Mobile phones can either be a blessing or a curse; this is determined by the way in which they are used. Since the late 1990s, there has been an increasing amount of concern over whether mobile phones can cause some types of cancer or infertility in men. The first mobile phone was invented by the American scientist Martin Cooper in 1973. Martin Cooper was an executive and researcher at Motorola who are today a major mobile phone producing company. The design of the first mobile phone was very different from the way the mobile phones of today look and operate. Mobile phones were introduced into society in the mid-1980s in parts of Northern Europe. Countries such as Finland and Switzerland, Japan and the USA launched the first cellular networks, which meant that any mobile phone connected to that network could communicate with each other.
Now, nearly all countries are connected to at least one network, such as O2, Orange or Vodafone. This means that two mobile phones, for example, one in the UK and one in Hong Kong, can wirelessly communicate with each other by sending and receiving radio signals to and from each other via a network. When the first mobile phone was invented, it could only perform one function: making a telephone call with another mobile phone on the same network. Now, however, mobile phones have transformed from being a simple communication appliance to an entertainment device. Mobile phones can now allow the user to listen to music, watch videos, play games, look at pictures and even take pictures or record videos with a built-in camera.
Today mobile phones are becoming increasingly popular due to the numerous functions which can be performed on them. In countries, particularly those in Europe, there are now more mobile phones than people. The country with the highest percentage of mobile phones to people in 2007 was Luxembourg, which had 158%, which means that per 100 people in Luxembourg, there were 158 mobile phones owned between them. Other countries with more than 100 mobile phones owned by 100 people were Lithuania, Italy and Hong Kong, with percentages between 139% and 157%.
Mobile phones have become much more portable since the first mobile phone in 1973. Apart from how mobile phones have advanced in the way they operate and their portability, they have also changed in appearance and size. The early mobile phones appeared as large, black brick-like objects, whereas now all mobile phones look different and are far smaller. For example, they can be of any colour or be designed to open by flipping open the cover or by sliding the screen up to reveal the keypad. Somebody who wants to buy a mobile phone today can pick from a number of colours, functions and styles and buy a mobile phone designed to their choice. Whatever their choice, the phone will be just a fraction of the size of the original mobile phone. Mobile phones can be seen as a blessing or a curse. They can be seen as a curse by many people because of the potential health risks of being in continuous contact with them and the often large amounts of money they cost.
Mobile phone emissions can be a risk to human health if in continuous contact. This has been investigated several times over recent years. Several reports indicate that mobile phones cause no health problems. But, it has been established by many researchers that mobile phones can cause infertility in men and even some types of cancer if a person is in constant contact with a mobile phone. For example, if a mobile phone is kept in a man’s pocket at least 5 days a week, it has been found that it has caused men to become infertile due to the thermal radiation that mobile phones give out. It has also been found that tumours have occurred in some people wherever they keep their mobile phone for long periods of time. For example, if you use a mobile phone for around 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, and hold your mobile phone to your right ear, you could suffer from a tumour on the right side of your head or brain.
In 2004 it was discovered that terrorists involved in the Madrid train bombings used mobile phones to detonate some of the bombs planted on the trains. Since then, it has become well known that this is how many terrorists detonate their bombs. Recently there have been many worldwide cases of a new form of bullying, cyberbullying. This is a way of bullying by recording a person being bullied on a mobile phone and then sending the video clip to people or posting it on websites such as YouTube. Laws have been passed to prevent car drivers from using a mobile phone whilst driving in the UK. The law has been put in place because it has been discovered that talking on a mobile phone whilst driving distracts the user from concentrating on the road. The law also allows using just a single hand on the steering wheel for obvious reasons!
Despite these problems, mobile phones also have many positive features such as if you are in an emergency it is almost certain you will be able to contact someone for help by using a mobile phone. Mobile phones can now also be used as an entertainment device. This means that a mobile phone user only has to bring their phone to listen to music, take photos or play games. This makes it convenient for the mobile phone user as they do not have to bring their mp3 player or camera with them everywhere as they are already functions featured on their mobile phone. Short Message Service (SMS) is a type of communication that has been invented recently and can only be used on mobile phones. It is better known as text messaging. Text messaging is a quick and cheap alternative way to communicate with other mobile phone users simply by sending each other quick short messages, rather than having a long conversation which will almost always cost more.
Mobile phones can be used in either positive or negative ways and can be considered a blessing or a curse depending on how a particular person views the whole subject. There are many positive points to do with mobile phones, but there are also many negative points; it is simply up to you whether you believe they are good or bad for society or whether you want to own one or not. Whatever your view, the popularity of mobile phones is undeniable. In 2007, 1.15 Billion mobile phones were sold globally, a number set to rise in coming years. The next significant development, which has already begun with today’s most advanced mobile phones, is the ability to access the internet. This ability will once again change the way people see mobile phones as a necessary everyday accessory.