a site withHummingbird algorithm, which allows customers to use their mobilephones to type questions and get answers via their mobile phones(Hendricks, 2013). This has saved the customers the hustle of lookingfor computers to enquire more about Google products and services.Secondly, mobile phones facilitate instant connection betweenemployers and their employees. This means that employers can accessand communicate with their employees during the work hours andholidays. Some business requires their employees to respond tocustomers using their personal cell phone numbers in order to ensurethat clients can get answers even during the holidays. Although thisis perceived to interfere with the personal lives of employees, itenhances the efficiency of business operation by increasing theaccessibility of employees to their employers as well as clients.Mobile phones have made the work of business owners andorganizational managers easier.
Applicationof mobile phones in learning
Apartfrom the significant changes made by the use of mobile phones inbusiness, cell phones have impacted the way students do theirstudies. Although the use of mobile phones as learning tools is stillcontroversial, both students and educators have continually acceptedthe fact that the modern technology, especially the cell phonesshould be harnessed to enhance learning. Study shows that about 1 outof three students in the developed countries use their mobile phonesto research on academic related topics and do their assignments(Nielsen, 2013). In addition, the number of teachers who areutilizing mobile applications that can facilitate the process oflearning is increasing with time. In addition, technologists havedeveloped learning software that is compatible with smart phones. Forexample, students can download and use adobe reader in their mobilephones to study and revise their classroom notes using their mobilephones. The software enables the cell phone to display the notes inthe same as the computer. This makes studying easy because studentscan continue learning even when travelling of dining. Mobile phoneshave made learning process among students easier.
Advantagesof mobile phones
Mobilephones have three major advantages to their users. Mobile phones haveconnected people from all parts of the world. Currently, people canuse mobile phones to call their friends or coworkers from any part ofthe world and share information within a short period of time(Tomasovic, 2012). In addition, the use of mobile phones to accesssocial sites (such as Facebook and Twitter) have allowed people tomake friends and chart free of charge, which would otherwise bedifficult in the absence of cell phones.
Easeof contacting other people
Mobilephones have made it easy for people to contact each other. Atpresent, mobile phone users are able to communicate with other usersby simply dialing their phones from any part of the world (Tomasovic,2012). This is an easier and cheaper way of contacting peoplecompared to the land line era when one had to travel to the locationof the telephone booth. This means that mobile phones have increasedefficiency with which people can communicate and keep in contact witheach other.
Thedevelopment of mobile phones is associated with the innovation ofmany technological tools that are helpful to the contemporarysociety. The smart phones generation is associated with thedevelopment of useful tools (such as digital cameras, MP3 players,and learning tools) that have made the use of mobile phonesentertaining and enlightening (Tomasovic, 2012). The tools availablein mobile phones impact human life in different ways, includingentertainment and enlightening.
Disadvantagesof mobile phones
Mobilephones have been associated with three major disadvantages that limittheir benefits to users. Mobile phones are easy to access carry themanywhere. Although this seems to be beneficial, it leads todestruction and reduced ability to concentrate (Tomasovic, 2012). Forexample, many people, especially the youths, spend much of their timebrowsing and chatting with friends on social media sites. Thisreduces their capacity to focus on more important activities, such asstudies. The ease of acquisition and mobility of mobile phonesincreases the element of distraction because users can always havetheir phones in hands and be tempted to use them even when theirusage is unnecessary.
Cellphones produce electromagnetic radiations that are carcinogenic.According to National Cancer Institute (2014) the radiofrequencyenergy emitted by ell phones is non-ionized and these subject themobile phone users to the risk of suffering from malignancies. Thelevel of risk depends on the duration of mobile phone use, thedistance between the antenna and the ear, and the technology appliedin manufacturing the phone. Although mobile phones have many benefitsusers should always consider the negative health effects.
Theright to privacy
Theuse of mobile phones has reduced the level of privacy between thecommunicating parties. Currently, there are many tools andapplications that have been developed to collect personal informationfrom mobile phones. For example, Facebook has developed anapplication that allows it to collect personal information (such asmobile phone numbers) of its site users without their consent (Urban,Hoofnagle & Li, 2012). The use of mobile phones interferes withthe right to privacy by increasing access to personal details by somethird parties.
Inthe future, there is a high likelihood that more advanced mobilephones will be developed in order to offer a seamless transition intoportable game devices, offer credit cards, as well as createprovisions for better televisions. In fact, some notable changes arebeing effected and worked on mobile phones. For example, Some MITpeople are working with lithium-ion technology with an aim ofcharging a phone within some few minutes. Again, in the future,mobile phones may assume the role of quick pass credit card wherebythey will be brought closer to a sensor linked to a bank before beingcharged to the bank. Indeed, mobile phone is a cultural artifactwhose growth is only limited by people’s imagination. It has asignificant influence on the world today and there is a highpossibility that it will transform into a new better technology inthe future.
Bullas,J. (2014). 22 social media facts and statistics you should know in2014. Jeffbullas.Retrieved September 29, 2014, fromhttp://www.jeffbullas.com/2014/01/17/20-social-media-facts-and-statistics-you-should-know-in-2014/
Goggin,G. (2013). CellPhone Culture: Mobile Technology in Everyday Life.London: Routledge.
EMediaAsia Ltd. (2014). Cameraphones now majority of phone sales.Beijing: eMedia Asia Ltd.
Hendricks,D. (2013). 7ways mobile will change business in 2014.London: Forbes.
NationalCancer Institute (2014). Cell phones and cancer risk. NCI.Retrieved September 29, 2014, fromhttp://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones
Nielsen,L. (2013). Finally!Research-based proof that students use cell phones for learning.New York: The Innovative Education.
Tomasovic,N. (2012). Advantages and disadvantages of mobile phones: TheSmartphone generation. Technology.Retrieved September 29, 2014, fromhttps://www.udemy.com/blog/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-mobile-phones/
Urban,M., Hoofnagle, J. & Li, S. (2012). Mobilephones and privacy.Berkeley, CA: University of California.