We are living in a world thick with tension regarding the use of cell phones. For all the positive impacts cell phones have had on our lives, there are just as many negative impacts. With teenage bullying, sexting, harassment amongst coworkers, and just straight up violation of so much of our own private information, it’s no wonder people are concerned about how much we incorporate cell phones into our lives. But the positives continue to outweigh the negatives: we can reach people anywhere, anytime. While this may seem like it is overkill, there are a lot of people who genuinely enjoy being connected to others all the time. Whether we like to admit it or not, cell phones help us feel connected to one another, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
We have the luxury, and sometimes burden, of carrying the world around in our pockets now. With our cell phones, we can access anything from almost anywhere. There is something incredible about being able to stop what you are doing, look up some information online that can help you continue with your task, and then carry on with your task. My husband and I were recently renovating our basement and had a question about how to put up a wall around an air duct. We were able to instantly take a picture of the air duct and text it to his 68 year old father, who immediately saw the picture and the problem and then texted us back with the solution. After all, isn’t that what home improvement is all about?
Another example of how our cell phones keep us connected to one another is through social media. I’m not talking about over-the-top social media; I’m talking about family groups on Facebook where people can share photos of kids growing up even though we are a country’s width apart. Everyone in the family is on our family Facebook group and everyone of them has a cell phone. So while it may seem like having your family in your pocket is a lot to handle, if you get along with your family, it can be amazing. We lived 500 miles from our parents for almost 10 years – before Facebook and social media took hold of the world, and it was very difficult to feel supported and connected to our families so far away. We could call each other but you know how that goes: everyone starts out meaning well, but then a phone call a week turns into every two weeks, turns into once a month, until eventually, we are only talking at Christmas.
Finally, cell phones help us connect to people we’ve never even met, but who have similar interests as us. It’s great to be able to share funny car memes with your car buddies online, or share a recipe with your cooking club, or cheer someone on who is trying to lose weight in an online support group. Sure, we could do all these things on our desktop and laptop computers, but more and more people are living a mobile life and cell phones help us to stay connected to one another in ways we could never imagine even 10 years ago.
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