Social History of Cell Phones

Cell phones remain one of the most important technologies that have affected the way man lives. Over the years, this technology has developed from stage to stage with more and more people embracing it. Earlier, the ownership of a mobile phone was a sign of a given social class. It was expensive to buy one. Only a few people could afford it. The sociological aspect of man has greatly changed over time with the development of this technology. This is very evident here in the U.S. The current cell phone technology used was this way many years ago. As I have indicated above, this has been a process over a long period of time. The first technology of what was to become the today’s cell phones was first introduced in the 1940s. This technology was used only by the special people for special purposes. It was majorly used for communication in police cars, taxis and other emergency vehicles like ambulances (Farley, 2007). It was not accessible for other ordinary use. The gargets were mounted on these vehicles to ease communication with the relevant authorities.

Motorola was the first company to develop the first mobile phone. This was based on the First Generation Technology or 1G. This was based on the analog technology. This means that it was bulky and difficult to move around with. It also had much noise interference during communication. At first, it was only mounted permanently on cars due to its bulkiness. It did not take long before the first real mobile phone was released to the public. This was a new era in the communication sector as those who had money acquired for themselves one. Due to the cost incurred, ownership was related to a class of people. Those who were able to afford them felt as being in a different class in the society. The mobile phone was really not used to communicate but to show class. Those who could not own one simply felt they were of a different category in the society. The perception of people was controlled by the ownership of such a phone (Gareth, 2008).

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This technology had some disadvantages. It had no privacy. The 1G technology relied on voice traffic, and this meant that all calls could be listened to by everyone. The consumers were therefore not satisfied by this. It prompted the search for an improved technology that could guarantee privacy to the consumers. The Second Generation or 2G technology was developed in the 1990s. It was digitally based, thereby making it more reliable than the previous technology. More and more people enthusiastically embraced this technology as it was less noisy and also guaranteed a faster communication. People found pride in walking with the phones. The portability was enhanced by the development of efficient energy batteries (Bellis, 2008). The previous phones had bulky batteries which limited the portability. Different companies also emerged during this period. This helped reduce the prices at least.

The 2G technology also enabled the users to have a new kind of communication known as SMS or text messaging. This meant that the way of life for those who owned a mobile phone changed. They could use the phones to send instant messages than using the traditional method of letter writing. Writing and sending letters was a time-consuming affair. The recipient was not also guaranteed of receiving the letter. Indeed there was a new dawn in the communication sector. In late 1998, this technology had tremendously developed. It was possible to advertise items using the mobile phones. This meant that some information could be sent to many subscribers. This was a new method for the business people to make others aware of their products. In Finland, first sales using mobile phones were made. Ringtones could be bought and downloaded using a mobile phone. Cell phones became commercially accepted as a medium of exchange. Generally, life changed for those with mobile phones (Katz & Aakhus, 2002).


The 3G or The Third Generation Technology was soon developed to keep up with the demand for more advancement in service provision. This is a digital technology that is still being on many cellular phones today. It has much wider capabilities in its service provision. Apart from the phone calls, it also transfers other types of data. Messaging has become even easier and most people have resulted in it calling. This technology enables a good and quality coverage that easily allows the access to the internet. The internet has totally changed the way people live. The advertisement is done in the internet. Anybody who wants to buy anything but have no information can simply subscribe to the network company (Bellis, 2008). Mobile easily accesses the internet. Payment of goods and services are also easily done using the mobile phones. Competition in the industry has greatly helped in the reduction of the prices of the mobile phones.

Cell phone communication has become a norm using this technology. It covers a wider network making it easy to communicate with anyone all over the world. People do it at their convenience. The current mobile phones have the capabilities of handling multimedia operations. Pictures can be taken and sent to another person just by a click of a button. This is unlike the then days when cameras were not easy to be found. The current phones have cameras with high pixels. The 4th generation is also already in the market. This was developed to counter the growing pressure on the 3G technology. It has a higher speed than the 3G. It is being acquired by most of the industry players to further ease cell phone communication. It has the potential of further lowering the prices incurred in communication. Life has totally changed over the years. The young Americans are obsessed by the mobile phone industry. The way of thinking has changed because of the ease of acquiring the information through mobile phones. The demand grows day by day. This means that this industry is expected to continue developing new technologies (Agar, 2004).

As much as the development of mobile phones has come with positive changes, there are those who feel that it has come with more negative impacts. The rising demand has caused the service providers to increase the mobile booster antennas. These have increased in the recent past causing environmental problems. There is need to find alternatives to these. Tall buildings and trees can act to hide them. The growing use of the wireless phones has greatly degraded the etiquette level in the society. People use the mobile phones anyhow and anywhere. Phones ring in high profile meetings, something that undermines the importance of such deliberations. Most of the companies have formulated policies for the staff to switch off their mobile phones.

There are health issues that have seriously been caused by the use of mobile phones. When a call is made, electromagnetic are generated by the phones. These are dangerous to the brains. There are no adequate measures that have been put in place to educate masses on such effects. Calling while driving are some the dangerous behaviors noted. Accidents have tremendously increased due to this. The government should therefore intensify the law re-enforcement. Generally, it is worth noting that the development of the mobile phone industry has changed the way people relate, travel, sell, buy and do other things. The world has become just like a global village due to the ease of communication. I know this technology will continue as time goes (Gareth, 2008).