Looking for Advantages and Disadvantages of cell phones? You are in the right place. In 1973 Martin Cooper shifted the globe. We’ve seen a drastic transformation of the cell phone since that time. For the average consumer, the first phones were large, bulky, and priced out of control.
They were simple phones that could make a mobile call and nothing more. Our phones have since evolved into large computers. We call text and more.
Though these days they seem to be absolutely essential communication tools, you might wonder what are the drawbacks of mobile phones?
Believe it or not, mobile phones have negative effects too. Here are the main advantages and disadvantages of modern-day cell phones.
The Advantages of Using Mobile Phones
Mobile phones provide the means to communicate with friends, family, coworkers, and indeed most of the world’s population instantly.
Unlike previous communication devices, they can be on hand for the caller at all times and used in any place where there is a signal.
2. Small and Convenient
They fit easily into your pocket or bag. They don’t weigh much. There are inexpensive models available for those with a limited budget.
If the battery gets low, you can recharge them in your car, or plug them into an electrical outlet using a cable.
3. Photos and Video
Many people don’t even own a camera nowadays, because their phone has all the image and video capturing capability that they require.
Once the media has been captured, it can be sent to others via email, messaging, or Bluetooth; or posted on the internet with just a few clicks. Many phones also offer extras, such as photo editing.
Text messaging (also known as texting) enables people to communicate with short-written messages.
Originally phones used SMS technology, allowing the sending of letters, numbers, and symbols, but more recently, MMS technology has allowed multimedia, such as photos and videos to be sent too.
Texting is a great way to send someone an important instant message, as, unlike email, people are more likely to read their texts straightaway.
5. Fashion and Self-Expression
Choosing which model of phone to carry, customizing things like the ringtone, or buying a more personal phone cover have all become a means of self-expression for mobile phone owners, informing others what sort of person you are.
As long you have your mobile phone, there is no reason to get bored There is a multitude of games to download and play, you can read an online article, or get involved with social media to pass time.
Smartphones allow video watching, as well as listening to radio, podcasts, or music. Plus, if you attend a real-life event, you can often store your ticket on your phone to display at the door.
7. Notes and Reminders
Whether it’s a shopping list, an important password, or a complicated set of instructions that would be difficult to memorize, mobile phones are a great way to carry notes and reminders.
These don’t always have to take the form of text or numbers either, you can also use photos, audio, or video to record important information for later use.
8. Video in Real-Time
Many people now like to see the person that they are talking to, as well as hear the sound of their voice. Live video chat makes this possible.
The real-time video also enables the live streaming of live events across the internet, as well as to other phones and devices.
9. Calendars and Organization
Mobile phones are great devices for organization and their calendars are an excellent way to manage a busy schedule.
Your phone will alert you when you have a doctor’s appointment, it is a loved one’s birthday, or simply help you to organize your daily work tasks and personal schedule.
10. Maps, Navigation, and Travel
Finding our way around has never been easier since phones started using GPS to direct us to our destinations.
Whether driving, cycling, or walking, we can get live updates on our location, roadworks, accidents, and other causes of slow-moving traffic, plus information on nearby facilities, such as restaurants, gas stations, and hotels.
When traveling by plane or train, you can use your phone to explore timetables and purchase and display your ticket.
11. Online Banking and Finance
Mobile phones are an excellent way to organize your finances. You can check your account balances, transfer money, and pay bills, all with just a few clicks.
It’s often way more convenient than going into your branch or using your computer at home. There are apps that tell you your credit rating, how stocks and shares are doing, and other economic information.
12. Address Book and Contacts
Phones enable you to have all the necessary contact details for family, friends, and coworkers in one easy-to-access place. There’s no reason to forget or lose any person’s phone number, email address, or property address.
Address books can be synchronized and stored online so that if your phone breaks, or is lost, you can still access them from other devices.
13. Remote Working
Mobile phones enable work on the move in almost any location. This allows workers and managers to remain in contact with their base while out on-site, while traveling between locations, or to communicate with colleagues and clients when working from home.
