Mobile phones are little miracle machines and an estimated 80% of Australians own one. Compact, multi-functional and convenient, I wonder how we ever lived without these babies. Apparently with a lot less anxiety and more money in our pockets. Yep, maybe they’re not so miraculous after all.
With this in mind, I decided to investigate just how beneficial mobile phones are in this day and age.
First, let’s look at the advantages of owning your very own mobile phone. You’ve got:
– 24 hour access to a fast and efficient communication tool.
– in most cases, much more than just a portable telephone. Eg. Most mobiles include a built-in camera, mp3 player, internet access.. the list goes on.
Now this all sounds great. And it is, to a degree. Like the rest of this technologically dependent population, I couldn’t last a day without my phone. I use it to wake me up in the morning, make social arrangements and I’ll admit to sending the occasional mindless text. However, this device is not without its drawbacks.
Let’s take a look at some of them:
The cost. Text-happy teens are struggling to pay perpetually escalating phone bills. Instead of making a quick call from a landline phone, many people send short text messages back and forth, spending several dollars to exchange a few words instead of significantly less. It is not uncommon for users to send hundreds, if not thousands of unnecessary SMS’s each month, and then have to fork out several hundred dollars to their phone providers. They’re simply throwing their money away. Why not throw it at me instead?
The constant interruption. Pretty sure everyone can relate to this. Have you ever been in a movie/lecture/meeting/conversation that was disrupted by a ringing mobile? It’s just.. grr. Mobile phones have given owners the power to reach you wherever you might be and interrupt whatever you might be doing. Often simply because they’re “bored”. Thank god for the ‘silent’ option.
But these are only minor problems. More seriously, mobile phones are putting the mental and physical health of many users at risk. Here’s how:
1. Texting and driving: A Telstra survey found that one in six drivers admit to regularly sending text messages while driving. Texting requires concentration. In a driving context, everything can change in a split second and you simply can’t afford to take your eyes and mind off the road to send a text. Texting related accidents lead to the banning of this behaviour but unfortunately it still happens. If you’re behind the wheel, be responsible. Don’t text or call anybody. It’s just not worth it. If it’s a life or death situation, pull over.
2. Influencing self-worth. Unfortunately, many young teens determine the social worth of their peers and themselves based on incoming mobile phone activity.
“Mobile phones give young people prestige,” Barcelona psychologist Andres Gonzalez explains. “The person who gets the most messages is the most valued.”
3. Development of an addiction. The Queensland University of Technology suggests that mobile phone addiction could be the new psychological disorder of the twenty-first century. According to psychiatrists, the addiction is not to mobile phones themselves, but to what they enable: frequent communication and interaction with others.
Numerous reports have examined the negative effects of overusing and becoming too attached to mobile phones. These can include:
– development of RSI
– feeling anxious when separated from the mobile phone or in areas with no reception
– getting insufficient sleep due to texting throughout the night
– incurring massive debt from excessive calling and texting
– and in extreme cases, resorting to crime to fund the habit.
Are YOU addicted?
Apparently mobile phone addiction should be suspected if a person feels an irresistible need to use their mobile for more than half an hour daily. Eep.
Conclusion: Mobile phones are useful and convenient and can make life easier in many ways but they’re not worth wasting your time and money on. They’re definitely not worth losing sleep and risking your health over. Think twice before sending out meaningless texts, it’s just edging you closer and closer to becoming addicted.
TXT U L8R LOLZ.