When I walk around Virginia Tech’s campus, the three most abundant things I see are vehicles, students and cell phones.
Mobile devices, such as cell phones and MP3 players, have made it even simpler to communicate with friends and family. On a college campus, most people own a cell phone, an MP3 player or both because it is a “necessity.” However, we have to wonder: are we using these mobile devices as a crutch?
The answer is yes.
Although college students do not intentionally use their mobile devices as a practical limb, it has become more noticeable as smart phones have evolved over the years.
The smart phone has morphed from a practical communication tool into one’s organizer, phonebook, video game console, personal computer, MP3 player, digital camera, video camera, sound recorder and news outlet.
To smash all of these functions into one piece of technology is revolutionary to say the least. And this is the reason why college students utilize this tool endlessly throughout the day.
When the cell phone was first invented in the 1980s, nobody could have imagined how lucky we would be today.
The DynaTAc mobile phone, available to consumers in 1983, was the first to operate on the United States’ 1G network. It took 10 hours to charge and yielded 30 minutes of talk time.
In comparison, the new iPhone 5 takes about one hour to charge and allots its users approximately eight hours of “talk time,” up to eight hours of Internet use, up to 10 hours of video playback and up to 40 hours of audio playback.
However, we must ask ourselves if these revolutionary, multi-purpose devices lower the quality of our college social lives.
Many have argued texting and instant messaging has made communication much more impersonal between friends. It is as impersonal as it is lazy. Instead of telling someone you are happy, you can send somebody a smiley face emoticon.
One can make adjustments to their bank account and pay bills using a simple application on their phone. One can buy and trade stocks using another simple application. We cannot really call it a cell phone anymore. Nowadays, it is a remote for your life.
A majority of college students have a mountainous load on their plate. Therefore, I can understand the need for a device, such as a modern smart phone, to alleviate some of the many stresses that college brings.
There is no one to blame in this situation. You cannot blame college students for wanting to make their lives just a bit easier to manage, nor can one rebuke the smart phone industries for creating such great innovations that, in general, make the public’s life simpler.
Though life as a college student might get rough sometimes, it would not hurt to use the cell phone a bit less. Our lives cannot and should not be controlled by a portable device, no matter how easy it makes things.
College students use modern mobile devices too much; I know based on the habits I have observed in my fellow scholars and myself.
Readers may become skeptical, asking me, “How do you know we use our mobile devices too much?” My answer is, “I own an iPhone 4S, and I know all the functions it is capable of.”
When you spot me around campus, I will have my headphones in my ears, blasting music you can probably hear. Rapid technology innovation is a double-edged sword. It is both wonderful and terrible at the same time.