Friday, September 4, 2009

The Problems Solved by the Cell Phone

I was reading this book set in the late 90s, and I realized that some of the things that happened in the book would not be an issue today because everyone has a cell phone A lot of people even have one instead of a home phone. One of the topics for the writing sample that Humber students have to do is about how cell phones have changed our lives. Most people choose that topic, but reading that book made me realize that cell phones, like many other technologies have changed everything.

A lot of times in the book, the mother got angry with her daughter because she missed curfew and the mother had no idea where she was. If that happened, my mom would just call my cell phone and ask me where the hell I was, and when the hell I was coming home. In another scenario, there was an emergency and the daughter couldn't be where she had to be , and the mother had no idea where to call. Today she would just call the daughter's cell phone, and it would be a non issue.

During the same book, the girl was trying to carry out a forbidden relationship, which was proving difficult for her. When the guy would call her house, her parents would answer the phone before she could get it. If this happened today, the guy could call her cell phone, or she could call his cell phone, and her parents wold have no idea. E-mail would make a relationship that was forbidden that much easier to hide. The new technology of cell phones has made it easier both to separate and control.

Cell phones separate parents and children in that children can have their own number and parents don't have to be privy to who their children are talking to. A lot of my friends only know my cell phone number, because either I'm out, or I don't answer the phone at home. It's a number that's mine, no my whole family's. I'm never out of contact range, unless of course I'm in the subway where there's no reception. I think I'd have a lot less plans without my cell phone, because a lot of plans come up at the last minute while I'm out.

They add to control, because my mother can know where I am at all times. She calls me while I'm out to ask where I am, and who I'm with. Mothers used to ask those same questions, but they didn't have the power to ask repeatedly. I'm also expected to call before I go home, and my cell phone has to be on just in case. It is good in an emergency, because you can always contact someone and tell them what's going on. The only downside is now, if you're late and don't call, you can no longer use the excuse that you couldn't get to a phone.

I don't clearly remember a time when everyone didn't have a cell phone, so it's in hearing stories from my parents, and reading books set in the past to realize what it was like. There were so many problems, some of which carry the plots of books, especially in the teen years, that just don't happen anymore.

How cell phones have changed our lives seems like a really boring essay topic, but they like all other technologies, have opened up some possibilities and closed others.

Until next time bloggers,


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