Reflections Assignment 1 Advancement in Technology/One in Particular There is much advancement in technology today, much greater than was available just 10-20 years ago. However, while using the sociological imagination, one facet of technology that has grown tremendously over the past decade has proven to be both beneficial and detrimental. Many would view it as beneficial due to the ease of use, portability, and quick way to communicate. On the other hand, it has proven to be detrimental by its dangers, disruptions, irresponsible usage, and lack of traditional communication.
The social problem that is being reflected upon is… hold your breath, cellular phones. Cellular telephones have evolved to become a huge social problem for all of society today. In fact, it is such a problem that the world today could not operate without it, because, most everyone has become dependant of cell phones. Consider the problem with the lack of traditional communication that exists because of cell phones. Nowadays, many people use their phone to talk for hours instead of spending quality time one on one with each other, face to face.
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The use of the cell phone in this way is dangerous for the development of good socialization skills. On the other hand, it is a great way to quickly communicate with people far away or in emergency situations. Another concern with the advancement of technology in cell phones is the use text messaging or instant messaging. These “quick notes” to one another often get misinterpreted due to words that are used, without proper tone. Whereas when you speak to someone face to face, you can hear the tone and see the expression they have when they are communicating.
Text messaging can be a great tool when used for the purposes of a quick memo to a loved one that you are safe and on your way home, for short reminders regarding an upcoming event or appointment, etc. Disruptions are quite common and vary widely with the use of the cell phone. Everyone at some point has been engaged in a verbal conversation somewhere only to be interrupted by the ring or at times the inappropriate ring tone of another person’s cell phone or a loud chirp of a recently sent or received text message.
This problem occurs daily, whether it be in our classrooms while receiving vital information from a teacher, in a court house during an important trial, meetings with business executives, even during highly publicized press conferences with the President of the United States. Yet, still not everyone considers this perspective, or realizes it is a social problem in our society. How many times does a person in the store have their phone or ear piece in and are so loud that their conversation is heard by everyone in the aisle?
Not only the conversation, but also the profanity, and vulgar language that children and others should not be forced to being subjected to. This creates a social problem because it is disruptive and disrespectful to others. It is also a problem because it is not regulated. Sure, there are signs at banks and other places of business to turn off your phone, however, not many people follow those rules. It not only causes a disturbance, but it also delays time as far as checking out and waiting for someone to finish their argument or conversation with the other party.
While people who are engaging in disruptive behavior on the phone feel that their conversation is important at that time, there are other means of taking care of their needs without the disruption of others. All cell phones today come equipped with a silence or vibrate mode, which would eliminate part of the disruptive problem. Furthermore, persons engaging in conversations in public places can be more conscientious and take their portable cell phone to a more private location. Danger lurks with cell phone use.
There are many stated cases, as well as surveillance, which shows interacting with a cell phone while driving has caused avoidable catastrophic accidents. On the other hand, having a portable phone safely stored while driving gives you the ability to pull over and quickly contact emergency personnel in the event of witnessing an accident, which can save lives. Criminals use cell phones daily to commit crimes and sell drugs. They can also just as easily be used to report crimes, or even photograph a perpetrator, which can possibly lead to an arrest.
Most recently, as reported on CNN, a cell phone was used in an attempt to detonate a bomb next to a federal building, an attempt that has had success by terrorists in the past. At the same time, a cell phone can be a great way to locate your car if you forgot where you parked it, or to unlock your car doors if you left your keys inside of it. In conclusion, many countries, governments, states, and cities have implemented laws regarding usage of cellular phones such as where, when, and how.
Yet, these restrictions or laws are very lax and not strictly enforced. People continue to ignore these policies as if they even cease to exist. Ultimately, this problem will rest with the people, and the people need to adapt to accept the changes required to better themselves and to make our society better and safer. The bottom line is cell phones and their advancements with the technology are ingenious, however, etiquette and the ways in which it is being used is having a profound effect on our society, both positive and negative.