Mobile Phone – Friend or Foe? Mobile phones are a mixed blessing for many of us. While some of us may miss the days of going out in public without hearing phones ringing all around us, most people do not miss being stranded on the side of the road with no way to call for help. The allure of having a convenient way to communicate has resulted in an increase in mobile phone usage over the years. Mobile phones have given rise to new rules of etiquette, and even new laws that regulate their use. Concerns about public safety and mobile phones are often in the news, making some people wonder if mobile phones are a good idea.
Should you buy a mobile phone, or continue to use one? One advantage of having a mobile phone is free long distance. One of the big reasons for the rise in mobile phone usage is that you can call anywhere in the country for the same price that you can call your next-door neighbour. This lack of long distance charges has led to many people getting mobile phones who ordinarily may not have been interested. Also, many people now use their mobile phones exclusively, after cancelling their home phone service. Having one less bill to pay is definitely a positive.
However, mobile phone bills, let alone the cost of the phone itself, are very expensive. If you get a very basic mobile phone plan with only a few minutes allocated for calling time, you will not pay very much every month. However, if you are like most people, you may choose a plan with several hundred or even thousand minutes and will include extras, such as text messaging. These plans can run well more than 100 dollars per month, and may come with a one- or two-year contract, limiting your choices if a cheaper plan becomes available. Woe to those who go over their allotted minutes.
Mobile phone bills can easily become 1,000 dollar nightmare. Having said this, mobile phones have other advantages too. With the popularity of mobile phones growing faster than ever, it is a lot easier to keep in contact with friends and family. Never before has it been easier to call your husband or wife on the way home from work and ask to pick up a litre of milk on the way home. Parents everywhere are enjoying the ability to call their child at midnight and find out why he or she isn’t home yet. Worried people everywhere are able to gain a degree of reassurance because of the mobile phone.
Some people are enjoying the GPS capabilities that some phones have, enabling them to track the location of their friends and family as they go about their daily lives. This makes it easier for people to know exactly where they are and who they’re with. As helpful as the mobile phone is to helping us to keep track of others, this unfortunately means that others can constantly keep track of us. A girlfriend might call her partner incessantly to check up on him. If limits are not quickly set, this behaviour can become a serious case of harassment.
The GPS capability of mobile phones is also something that can be abused. It opens the door for controlling individuals to give full rein to their stalker tendencies. Sometimes it’s a good thing for people not to know exactly where you are at every moment. As irritating as this may be, mobile phones can be useful in other ways. Mobile phones can provide a degree of safety that previous generations only dreamed of. These days, you can go anywhere in the world with a mobile phone, and with the proper service, be able to notify someone if you are in trouble, even if you are on top of a mountain in Nepal.
Most people aren’t mountain climbers, but cars do break down and when they do, it’s nice to have a mobile phone to call the mechanic. Mobile phones also come in handy when you are meeting someone for the first time. If you feel threatened in any way, you have an emergency number right there in your hand. The GPS capability that some mobile phones possess also has enabled trackers to find people who have become lost. However, in order for this service to be active, the application must be activated.
Mobile phones can help us in many different ways, but they do also contain serious safety concerns. People like to carry their mobile phones with them in the car in case of emergency, but they also like to have them in case they get a call they don’t want to miss. Many accidents have been caused by people talking on mobile phones while driving. So many, in fact, that legislation has been passed prohibiting conversation on mobile phones while driving in Australia. Another safety concern is that mobile phones could increase the risk of brain tumours or other diseases.
Studies have shown that radiation given off by mobile phones can damage cells, leaving cells susceptible to cancers and tumours. While mobile phones can be annoying, expensive and sometimes hazardous, they can also be very helpful, whether it be helping us to communicate with family and friends, to help us feel safe or immediately know the whereabouts of a loved one. Mobile phones are seen as a must have accessory to some, while others believe they are completely unnecessary. Whatever the case, mobile phones have their pros and cons. It’s up to you to decide who outweighs who. By Jeff Burr