Techno-communicationa cell phone in every pocketFriday, December 02, 2005 By Miranda Glore
Cell phones are considered a must have for teenagers and even adults. Almost 80% of high school students own a cell phone and use it up to ten times a day. Cell phones have become such a big problem that school administrators have begun to ban them from schools. So far 15 states have tried to pass laws banning the use of cell phones in cars. Are cell phones really a danger? How important are they really, and what would life be like without them? Since the late 1800s people have wanted to communicate by using a device they could carry with them. But it was not until 1984 that cell phones were first open to the public. The first phones were big and very expensive. Very few people were able to afford a phone, and if they could it was not used very often. Cell phones really started gaining popularity 10 years later. Different cell phone companies started competing, which made the price for cell phones more affordable. The very first cell phone was called a TV phone and was introduced by Samsung. This was a folding cell phone with a small TV built into it so when a person called, the TV turned off and turned into phone mode. Each year cell phones gained more popularity. By the year 1999, almost 104 million people owned a cell phone. The rapid growth in cell phone use has caused schools to make new rules. Now cell phones are not allowed in most schools and if they are, they have to be turned off. Students have been using things such as text messaging to cheat and send answers to friends. When a contraband cell phone rings in class, the whole class looks up and suddenly all concentration is lost. If teenagers would only use cell phones just for emergencies, then maybe schools would not make so many rules about them. Many accidents a year happen from people driving and talking on cell phones. States are taking this very seriously and working hard to pass laws that ban using cell phones in cars. There are, however, ways to get around holding a cell phone while driving. There are now devices that allow a person to drive and talk without actually holding the phone. This can be dangerous too because the person’s focus isn’t directly on the road. More than half of the population owns a cell phone and uses it up to 20 times a day. Cell phone industries say their phones meet safe radiation requirements, but some tests conducted by an ABC news program found that some popular phones exceed the government’s radiation standards, depending on how they are held. The signals transmitted by a cell phone are the same that are used in a microwave or doctors x-ray machines. When a person gets an x-ray, he or she has to wear a heavy lead vest while the doctor stands in a different room. This is because of dangerous levels of radiation. Depending on where the cell phone is held, as much as 60 percent of radiation can go into the head. Most of the time the bone of an adult skull can block the radiation that affects people in other devices, but most people tend to hold cell phones next to the one area of the head that has the least amount of protection -- the ear drum. The radiation waves pass through the canal and reach an inch to an inch-and-a-half into the brain. This can lead to brain cancer or worse. (Think of that the next time the cell phone rings.) Along with the dangers of cell phones, there are also many benefits of having them around. “I used my cell every day”, said Kristi Milner, a ninth grader at Lee County High School. “It’s so convenient to have one than to find someone else who has one.” When she got her phone taken up for going over her minutes, she said, “It was the most depressing thing ever!” Parents like to keep up with their kids, and the kids love the cool features on the phones. With cell phones, parents keep up with their kids and their kids keep up with their friends. Cell phones can be a wonderful, if used properly. They provide a quick source of contact in case of an emergency and make communication on the spur of the moment possible.