Monday, March 31, 2008

An often overlooked media

Hey gang,
Well i'm back. i am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My workload will lighten up for a few weeks. Whewww!!! One of the things i did this weekend was buy a new cellphone/pda. My new Blackberry will help me stay organized. I've been playing with it for a few days now and i am in love with it. But this makes me think of an often overlooked communication media: the cellphone.

How has the cellphone changed our life. Do you view the cellphone as a positive technology or negative. Give reasons for both: why the cellphone is good and bad for society. Also, where do you think the cellphone is heading. What will the cellphone technology hold for us in the future? Remember two paragraphs.

P.S. - I'm looking into how to update this blog on my Blackberry. How Cool is that!!


Leeanna McVay said...

Although I am only 22 years old, I remember the days when not everyone had a cellphone. I remember my family's first cell phone(which was a bag phone that plugged into the lighter of the car). There has been such an advance in technology in such a few short years, especially with cell phones. Now days, I can't imagine going anywhere without my phone. If I leave it, I'm turning around and going home to get it. The advantages of having a cell phone handy are that we are always in touch with someone. They have been useful in emergency situations for me, such as a flat tire. Cell phones have also helped saved people's lives on numerous occasions. One girl was found not long ago tied up in the woods because she sent a text message to her mother. The advancements of cell phones are amazing. Every day, a new technology comes out. This technology makes our life so much easier. It allows us to multi-task like never before.

One of the disadvantages of cell phones is that sometimes we are too accessible. I once dated a guy who was a real estate agent. We never had a single dinner or went on a date when he did not take a business call. I spent most of that relationship listening to his end of a telephone conversation. Granted, this was his problem and not the problem of the technology. However, I think society allows us to become accustomed to seeing people in public on the cell phone. It beginning to seem less and less rude for people to take phone calls instead of socializing with the person or group they are with.

Heather Noble said...

I am in the same position as Leeanna when there were no cellphones. I remember TV shows like Saved by the Bell that showed this rich kid, Zach Morris, with a cell phone that by today's standards is huge! My mom got the first flip phone and it was only to be used in case of an emergency since she paid a lot of money for 100 minutes a month. When I first went to MSU in 1998 my parents gave me a cell phone so that they would feel more comfortable when I drove the four hours home. Technology has come so much further than we could have imagined in the past 15-20 years. We went from having these huge cell phones that were associated with wealthy people to phones that fit in your pocket, purse, etc that can do practically everything. You can text, email, listen to music, surf the internet. In the past few years I have noticed that I text more and more. I actually prefer to text over calling someone just so that I can ask the question quickly and get the answer without having to go through the process of having a long drawn out conversation. I think that the advancements outweigh the negatives in so many ways. You are able to quickly handle an emergency, you are able to handle situations from anywhere (as long as you have a signal) and not be chained to your phone at home or your desk at work.

There are also some disadvantages to cell phones. People get so addicted to the convenience that they often put themselves and others in dangerous situations. They text while they are driving, this has led to a few teen deaths in AZ where I live. Some people forget that its bad manners to interrupt dinner or other social events by constantly answering the phone, checking email, etc. Sometimes I even forget to disconnect. I am addicted to my blackberry and forget that its a good thing to walk away from my job for a while. My husband works for a professional baseball team and is gone for 6 straight months. I fly back and forth between our hometown and where is based during baseball season, and while I understand that during baseball season you are constantly on call and have to be connected for 6 months, the off-season is a different story. When he gets back after a long season its sometimes hard to break him of the habit of checking his blackberry every 2 seconds, especially when we go to dinner. He has the same problem in terms of stepping back from his job for a few minutes. Sometimes you have to feel sorry for the couple at dinner who spend more time texting and checking email than they do talking to their significant other. While you may be connected via technology sometimes it means that you disconnect from your friends and family emotionally and forget how to talk to each other.

Tessa Horn said...

My how cellular phones have changed. My first cell phone was a bag phone which I got as a gift in 1995 or 1996. Cell phones have made quite an impact on this country, but it is far from over. I have to admit that I enjoy the convenience and security of having my cell phone with me at all times.

