Did you know that mobile phones were actually invented way back in the 1940s? Yes, they were invented by AT&T engineers but they weren’t exactly mobile phones as we all know them today.
Instead, they were two-way radios designed for letting emergency services and others, such as taxi drivers, communicate.
And, the first cell phone call wasn’t made until April 3, 1973, but even that momentous date was close to 50 years ago!
That first call was made by Martin Cooper, a New York Motorola engineer while he walked between 53rd and 54th streets.
So, Cooper is basically credited with the invention since he was also the engineer leading the design team that built the very first cell phone from 1972 to 1973.
In this article we’ll discuss some main advantages and disadvantages of mobile phones / smart phones as they are an indispensable electronic device in our life nowadays.
Main Pros of Mobile Phones
You can basically communicate from just about anywhere that you happen to be. There’s no need any longer for landlines or phone booths when you have a mobile phone.
Some advantages smartphones provide include better means of communication, learning options for users, great exposure to the latest things, personality development methods, simple ways to access applications, ideas for succeeding in business, platforms to grow applications, and so much more.
2) Ability to call during an emergency
On top of being a great convenience, mobile phones can also serve as a lifeline during emergencies!
If an emergency arises, having one can help you to call for help as well as assist first responders with reaching you quickly.
This, in itself, can save lives. Everyone should take steps to ensure their cell phone is handy as an emergency resource.
And, even cell phones without current service allow users to dial 911 to contact emergency services.
They may not have any other access to data or cell service but they can still help in an emergency.
So, even if your service has been cut off for non-payment, keep your cell phone close by just in case. Here are some suggestions regarding how you can help cell phones save lives:
- Programming your phone so that people can find you
- Making your ICE (In Case of Emergency) information on your phone easy to find
- Remembering that cell phone apps can save lives
- Putting your medical info on your phone
- Getting an app that teaches CPR and first aid
3) Keeps family bonds strong
Cell phones have now become a necessity for people of all ages worldwide. And, they’re the perfect way of staying constantly connected while also providing users with a feeling of security.
Now, anyone can stay connected with their family members via phone conversations and even video. So, no more excuses, call home today!
4) Can have Internet access anywhere
Cell phones are also data hubs that have the ability to quickly access and store large amounts of information.
And, Internet access keeps you in the know at all times with your mobile phone. With the Internet on your phone, you can do everything from online shopping to ordering meals, making reservations, getting advice in numerous areas, and even getting directions if you don’t have GPS.
5) Can have GPS access for navigation
Besides just making phone calls and sending texts, almost all of today’s smartphones can provide directions via GPS.
So, you no longer need those annoying paper maps nor do you have to stop and ask for directions either.
6) Can be used as camera for pictures and video shooting
You can not only take pictures with your smartphone but videos as well, eliminating the need for a separate camera.
And, every day, smartphone technology is improving to the point that you can actually shoot professional-quality videos with them.
7) Very useful to communicate with kids or elder people
With a cellphone, you no longer need to worry about kids or the elderly in your family. You can always reach them via phone and they can call you in an emergency. And, if necessary, you could even track them via GPS.
8) Can be used as entertainment devices
Not only can you play music on your cell phone but also play games, and stream movies.
The world is a lot more entertaining when you have a cellphone. Cell phones can also serve as instant babysitters for keeping kids safely sitting still and occupied.
9) Increased work productivity
With your cell phone, you can also keep track of contacts and appointments while also responding to emails and reading documents.
And, via the installation of specific apps, the long list of potential smartphone uses is multiplied by tens of thousands and is growing longer every single day.
10) Mobile banking
These days, with mobile banking on your cell phone, you never have to go to the bank again.
Mobile banking is the perfect way to track your spending, send or receive money, and even deposit checks. And, with mobile banking and a debit card, you no longer need to buy paper checks either.
Main Cons of Mobile Phones
1) Health concerns from radiation
Mobile phones are constantly emitting low levels of radiofrequency energy, which is actually a type of non-ionizing radiation.
However, most of the scientific data available regarding exposure to radiofrequency energy is currently showing that there’s no categorical proof of the adverse biological effects on humans except for tissue heating.
