Have cell phones changed the way we communicate?

Sydney Myers
Teen Lifestyle Editor from  Dallas, TX
| August 31, 2010

I still remember the first phone call I made from a cellphone. I was at a park waiting for my friend to show up and I called her mother on her cellphone to ask when they would be there. It. Was. Awesome. For the first time I didn't have to wait around endlessly, hoping she would show up, or have to guess as to where she was or how long it would be until she was there. I just knew. It was then that I thought, 'THAT'S why cellphones were invented. THIS is why I need one.' Of course, I was only 10 years old at the time and, back then, only adults had cellphones, so I had a ways to go before I got to enjoy the splendor of mobile telephony. But the seed was planted. I needed a cellphone. I wouldn't be complete until I had one. In order for people to stay connected and communicate with one another, they needed cellphones. The world would bless the day that cellphones were invented.

Those were the youthful, innocent times of cellphones. At some point, they started taking over. Cellphones started out as tools to help us in times of need and the next thing we know, we've become a generation that depends on our mobile devices. Texting has become so widespread that, for some people, the most important feature in a cellphone, something you're supposed to TALK on, is a keyboard. In fact, a study by CTIA and Harris Interactive revealed that 47 percent of teens feel that if texting was no longer an option, their social life would end or be worsened. No texting would end their social life. Think about that for a minute.

We used to call and talk to people. Now we text short sentences. Do we even know how to hold a conversation anymore? We used to call up our friends for no reason and just talk to them or ask about their lives. We would call just to socialize. Now we only call when there's a problem or if we need to know something really quickly. It seems like we're so busy with life and things that we never get a chance to just talk anymore. To socialize. To have a long, deep conversation. There's no longer a need for physical contact and association. It can all be done over the phone or through a text message. We're alienating ourselves.

Now, it's quite possible that I'm being over-dramatic.  But THINK about it. Our society is continuously declining in love and fellow feeling. If you don't believe me, watch the news. I don't care how many actors are supporting charities that supposedly "save the children" or "bring relief to those who have nothing" - our world and our society is no where near where it was 50, 40, even 20 years ago. And what happened about 20 years ago? Cell phones, that's what. And we have never been the same. I can't tell you that last time I actually SAW my parents. We only talk over the phone. And we live two miles apart! Literally!

So maybe you're the type of person that can turn that into a positive and say, 'Well that's why technology is so great. It keeps us together.' Perhaps.  But all too often I see families at restaurants, sitting around and using their phones, not saying a word to each other. Cell phones have changed us. And I'm not sure it's for the better.