Cell phones are providing an essential link to law enforcement and emergency rescues. Cell phone use in a vehicle along with common sense, can be problem free. However, one disadvantage is there is a huge number of people who do not have common sense when it comes to cell phones and driving. People reporting accidents almost as they happen will save lives by providing the quick response necessary in a life or death situation.

Cell phones are here to stay and the advantages cellular phones certainly outweigh the disadvantages to me.

elizabeth bowling said...

I think the cell phone is a positive thing in todays society. I know that before cell phone were around people got along just fine but I find it hard to believe that the same would be true today. I think that the cell phone is good for our society because you are never out of touch unless you want to be, it is there for emergencys and also times when you just want to talk to someone. I think maybe the bad aspects of the cell phone are bad manners when people talk to loudly especially in resturaunts, and also texting while driving which is dangerous.

I think that future cell phone technology is so far beyond what we can even imagine right now and it will continue to grow and change, we practically have a computer in our hands now, its hard to imagine what else they can do with them but I'm sure its going to be great.

NancyH said...

Cell phones are great for emergencies, and for checking on your children when they are home before you. However, being available to everyone all of the time is not the life for me. I find myself not answering my phone, lately, ALOT. Frankly, I have more important things to do than listen to gossip and whinning of my "friends."
The only reason I have one in the first place is because, I enjoy the security, I feel while traveling to and from work, knowing that I can call for help if something goes wrong with my car.I commute 150 miles each weekday.
I don't think that people should spend so much time on the phone. I can't stand loud talking flukes who are screaming on the phone in restauants or while I'm trying to shop somewhere. Especially the ones with the ear piece who take on the persona of a old street drunk yammering to himself. I think people should get a life and go to where these people are and talk to them face to face and spare the innocent of having to listen to the stupidity they are spouting!

I wish we could go back to the Good Ole cell phone Days when we used them for emergencies. All the rest of that stuff can wait until you see someone or you call them from home. I see no reason to overuse the technology and make a bunch of phone companies rich and ourselves poor for the convenience of yapping about nothing to nobody!

With that said get a pocket calendar and keep up with your dates and deadlines for $2 not the gillion it costs for a fancy phone to do it for you that will eventually break and you'll have to spend more. Its a neverending vicious cycle to get your cash!

EThompson said...

I feel that cell phones are great at times and not so great at other times. I feel that they are great when people are out and they maybe needed by family members to bring something home or to just come home because of a certain emergency. I also love my cell phone because I am a very busy person and work alot of overtime hours too support myself and my children and therefore my phone allows me to keep up with my babies and my mother. I also feel that people need cell phones in order to keep in touch and it can really help people to communicate and be a person's only means of communication. My sister called me on the phone When she first got engaged and we were so excited and my family and I screamed and cried with so much joy and if she didn't have her cell phone we wouldn't have found out as soon as we did. The same goes for when my sister and I went in labor and had our babies we were always out and needed to call to keep our families posted on the way to the hospital. I know each time that I went in llabor my family called and called my sister's cell phone to make sure that I was okay until we got to the hospital. When my son hurt his eye my mom called me while I was at work on my cell phone while I was on break and knew to come home and take my baby to the hospital. But I also think that sometimes the cell phone is a little bit over used and that we as a society are too dependent upon our cell phones. I have seen people driving and not paying attention to what they were doing and had car wrecks because they were on they were on their cell phones. And I really hate to hear a person's cell phone go off in a church, graduation, wedding or any kind of social function that is so disrespectful!!!! I think there is a right and a wrong time to use our cell phones. People are too dependent on their cell phones. I am guilty of being too dependent of my cell phone also. Alot of people have the internet on their phones and depend on their phones entirely too much. I have also noticed that I don't remember alot of different numbers that I would normally have remembered by heart if I didn't have a cell phone. I don't want to get too dependent on my phone and get too used to modern technology so that in the case that it is not there anymore I can still make it. But there are so many amazing things that can be done now!!! And it is so unbelieveable!!!! I love my phone but I hope that in the future that I don't become too dependent on it. I also want to always be able to appriciate and be thankful the most important things in life and not forgoet about the true blessings that God has given us such as family and our health.

Rebecca said...

