Social Impact Of The Mobile Phone

1424 Words 6 Pages
The year 1980 marks the release of the mobile phone to the public. It is important to note, however, it would be a mistake to remember it as anything less than the beginning of a grand shift in both society and in the technology itself. This paper will track the progress of the mobile phone since its release, outlining how society’s preference of the text message over the voice call shaped the technology’s functions by changing its offered services, physical design, and targeted audience, in order to place a greater focus on the text message, while also taking in account the limits that an unprepared society imposed on the phone’s early development by analysing both social and economic factors. Then this paper will evaluate the impact of the …show more content…
In his article, Agar asserts that an unprepared society can impede human agency. There are two factors that contribute in determining the preparedness of a society: the social factor and the economical factor (Agar, 2004). Agar presents his idea of being socially unprepared by using a real example of how, in 1954, the Duke of Edinburgh possessed a mobile radio that could communicate with Buckingham Palace. A Marquis, upon inquiring if he too, could have a mobile radio, was denied access because, in that time period, it was believed that only certain people of a certain social standing should have access to the device (Agar, 2004). Supporting Agar’s claim that social factors impede human agency’s effect on technology, Lechman shows from research that many third-world countries did not adapt or incorporate new technologies (such as the mobile phone) into society until between the years 2000-2011 (depending on the country) because society was unprepared for it and did not know how to incorporate the devices into their lives (Lechman, 2013).

2 The Mobile Phone’s Impact on Youths’ Social Connections
Just as human agency changed the design of the mobile phone, the mobile phone also changed many human social structures and practices such as social interactions and networks between teens and young adults. Controversy has arisen, however, amongst scholars in deciding whether
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Thulin and Vilhelmson use data from interviews they had with teens to argue that mobile phones make youth more sociable because they can catch up with friends during passive time that would have been spent alone (on the bus, for example) (2007). Furthermore, teens say that, when alone in public, their mobile phones motivate them to invite a friend and create an impromptu outing (2007). Toda et Al support this claim that mobile phones offer social benefit by showing research results in which teenagers claim that their mobile phones lowered their levels of loneliness after moving out of their homes and into a new environment (primarily into residence at University) by permitting them to call or text their family back at home at any time of the day, such as when they were in class or simply on campus

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