To be safe though, you can reduce exposure to cell phone radiation in several ways:
- Limiting calls in low network areas
- Maintaining distance even when using data
- Not keeping your cellphone in your pants pocket
- Sleeping without your phone close by.
- Texting or using Bluetooth or an earphone, especially on long conversations.
- Using airplane mode for games (especially for children).
You should also limit cell phone use while in a vehicle because its metal structure concentrates RF/cell phone radiation and intensifies the effects on your body. In addition, vehicles constantly move in and out of the networks, making them high on radiation.
The above tips can result in a 10 to 35 percent reduction in your radiation exposure (depending on your online habits).
2) Less socializing among people
People seem to be meeting face-to-face a lot less these days because of cell phones.
When it comes to both personal and business interactions, people use their cell phones more for expressing themselves and for avoiding in-person discussions. So, as much as cell phones keep us connected, they also keep us apart.
3) Some people get addicted
Phone addiction refers to the obsessive use of cell phones. This behavioral addiction is known as “nomophobia” (NO MObile PHone PhoBIA).
There are more than 3.8 billion smartphone users worldwide. And, some research that has been published by Virgin Mobile showed that those smartphone users are receiving 427 percent more notifications and messages than ten years ago. They’re also sending 278 percent more texts.
Although the rapid rise in cell phone use may seem like a natural necessity in our fast-paced modern lives, it’s also a cause for concern regarding the negative consequences.
This heavy device use has led to some consumers questioning those cellular habits. In fact, according to Google Trends, online cell phone addiction searches have been on the rise since all the way back in 2004!
Addictive cell phone use can share a wide range of characteristics that are inherent to other behavioral addictions such as compulsive gambling.
Individuals who have developed a dependent pattern of cell phone use are usually experiencing a loss of control. And, they often discover that their cell phone habits can cause real damage to their lives. At first, it may seem that cell phone addicts are just gaming more and checking their messages excessively but it can escalate from there.
Chronic cell phone use is actually a recently-developed type of addiction. Although the American Psychiatric Association doesn’t officially recognize it as a condition yet, it is acknowledged by many researchers and medical professionals worldwide as a behavioral addiction.
Several studies show devoted cellphone use can negatively impact an individual over time and phone addiction may lead to:
- Aggravated ADD
- Blocked creativity
- Impaired relationships
- Lower concentration & cognition levels
- Poor grades
- Psychological disorders
- Sleep deficits
4) More E-Waste
With such high numbers of mobile phones worldwide, old cell phones have quickly become a form of electronic trash that is an ever-increasing problem everywhere.
This is creating a serious electronic waste problem. Old tech toys like cell phones are posing an even more direct risk to everyone’s health than the other dangers of mobile phone use.
When they’re improperly disposed of, they’re leaching toxic chemicals into the environment and affecting everyone’s health.
Many people simply toss their old phones out with the trash and they end up traveling through the waste stream until they reach landfills.
Once there, they decay and leach toxins into our environment. This also causes a $55 billion annual loss from foolishly squandered resources such as gold. So, recycle your old cell phones instead.
There are plenty of recycling companies online that will accept them. Some will even pay you for them but, either way, at least they won’t end up in landfills, threatening our already delicate ecosystem!
5) Dangerous when using during driving
The news every day is full of accounts of people getting into accidents because they were talking on their cell phones or texting while driving.
The current law in some states basically says that drivers can’t use mobile phones while the vehicle is moving, (or even stationary unless parked).
Cell phones can, however, be used as GPS devices if properly secured/mounted in the vehicle.
Taking your eyes off of the road (even for a second) to look at a text or check to see who’s calling can cause an accident.
So, turn it off or silence it while driving. Another good alternative is to set your phone to tell callers and texters that you’re driving and will get back to them later. You could be saving a life and that life just might be your own.
Now that you know a few of the pros and cons of cell phone use, hopefully, you’ll become a more informed user.
As you can see, there are many positive features but also some pitfalls when it comes to this very useful modern device.
So, use yours wisely and don’t forget that there’s a lot of beauty in the world and it’s definitely not all on those little screens!!