Of course, having a cell phone around can be a huge help. In emergencies, you can call the police or a friend quickly. If you’re running late, for work you can call your supervisor or a co-worker and let them know ahead of time, if your vehicle breaks down on the interstate you can call rescue 911 or any roadside assistance for help. People everywhere have come to rely on cellular phones. They are easy to use, small, making it easy to stash them anywhere, as well as convenient. I carry my phone with me every day, but I try to use it for emergency purposes. I don’t like the idea of people being able to contact me whenever I go different places (church, restaurant, vacation, work, hospital and etc) I’d rather be with the people around me than worry about who’s going to call me, who I need to call back and all that. It’s really a sad state of our society to see so many people tied down to their cell phones.” I constantly remind my husband when we are on the express way don’t talk on the phone while driving. It’s okay to check and see who is calling, and if it’s important they’ll leave a message, otherwise don’t talk on the phone while driving in heavy traffic. The advancement of cell phones is outstanding. Each and every day technology advances. Technology advancement makes our lives so much easier. It also allows us to engage in doing many different thing at one time.

What most people don’t realize, is the potential dangers associated with using a cell phone. A disadvantage of using cell phones is while one’s driving. A person could not properly pay attention to the road as they are dialing a phone number. This could result in a car accident. Car accidents are very serious. People can get seriously injured or even killed. If the police found out that the person causing the accident was using a cell phone as they drove, that person could be charged with vehicular manslaugher. A cell phone can be dangerous at a gas station, although most people have never paid much attention, most gas stations post warning signs near the pumps, warning customers of cell phone usage while pumping gas. Sure, wireless phones are convenient and important, but using them in the wrong situation can have some tragic consequences.

Anonymous said...

I, being a guy and one that loves technology and new toys was eager to get a cell phone and am always eager to get a new one. The cellphone is good for society because we can keep in contact and they help us in emergency situations. It allows for access to information like never before.

The problems that the cell phone create are similar to the good. I am afraid everything is becoming an emergency situation. This is causing us to be even more of a 24/7 society. A culture that works and just goes nonstop. This is terrible. People don't even seem to take time to think anymore before they say or do things. I think the cellphone is going to be even more integrated into our lives and being more internet friendly for everyone.

LaJoyce Roseborough said...

The cellphone has really changed my life. I go to bed with my phone and wake up in the morning with my phone. I can't hardly go a day without my phone.The cellphone is a positive and negative technology.

The cellphone is positive because it is very handy in time of a emergency. It has come in very handy many times. It is very negative because it has caused many emergencies. Many people have dropped their phone on the floor board or even had a wreck talking on the phone. In the future I think the cell phone will take over the house phone.

krc said...

I think the cellphone is good and bad. It is good because it makes communication easy and convenient. If you were stranded in your car, you have a phone to call for help instead of walking or trying to flag someone down to help you. So it is good for emergencies. I have a 10 yr old son who also has a phone and when he rides his bike around the neighborhood, I can call him at anytime and know exactly where he's at. I feel much safer knowing he has his phone.

The bad thing about cellphones is we rely on them too much. Anyone can reach us anytime, anywhere. If you're in a meeting or a class and you're phone rings, it can be embarrassing. Also, it seems a person doesn't have much privacy anymore. Wherever you are, someone can call you. In the old days, they could only reach you at home. Talking while driving is another problem with the cell phones. When people are talking on their phones or texting while driving, they're not paying attention to the road, and this can be very dangerous.

Kimberly Cook

Anonymous said...

I must admit.. I have a blackberry too and I love mine. I could not live without my cell phone. I agree with leeanna.. I used to remember when my parents had the whole phone in the bag scene. There has been so much of change since those days. Now our phones can take pictures, get on the internet, and organize your day. I feel cell phones are a very good thing. I know my parents used to make me call every where i went when I first started driving. This was a huge load lifted off of their shoulders also. when I let me car run out of gas, I have my cell phone. But they can also be very dangerous while driving but that is why they have voice activated icons now that you can just speak and you can call.

I dont know where cell phones are going to be in the future, I think they are already hurting the phone companies due to people not buying landlines anymore. People would much rather just use their cell phones. Who would want to pay for two phone bills when you can just pay for one!

Anonymous said...