In the event of an accident, injury, criminal incident, or other emergencies, mobile phones ensure that emergency services, as well as family and friends, can be contacted immediately.
Phones for children reassure parents and enable them to know where the children are at all times.
15. Watches and Alarm Clocks
Mobile phones allow you to check the time whenever you need to, ruling out the necessity for a watch or a clock in many circumstances.
Many people also now use their mobile phones to awaken them each morning or remind them of an action they need to take at a certain time, rather than a traditional alarm clock.
Having a calculator 24/7 can come in very handy, both in the workplace and outside of work. It’s useful for adding up the bills, working out invoices, taxation rates, percentages, and many other things. Most people no longer use traditional calculators.
One of the most practical functions of the mobile phone is the flashlight/torch feature. (The light is called a flashlight in the USA, and a torch in many other English-speaking countries).
If you lose something important in the dark, such as your keys or wallet, or if you cannot see to unlock the door or read something important, the light from the phone comes to your aid.
18. News, Sports, and Live Events
It seems strange that not long ago we couldn’t keep up with live events in real-time. The phone can alert you when there is breaking news or your favorite team scores in a match.
Many live events can now be followed via video, as well as text. Also, ordinary people can use their phones to capture photos and videos at important events and actually become news broadcasters.
19. Crime Prevention and Evidence Gathering
Just having a camera and video recorder at your disposal can sometimes have the effect of deterring crime in certain situations. If a crime does happen, then phones can be used to capture evidence of crimes in progress or in the immediate aftermath.
Even in civil disputes, such as car accidents, injuries, or antisocial behavior, phones can play an important role in evidence gathering.
20. Learning and Research
Your mobile phone is like having the world’s biggest reference library on hand everywhere you go. You can search for just about anything in any situation as long as you have a connection.
At the store and unsure which part your specific model of car needs? Need to translate a phrase into a foreign language? Need to find a recipe for dinner that night? Your phone can help you find the answer.
Having information as to where children are and what they are up to provides parents with the comfort of knowing that their child is safe in live time.
Children feel more at ease when their parents or guardians are only a text message or phone call away. Children can, therefore, have some independence without sacrificing their safety.
22. Social Benefits
Mobile phones increase children’s opportunities for social engagement. Social media enables contact with other children that have similar interests.
This can be particularly important for children who live in isolated areas or have other limitations.
23. Transport and Meet up Arrangements
If a child wants to leave a social or sports event earlier than originally planned and needs a ride home, they are able to use their phone to contact their parents.
Likewise, if they are running late and need to pick up later, they can message or call without having to wait around and potentially putting themselves in a vulnerable situation.
24. Technological Experience
The modern world is increasingly dominated by digital technology and children need the skills to engage with it.
A phone effectively gives them access to a small computer, where they can learn to operate apps, use a keyboard, and develop other useful skills.
Mobile phones enable access to information that can help children with school projects, homework, and other learning tasks. Many schools now offer learning resources online that specifically cater to this purpose.
26. Find Your Destination with a GPS
Many cell phones come with a Global Positioning System (GPS). When following directions while driving is a problem, this service built into your cell phone can get you where you need to be.
GPS works as an interactive map. These devices are designed to be attached to the driver area inside the car and, with voice-over instructions, they guide you turn by turn once you set your point directly into it.
27. Share Notes
Many teachers tend to distribute the material at the beginning or at the end of the class.
Instead of photocopying large amounts of paper and handing them out, your mobile phone allows you to easily perform this function. Again, the ExamTime App can help with that!
28. A Mobile Phone Is A Good Time Manager
While gadgets cannot manage your time for you, you will be able to do the right thing at the right time when you set deadlines, and you set an accompanying alarm for the same.
To wake up early in the morning, students need to set an alarm on their cell phones. You can also set a text alert to accompany the alarm to remind you to do a certain thing.
That way, if a student is supposed to check out something on a certain day, he/she needs to set an alarm and an accompanying note for the same.
Disadvantages of Using Mobile Phones
1. Brain Cancer
Mobile phones emit radio frequency energy, a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, which can be absorbed by tissues close to the phone.
