We Are Lost Without Mobile Phones

The day I received my first mobile phone was a glorious, exciting but still confusing day. My mother gave me this big, black block with big round buttons and an aerial almost as tall as I was. She stuffed it in my hand and told me to use it, and not abuse it. At the time I had no clue what she was talking about, but today I know exactly.

A mobile phone is a cordless, electronic device used for two-way communication over a cellular network. You can use the phone while on the move or standing still, depending on the signal available at the specific location you are phoning from. It allows a user to make and receive telephone calls by connecting to a mobile network operator.

There are hundreds, maybe thousands of different cell phone brands available today. In South Africa, the most common ones would be Nokia, Sony Ericson, Samsung, Motorolla and LG. There are also many different types of cell phones available, and the variety is still fast growing: every single one trying to be better than the previous one. They evolved from electronic devices with green or blue background lights only able to SMS, call and play a certain number of games, to being almost like mini-computers. Today's models are able to send SMS, send and receive E-mail, access the internet, allow the user to play a number of advanced games, take pictures and videos with a built in camera, create music libraries and play MP3's, listen to any FM Radio station, access GPS maps and locations and even allows the user to add custom applications, like Facebook, Twitter or Skype. Every new model cell phone that is introduced to the public has more and more different applications and services and every one of them is trying to win the approval from consumers.

The first mobile phone weighed approximately 2kg! Imagine walking around with that every day! In 1990, approximately 12.4 million people all over the world had a cell phone. In 2009, another study showed that 12.4 billion people all around the world now had cell phones. That is 370 times the 1990 number!

The mobile phone was an amazing invention and a successful step into the future, but not everything about it is positive. For instance, people have been known to text and drive, often making accidents and causing the deaths of other people. We just do not know when to put it down because we are so focused on our businesses or social lives that we ignore the fact that we are putting ourselves and others in danger. It is also impacting the lives of children all over the world greatly. Children now get cell phones at the tender age of 8 or 9 years of age. Yes, a cell phone may be useful in an emergency, but it can also impact their academic careers in a negative way, and some parents fail to see this. There have also been concerns around the impact cell phones have on humans as well as animals' health. So far, nothing has been proven, but some still believe that it holds unnoticeable dangers to our health.

The mobile phone has surely made our lives a bit easier, but there are some concerns that need to be addressed around their existence.


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