I have had a cell phone for about 12 years. I had a bag phone in my car. That was a long time ago. I always thought of the cell phone as a safety feature. If ever I had car trouble or another type of emergency, I would have a way to call for help. Now, I have two cell phones (personal and work),and I someday I just hate it.
We are a society that lives on a cell phone. For many people, it there only means of communication. By that I mean there is no need to have a house phone when you can have the convience of the cell.
Do I think that the cell phone is a positive thing on society? Yes I think it is a better way to communicate. But on the flip side I think people have no sense of manners with the cell phone. It disturbs me to see and hear someone go into a restaurant and talk loudly on the phone. It disrupts everyone in the place.

Roslyn W. said...

The cellphone has changed our lives tremendously and I am glad that the cellphone was invented. The cellphone has allowed us to connect with people in case of emergency while driving or in a nonpublic phone area. Cellphone numbers can also be used as an alternate number or contact number so you can be reached at anytime concerning a job or personal matter. Even now some people are doing away with their home phones and are just using there cellphones which in some cases save a lot of money from having to pay two separate phone bills. Personally, I believe the cellphone is more of a positive technology than a negative one. First, as a positive outlook it is extremely convenient for as last minute changes, emergency phone calls and car problems. Another positive outlook on the cellphone is the smart phone which is now the coolest phone on the market that has so many features, such as text messaging, GPS navigation, personal calendar, camera, video recorder, and Internet access etc.

Although the cellphone has many positive outlooks, it also displays a negative outlook as well. People using their cellphones while driving has caused of a lot of accidents throughout the United States. Moreover, studies show that cellphones can cause your vehicle to blow-up if you’re talking while pumping gas. A cellphone can also cause conflict to a relationship or marriage, such as leaving text messages from another male/female on your phone. Some people leave pictures of the other person on their phones and when the girlfriend or wife sees it then the trust and sometimes the entire relationship is over. I believe the cellphone is heading toward taking over the regular telephone companies, such as BellSouth, Vonage and Budget Phone because people are using their cellphones more than their home phones and it would make more sense just to use the cellphone for communication. For as what the cellphone holds for the future, I believe that the technology will advance and I am waiting on someone to invent the cellphone that can be answered as a video conference.

R. Wickersham said...

Everyone has seen it. A nice-looking couple sits at a booth together. You catch glimpses of them through the plants around the corner. There, in the dark of the romantic restaurant they engage in pleasant conversation. He says something, she laughs, he chuckles. You can only think of how great they are getting along and how romantic an evening they must be having.

More laughter drifts to your ears, and then the man says something that doesn’t sound so nice. Still, the woman’s voice is pleasant. You can’t make out the conversation, but suddenly the man’s voice takes on harsh tones and let’s fly a few words you can hear. The woman giggles and continues to converse in a sweet and caring manner. Something isn’t right. Clearly the man’s accent has taken an angry and irritated tenor, but the woman’s giggles and pleasant candor continue. Then it hits you, they are together and they are talking, but they are not talking to each other. As you head off to the restroom you can see clearly that each is in a separate little world and talking to someone who is likely miles away from that booth, yet still closer than the individual they came with.

Let me say, I love having the convenience of my cell phone, but I despise the amount of time it steals from me. Once it was acceptable etiquette to opt out of answering your phone, especially in the company of others. I clearly remember, even on our house phone, not answering it out of respect for guests who were present and thusly required immediate attention. Now, not only does everyone answer their phone no matter when it rings, but they will have an entire conversation right in front of a person, taking no account of how rude that might be.

I remember my wife taking a call, before we were married and while we were out on a date. She did not understand why I was irritated with her. Retrospectively, I should not have been so irate, but I had been raised in a different time and held differing views on what was socially acceptable. For her to take that phone call was one of the rudest things she could have done while out to dinner, in my opinion.

So, I love the ability to reach my wife on her way home and tell her that we are out of toilet paper or just to check on when she will make it home, but I hate being available to anyone at any time of day. Caller ID helps with this, but I find that more and more often I answer whether I want to or not. The days of being able to disappear for a day or so are over. Now everyone expects to reach you within an hour and will offended if you don’t respond quickly enough. All in all, I think I prefer the old days!

S. McElfish said...

The importance of the cell phone seems to mirror the evolution of the device itself. As one looks to the origins of this machine, the social importance of the phone is just that social. The phone went from public use in the general store to being tacked on the kitchen wall. The phone allowed for connection, but it still remained rooted in places where people could not be alone.

