The article, “Our Cell Phones, Ourselves”, written by Christine Rosen is about the generation of cell phones and how it effects every day life. She points out that people have two main reasons for carrying cell phones, for safety and convenience; but it also has many bad qualities, like it destroying manners in public places.
Christine points out that the reasons people use their mobile devices varies. In
, it’s only used to turn on the heat before they return home. In Slovakia , they use them to confirm their taxes. Construction workers and paramedics use camera phones to send pictures of the current task, like paramedics send pictures to the hospital of incoming patients and their injuries. Norway
Rosen also points out that people are gaining a sort of dependency on them. Ninety percent of users say they make them feel safe. A study was done at a university where people were asked to keep their phones off for two days, after it was over with a lady said, “I felt like I was going to get raped if I didn’t have my cell phone in my hand...” In 2001, the CTIA reported that about 108 wireless emergency calls were received per minute. Along with this dependency comes addiction. The Hospital of Seoul National University found that “3 out of 10 Korean high school students who carry mobile phones are reported to be ‘addicted’ to them.” Without their phones they show sign of repetitive stress injury from obsessive text messaging and become anxous.
In the article, she also analyzes parents who buy cell phones for their children. Parents often to say it’s because the care about their safety and like to check in with their children when in reality, they are somewhat paranoid. They want to know what their children are constantly doing, they don’t trust the society, and they show a lack of trust in their child, “they choose surveillance technologies to monitor their children rather than teaching them to behave appropriately.”
Rosen also points out how cell phone usage can effect a user’s driving. It is more common for teenage drivers with cell phones to become a victim in a car accident because of texting behind the wheel. Many people of all age groups talk and drive at the same time, which results in car accidents as well. A 2001 study concluded that approximately 600,000 drivers “are actively using cell phones at any one time” on the road.
It has also come up that common courtesy no longer applies to the usage of cell phones. Christine points out that carrying cell phones and talking on the phone in public is a way of showing that that particular person is important, especially if it happens to be a business call. But those users no longer think about the people around them who have to listen to their obnoxious conversations. For instance a couple goes out to a nice restaurant but gets stuck in a booth next a gentleman who screams in his phone the entire night, they more than likely won’t be too thrilled. Rosen says, “We’re no longer overhearing, we are hearing.”
Another issue that cell phones raise is the lack of engagement of cell phone users with other people and the real world. They could be in a room full of people and rather text or call someone than start a conversation with a person across the room. It allows people to become “out of contact.” Christine says, “we have allowed what should be subordinate activities become dominant.”