Pros and Cons of Mobile Devices

Throughout the course of history, we have been taught that the growth of technology is always beneficial to our existence. Many believe these advances are what help us survive as an innovative species and often embrace technological advancement. Today in society, we see advancements in many different communicative devices, from our phones to our laptops. The same technology that is beneficial and efficient could be harmful if misused and over-consumed. However, today there are many technological advancements that are a combination of both. Mobile phones, for instance, are a technological means of communication that has several communicative pros and several stereotype reinforcement negatives.

Personally, I carry a mobile with me all day and every day. It has certainly shaped how I interact with people. The benefits of a mobile phone are greater awareness of my surroundings. Since I do not watch TV or listen to the radio, a mobile phone is one of my only forms of being updated about current affairs around the globe other than direct interaction with people. In addition, mobile phones make it easier to communicate with people without being physically present with them. This means of communication is integral for me to combat scheduling issues in a society where people are constantly busy and cannot communicate face-to-face at the same time. For instance, many part-time professors at our own school prefer to have office hours over the phone or via video conferencing software. Not only is this method of communication easier for professors, but it allows for students to all congregate and discusses. Also, online communication can be beneficial for students who find it difficult to talk in class.

Even though mobile phones have a lot of upsides, just like any other technology, they have some drawbacks as well. Personally, mobile phones combined with social media have made me seek instant gratification several times in the form of Facebook or Instagram likes. This actually proves to leave a huge impact on a young individual’s mind as one might start seeking ad expecting instant positive feedback in every sphere of life. Also, with my phone right beside me, it is easier for me to get distracted while studying. It is really hard for me to resist the temptation to not look at my phone screen every time there is a notification. Furthermore, mobile technology has also made me more laid back in life. I usually tend to order food at home and call my ride right to my doorstep, and I have even hired people in the past to walk my dog, all using a phone.

Since mobile phones affect each individual’s life, they also affect our society as a whole. Mobile phones are one such innovation that helps individuals voice their opinions freely. For instance, if mobile phones were not commercially available, no one could think of becoming internet famous or showcasing their talents directly to an audience. They tend to promote individual expression and are a more direct way of communicating with an audience sidelining huge corporations. It also helps racial and ethnic groups unite for a certain cause. According to Vox, research shows that the most efficient way to organize campaigns is by using mobile phones. (www.vox.com)

Mobile technology also has several downsides which cannot be ignored. Mobile devices with cameras combined with facial recognition technologies could result in a situation that could make it easier for law enforcement agencies to profile people based on their race. Another downside of carrying a mobile phone all the time is a fear of being spied on. A lot of the apps on our phones collect our location data even when we are not using them, and this data goes to remote servers. If someone hacks into these servers, they can get to know one’s location. While there are benefits, such as safety to location tracking, any infringement on one’s privacy is an example of how technology can interfere with autonomous decisions and freedom.

Mobile phones can also be used to steer masses in a certain direction. Often times social media and the internet only portray certain portions or parts of an argument. Due to a lack of information and selective screening, miscommunication between racial and ethnic communities can occur. By not capturing the whole essence of the encounter, these devices can be used to reinforce gender, race, and culture stereotypes. For example, only half of recording an interaction between two members of different racial groups can present biases and stereotypes of a certain race.

The “angry black woman” is a perfect example of this, where often time black women on the internet are seen as overly aggressive in arguments that have not captured the reason for the confrontation in the first place. Serena Williams is an example where a black woman who was seen as overly emotional at the US open. Headlining news stories did not, however, purposely explain that the line referee was being sexist. (Prasad, 2018). Essentially, technology and our cellular devices are what we make of them and what we choose to understand. While we should use these devices for our growth and learning purposes, we must, however, recognize bias and always call into question the integrity of the information.

References

  1. Prasad, R. (2018, September 11). Serena Williams and the trope of the ‘angry black woman.’ Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45476500
  2. Broockman, D., & Kalla, J. (2014, November 13). Experiments show this is the best way to win campaigns. But is anyone actually doing it? Retrieved from https://www.vox.com/2014/11/13/7214339/campaign-ground-game
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Pros and Cons of Mobile Devices. (2023, Mar 15). Retrieved May 24, 2024 , from
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