The amount of radio frequency energy a mobile phone user is exposed to depends on many factors such as the technology of the phone, the distance between the phone and the user, the extent and type of mobile phone use, and the user’s distance from cell phone towers.
Scientists have reported adverse health effects of using mobile phones, including changes in brain activity, reaction times, and sleep patterns. By now, it is well known that cell phones give off radiation.
This radiation is said to affect our brain cells directly, often mutating existing cells into cancerous cells, hence, causing brain cancer.
Children have the potential to be at greater risk than adults for developing brain cancer from cell phones. Their nervous systems are still developing and therefore more vulnerable to factors that may cause cancer.
2. Increases Stress Level
Cell phones cause stress in many ways and in many forms. When one gets used to a cell phone, they also become slowly dependent on it. It becomes very difficult, then, to be apart from it for any period of time.
We start fidgeting and worrying when our cell phones start losing battery life. Moreover, new research shows how people get anxious when they can’t answer calls or reply to texts once they see their mobile phone’s screen light up, even if they are in a meeting, or a lecture.
3. Weakens Immune System
We have all noticed the oily, greasy residue on the screen of our cell phones. This residue contains more disease-causing germs than what is found on a toilet seat.
These germs attack the immune system of humans and weaken it. Thus, making an individual more prone to diseases.
4. Chronic Pain
Continuously holding the cell phone in one position, and constant use of fingers while sending e-mails and text messages at rapid speed causes extreme pain and inflammation.
We all have the habit of multitasking. Thus holding the phone between the ear, neck, and shoulder increases the risk of back pain. “Long periods of cell phone use cause you to arch your neck and hold your body in a strange posture.
5. Eye/Vision Problems
Recent studies show that, within five minutes of waking up, 90% of people check their phones. Exposing your eyes to that kind of light during the day itself is harmful, but right after you wake up, when you can’t even make out what is what, it is extremely harmful.
Even children who don’t own laptops or sit in front of computers use cell phones for almost everything. This can only result in the next generation being full of bespectacled teenagers.
6. Hinders Sleep
When you have games, videos, messaging apps, etc. in a fist-sized machine, why would you ever want to sleep? It is becoming more and more difficult for teenagers and adults alike, to keep their cell phones down at the end of the day, and go to sleep.
Some even use them for studying or planning their work, but even so, the fact that it hinders your sleep and gradually disturbs the sleeping-pattern remains.
Many people have stopped using traditional alarm clocks and instead use their cell phones for the same purpose. They even keep the phone right beside their bed, or even on their pillow, so that they can get up on time when the alarm rings.
Little do they know that, by doing this, they are inviting more germs than a toilet seat. Yes, research shows that our cell phones are THAT unhygienic.
Wondering how? Think about it next time you use your phone while eating, or after cleaning your room.
8. Prone to Accidents
These days we have seen an increase in the number of people losing their lives due to the attention they pay to their cell phones instead of what they are actually doing.
Some people click selfies while walking, others are on call, and some continue texting. Only after constant propaganda and various awareness campaigns have people realized the implications of texting and driving.
Now, there appears to be a need for new programs in order to raise awareness about texting and walking.
9. Constantly Distracting
It can be difficult to relax in a social situation in the age of mobile phones. A call or text can come in at any time. Society generally expects you to have your phone switched on, charged up, and within reach at all times.
Many callers or text senders can become frustrated or annoyed if they don’t get an immediate response.
10. Socially Disruptive
Disruption can happen in multiple ways. For example, a phone goes off during a musical or theater performance, somebody spends a dinner party texting rather than engaging with the other guests, or a family event is disrupted by someone receiving an important call from work.
Mobile phones can destroy the atmosphere at events and undermine social meetups.
11. Battery Power Keeps Running Out
One of the weaknesses of mobile phones is that they are so reliant on battery power. You are constantly having to check how much power is left, as well as find ways to recharge.
Battery power is improving all the time, but rather than helping, all that happens is that new models are made that are more power-hungry. On top of that, the overall life of a mobile phone battery is just two to three years.
