How Have Cell Phones Changed Communication?

By Katrina Grant

Cell phones have vastly changed the way we communicate today. A cell phone can be all you need for communicating. From a cell phone you can make calls, text message, BBM message, email, send and receive directions, go on the Internet, buy things, do online banking, listen to music and much more. In that one device you can do everything. There is no longer a need for multiple devices and you can be on the move doing it all.


The cell phone has become a common product. Almost everyone has a cell phone, and they have only been around 35 years and popular for about 15. Yet, they have become an indispensable part of daily life. It's hard imagining what many would do without them.


A cell phone's basic function is to make and receive calls from anywhere you have service. Even though they can do more, calling is their main function. This function enables a person to make or receive a call without having to worry about location. The other basic function is location tracking in case of emergency. By law cell phones are built in with GPS technology that makes them "911 capable." This allows, if the cell phone is powered on, for your location to be tracked.


There are two types of cell phones: regular and PDA. Regular cell phones can have similar functions as PDAs, but they are mainly for making and receiving calls. A PDA, personal data assistant, is made more to be a portable office. These devices allow you to have all the functions of your office on the go. With a PDA you can track appointments, go online, email, edit documents, and send business cards.


The main benefit of a cell phone is convenience. You have all you need in one device. You no longer need to go out of your way to do something. If you need to make a call in the car you can. If you need to send an email at lunch you can. If you need directions, you can get them, and if you need to get online, it's there for you. It helps you to get more done.


With cell phone popularity rising, there has also been a rise in cell phone related accidents. While able to use a cell phone in the car is convenient, it has to be safe. Talking and texting while driving is dangerous. If you need to talk while driving there are two options you can choose. You can pull over or buy a hands-free device to use, such as a headset. Additionally, some concern has been raised about cell phone radiation and how it might affect the brain if held against the ear for long periods of time. For this reason it can be important to check SAR levels (specific absorption rate) for a cell phone as they vary (see Cnet link in References).