Since the 1990s, cell phones have become a necessity to many people all around the world. In fact, according to CBS News, the number of cell phones used around the world in 2010 is approximately 4.6 billion. Cell phones have advantages such as immediate communication and accessibility to important information via the Internet. However, there are also disadvantages to using cell phones.
Cell Phone Users Distract Others
In common public places such as shopping centres, restaurants and even libraries many people talk on their cell phones and cause distractions to others engaging in other activities. The background talking, no matter the topic or quietness of the cell phone user, often diverts the attention of surrounding individuals. It hinders activities such as reading a book, engaging in a meaningful face-to-face conversation or viewing a school presentation. A listener's attention is drawn away, even subconsciously, and many try to guess the responses of the person on the other end of the conversation. When an individual talks very loudly it causes an even greater distraction to more people nearby.
Cell Phones Cause Unsafe Driving
A 2003 study by the University of Utah concluded that people who are driving while using cell phones are just as dangerous as individuals driving under the influence of alcohol. People talking on cell phones put themselves and others at risk because they are thinking about the conversation instead of concentrating on the road. Hands-free and Bluetooth capable cell phones are just as dangerous, because the conversation is the actual distracting agent. Text messaging causes even further danger to individuals using cell phones while driving. Texting requires drivers to take their hands off the wheel and eyes off the road. In January 2010, the National Safety Council estimated that at least 1.6 million motor vehicle accidents every year are the result of cell phone use and texting.
Cell Phones Can Be Unsanitary
Cell phones are used in a variety of places and often set in areas where they can collect many different types of bacteria and other germs. Cell phones often emit heat and can be an inviting place for microbes. Individuals rarely clean and sanitise their phones or even their hands after using their cell phones. One example is cell phones of health care workers; a 2009 study by Ondokuz Mayis University in Samsun, Turkey showed that cell phones of hospital workers were exposed to germs that can be hazardous to health.
- CBS News: Number of Cell Phones Worldwide Hits 4.6B
- Science News: Why Cell Phone Talkers Are Annoys-Makers
- The University of Utah News Center: Drivers on Cell Phones Are as Bad as Drunks
- National Safety Council: National Safety Council Estimates that At Least 1.6 Million Crashes are Caused Each Year by Drivers Using Cell Phones and Texting
- ABC News: 7 Surprising Ways Cell Phones Affect Your Health