12. The Workday Never Finishes
Mobile phones make it easier for bosses to contact employees outside of work hours.
In the past, an employee was able to rest and enjoy some downtime when not at work, but nowadays it’s not uncommon for them to be contacted when commuting to and from work, as well as in the evenings and on weekends.
13. Photos and Video Mean No Privacy
One consequence of the prevalence of photo and video technology found on mobile phones is that personal privacy has become harder to maintain.
In almost any public situation there is the possibility of being photographed or filmed. Once that media has been captured, it can easily end up in the public domain via social media.
14. Constant Expense
Owning, using, and keeping an up-to-date mobile phone model is not cheap. The problem is that the technology is constantly advancing, and phone models become archaic very quickly, requiring you to upgrade.
Then there are all the data and other services that you need to pay for.
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16. Another Thing to Carry Around
Much has been made of the portability of mobile phones, but the truth is that they are just another thing that we have to carry around with us at all times, along with our keys and wallets.
Unlike keys and wallets, however, mobile phones are generally much more prone to damage and breakage from impacts, direct heat, or exposure to water.
17. If You Lose Your Phone, You Lose Your Life
For sure, it’s useful to have all your contact info, photos, videos, and other information on one device, but if you ever break or lose that device, you could find yourself with real problems.
Even just running out of power can result in you being unable to access vital information and cause you real problems.
18. The Screen is too Small
In theory, phones are great devices for watching videos or live streaming, but in practice, the screen is too small to fully appreciate a movie or sporting event.
Even playing games and performing everyday tasks like texting can be fiddly and frustrating.
19. Vicarious Living
Many people no longer seem to be able to just enjoy the moment without the need to video, photograph, or write about it on social media. Pop concerts are full of people videoing.
Once-in-a-lifetime experiences are not fully appreciated because people are too busy photographing them and posting them on social media.
20. Health Problems
Some studies suggest that the electromagnetic radiation produced by mobile phones causes harm to human health. Brain cancer has been cited as a possible effect of long-term regular phone usage.
However, it should be noted that there is no solid agreement on the level of harm that may be caused by mobile phones.
21. Under Surveillance
Mobile phones are increasingly used to track people’s movements.
This may seem fine for catching criminals, but it is another step towards a surveillance society, where citizens have no privacy and don’t even know when or who might be tracking them, never mind possessing the ability to challenge the threats to their privacy.
22. Conflict Minerals
23. Youth Crime
There was a time when teenagers and children carried nothing of value, but now most have mobile phones, often expensive models. This makes them vulnerable to street crime and general theft. It is a major problem in cities and urban areas.
24. Social Problems and Safety Concerns
It can be difficult for parents and guardians to control who the child is in contact with and the nature of the interactions.
Problems can range from sexual predators to bullying by other children, as well as exposure to pornography and violence.
25. Peer Pressure
Mobile phones are status symbols. As children enter puberty and head towards their teenage years, they come under social pressure to demand phones that are more expensive and fashionable, increasing emotional and financial strain on parents and guardians.
26. Cell Phones Can Become Addictive to People of All Ages
The average American adult spends almost 3 hours on their smartphone every day. People spend 36% more time on their cell phones than they do eating or drinking.
27. It Increases the Risks of Cyberbullying
Before the use of cell phones, students could come home and cope with bullying behaviors.
Thanks to cell phones and their potential for communication access, cyberbullying can happen at all hours of the day. It even occurs in forums where the targeted individual may not know what is happening.
80% of teens use a cell phone regularly, which makes the device the most common tool used for cyberbullying.
90% of teens who see cyberbullying on social media ignore the behavior. Only 10% of students will tell their parents if they experience this issue.
With the average American spending an average of two to four hours every day on their phone, it is important to consider the disadvantages of mobile phones. At the same time, it would be unfair to paint the cell phone industry under such negative air.
These devices provide a great level of convenience and safety to those who use them, and they can substantially improve the productivity of workers too.
However you feel about mobile phones, one thing is clear. They’re here to stay and they’ll continue to play a very prominent role in everyday life.
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