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Benefits and disadvantages of using cell phones

Published on 14th Apr, Edition 15, 2014


The telecommunication industry in Pakistan has witnessed a striking growth over the past 10 years. In early days, owning a mobile phone and a SIM was more of a status symbol rather than a necessity. Due to a number of mobile companies entering into the country since 2004, owning a mobile phone turned into more of a need by virtue of social or economic standing. It was after 2005 that the actual battle began as SIM cards were more easily available at a reasonable price and being sold without the need for proper identification from the customer. This led to a number of people owning SIM cards of more than one network or of every providing firms. Later, due to the deteriorating conditions of law and order within the country, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) made laws stricter, making it difficult for people to purchase new mobile connections. Due to the tightening of the connection issuance policy, a number of individuals got their extra connections unsubscribed as well as blocked off SIM cards, which were registered under their name without their knowledge.

With almost 125 million connections having been sold to mobile phone subscribers, the telecom operating companies are again beginning to focus on getting subscribers to their network, be they active or inactive. This is done via various attractive campaigns offering customers free minutes, Internet and message bundles and a lot more services.

While such activities lead to the growth of the telecom sector, it must not be forgotten that owning mobile phones have advantages and disadvantages associated with their use. The youth in Pakistan constantly spending a great deal of their time engaged in their cell phones, there is more than a lucrative aspect associated with the telecom sector.

Considering the negative aspects associated with the use of cell phones, a number of individuals become addicted to constantly texting or browsing the Internet on their cell phone and thereby neglects their duties. They are unable to concentrate on what really matters and spend a large part of their day and night on unnecessary interactions.

The use of mobile phones has started to become a problem in schools as well when children bring their cell phones to school and often use them to cheat on examinations and tests. While it may be helpful at the time, it can have negative impacts in the future with the children not being able to complete tasks and rely on his/her own ability to complete work.

The use of cell phones may be exciting and entertaining but it is also associated with a great cost. Monthly bills of mobile phones tend to be higher than those of landline bills nowadays. While various networks offer calling packages and text message bundles, their cost plus the added tax does not allow it to be very reasonable a majority of the times leading to hefty bills to be paid.

Some individuals get so attached to their cell phones and constantly make use of it to work and stay in touch via calls that they do not realize the harm it is causing them. Many people make use of infrared and/or Bluetooth to make calls, the sounds of which can at times result in the weakening of the ear drums. Furthermore, listening to loud music on the cell phone too can affect the sensitivity of the ears in the long run.

While there are a number of negative sides to the use of cell phones, there are undoubtedly some advantages associated with it as well. Firstly, while talking a great deal on the phone may prove to be unnecessary, worthy calls can help in improving an individual’s communication skills. People can learn how to talk and how to communicate in the appropriate manner with the different types of people being spoken to which can in effect help in day to day, face to face conversations as well. Secondly, while having a cell phone and using it for useless purposes may be frowned upon, there is unanimity on the fact that mobile phones do come in handy in times of emergencies. People often get stuck in traffic or get lost along the way; some may even get sick and might need to call their family or friends for help. This is precisely when a mobile phone can be of use.

With the kind of law and order situation in the country, parents are always worried about their children’s safety and whereabouts. Keeping a cell phone and giving one to your child can help in alleviating some of this worry by keeping in touch via simple text messages. However, at the same time, you would need to explain to your child to only use the cell phone to stay in touch and in cases of emergencies.

Lastly, with the kind of global advancements occurring, not owning a cell phone is looked down upon greatly. While there is nothing wrong with walking alongside the advancements and progress occurring all over the world, it should be kept in mind that everything should be done in moderation.

There are positive and negative aspects associated with every piece of technology. The way the technology is made use of is what truly matters. Parents should in particular advise their children of what negative things are associated with the use of cell phones and teach and inform them of how to protect themselves from such kinds of activities and to not fall prey to them. In today’s day and age and particularly in a country where security and law and order is constantly volatile, communication is key and what gives adults a slight ease to their worries. Apart from being beneficial to the people, the use of cell phones is also beneficial for the economy and allows the various mobile network companies to do well and to grow. While they may be picking up and promoting negative habits within children, it is up to the parents to ensure and keep check their children’s activities on the cell phone.


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