As for the cell phone today, it allows private moments to be private. The device lets us stay in touch, but the main question is does this device free us from our life or does it chain us to it. The phone draws us from the current world around us into another one. Hence, we remain alone with the people in our life surrounded by a world of strangers. The phone will remain the same just as people will.

Jessica said...

As a technology major I can safely say that there are plenty of things that are right and wrong with having so many cell phones today. The positive thing about cell phones is the fact that you can stay in touch no matter where you are...not! This is a common misconception, there are a lot of areas that do not even have cell phone towers, i.e. Big Piney, Wyoming. So why do I have a cell phone you ask? Because if i stand with one foot and lean with the other I can get a signal for a short period of time. Cell phones also take away time from talking to family and friends because a lot of parents are taking work phone calls instead of talking to their children. Children who have cell phones spend a lot of time (some of them) talking to people that they meet on the internet and this also sometimes leads to a face to face interaction between them.

The cell phone has not only changed the world as we know it but also the world of education. Students are now able to cheat by texting answers to one another as well as taking pictures of a test and sending it to their friends. Teachers who are not technologically advanced will miss some of these cheating strategies and end up with a skewed bell curve.

Of course having a cell phone is good, I think that the benifits outweigh the negative aspects any day of the week. But then again, I am a technology geek so my answer may be a litte biased.

Deanna Wilson said...

This is a perfect subject for me this week. I travel ALOT with my job. On Wednesday, I headed off for work and I got half way to my stop and I realized that I had forgot my cell phone. I felt like I was walking in the room naked. Needless, to say...I dropped my stuff off and ran home real quick. Thankfully, I was working in town that day. It was not going to be a good day to not have my phone.

I am like everyone else and can remember the days of the bag phone. I thought I my mom was so cool because she had a phone in her car. I think I got my first cell phone when I was 15; partially because I was about to be driving and because I begged and begged. I can't imagine life without cell phones. Don't get me wrong there are days, where I hit the ignore button more than once. For the most part, I think they are helpful and much needed. It would stink to have to go home everytime to use the phone....or have to use the payphone? Do they have those anymore? ha...

The disadvantage is that you are on call all the time; especially if you have a blackberry/pda phone. It is awesome everything they can do, but I become obsessesed and become one of those people who check their email all the time; this includes work email. So, the job never stops. I mean, if it is an easy question, I can just answer right away from my cell phone. They make you constantly available and everyone else knows you are.

The future technology is endless. I mean you can already have the internet, music, headphones, voice activation, blue tooth, etc... I am just waiting for the next thing.

Rosie said...

Having a cell phone can be a life saver in case of an emergency. At the same time cell phones have been linked to accidents while driving and using the phone.

Cell phones bring everthing right to your fingertips. You can check email, surf the internet, take pictures, play games you name it and you can just about do it if you have a cell phone.

What in the future for cell phones. Panasonic is coming out with a plasma display, AT&T is displaying mobil tv and Motorola is currently designing a phone that recognizes a persons emotions and A new cell phone created by Pilotfish and Synaptics has no buttons on its surface. The device works by recognizing hand gestures, body parts and shapes. If there is an incoming call, a customer needs only to lift the phone to their ear. The sensitive pad on the phone recognizes the cheek and mmediately answers the call.

Gunner said...

I was grown and married at the age of 19 and I did not get a cellphone until I was 21. I don't know how I managed without a cellphone. I am 32 years old so I know that when I was 19 it wasn't common for teenagers to have cellphones. My parents didn't have a cellphone until I was 18. It is hard for me to believe that some children are given the freedom to have a cellphone. I personally do not think that is a good idea. My daughter is 9 years old and she tells me that someone in her class has a cellphone and is texting a boy that is in seventh grade! I am not going to allow my child to have a cellphone when she is still at the age for dolls! I think that cellphones are good for teenagers who are driving or starting to hang out with friends more. I will not allow my child to have one until then. I personally enjoy having a cellphone. The only time that it is aggravating is when I am in town trying to shop and starts ringing and I can't find it in my purse. Cellphones have helped in emergency situations and for just a way to be able to use a phone away from home. I enjoy texting my boyfriend and I like being able to receive calls when I am not at home. heather f.

Barbara said...

The cell phones have made a great change in all our life. The cell phones have indeed made our life simpler and easier, and they have advance over the years. Now can there are different types of cell phones with different features such as: cameras, video recorders, radios, Internet and games. I got a cell phone about three ago, and it definite have made a different in my life. I don’t talks on it a lots I most use it for emergency. I recently brought my eleven year old a cell phone, but he was not pleased with it because he could download music on it. Cell phones are both positive and negative technology.

The cell phones have changed our society in many ways. They have change the way we live, work, interact and socialize. Yes, cell phones are good and bad for society. The cell phones are good when you are broken down on the highway and need to call for help. They are especially good in my situation, I travel over 45 miles alone each day alone, and my cell phone really came in handy when a deer came from nowhere and run into the side of my car as I drive up highway. Cell phones are also good when you see a crime happening and you call 911 and report it as well as reporting other emergencies. It is also good when parents need to locate or check up on their kids. Cell phones are bad because some young children and young adults think it is necessity. It is also so bad because kids are texting while class the teacher is lecturing and this is so disrespectful. The students are also using the cell phone to cheat on their on test. In the future we will able to do a lot with the cell and they will be used as a tracking device.

Mari said...


The cellphone is both positive and negative for technology. The cellphone offers immediate access to love ones and friends while driving or completing some other type of errand. I use the cellphone to contact the school or my children when I am away from them. On the other hand, there is a negative side and it is distraction; I often see people driving and trying to talk or text message someone while controlling their vehicle. Another negative side, is people speaking on a bluetooth very loud, and everyone can hear their conversation. The ultimate negative side is the rudeness of people talking on their cellphone, while in line for some form of customer service. You’ve seen a clerk ask someone who is on a cellphone a question and they inform the clerk to wait. Where do you find the nerve to be so rude.

We can already watch any program from a cellphone or call anywhere in the world. I believe the cellphone of the future will bring the world even closer. The cellphone will be our workstation for the future and no one will have to go into an office. We can already shop on-line with our cellphone; however, I can see purchasing shoes via a store video system. . I believe classrooms of the future will be taught from the cellphone instead of the computer. The cellphone has unlimited potential and because we are getting even lazier as a country we will find other uses.

Lauren said...

I really don't know how we made it before without them! Cellphones have made so many things easier. With that one device serves as a phone, answering maching, message sender, email receiver,etc. It is basically a hand held computer if you are up-to-date with your phone. A cellphone has been helpful in helping those who have been in trouble or danger, it keeps news flowing a lot faster, it allows you to accomplish a lot more on the go, such as scheduling appointments and such. You don't have to stop to do things like that.
I wouldn't say the cellphone has any disadvantages, but it can be a distraction. Sometimes it's hard to enjoy a movie at a cinema because of the idiots who keep there phone out and leave the sound on. Also, which I have been quilty of, students are distracted during class time a lot because of cellphones. People probably spend a litte more time interacting with their cellphones than they do with other people they have relationships with. The cellphone is turning into more of a companion.
Lauren Webb

Toni said...

I remember when cell phones first came out. We had those awful bag phones and though they were helpful, I didn't think they would take off the way they did.

My family now only uses cell phones. All four of us have one and we don't use a house phone at all.

c.mcnair said...

The cell phone, as a concept, has dramatically changed domestic lifestyle for several reasons. First, the cell phone user is no longer bound geographically when compared with traditional phones. Second, the cell phone allows the user to be accessible by anyone who keeps that number. On the negative side, because the cell phone can be reached anytime, it also means that civilized people expect a prompt answer, thereby causing privacy issues.

The most important feature about cell phones is not blue tooth capability, smart graphics, memory size or even ability to take pictures, but that people who have them are able to talk and interact in ways not possible 50 or even 30 years ago. The way of the future for cell phones could be used for good or evil, but I think we will likely see innovators answering the question "How can we make cell phones less obtrusive to the public?" Things like safe, hands free driving kits, discreet handling profiles while the user unwarily attends a seminar and perhaps even a phone with a shocking/tazing configuration for ladies night, to help discourage sexual assault, such forward thinking can only be futuristic.