Mobile phones and social interaction

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In 2018, a young man had a job interview in Accra. As he sat in the designated room with other people waiting to be called, he pulled out his phone to browse.

For almost 45 minutes of deathly silence in the room, he raised his head out of curiosity to look around, then something hit him. He noticed a similar pattern: everyone was busy with their phones.

They spent all this time in the room but never exchanged greetings or any form of jokes. It was then that he thought about the extent of the damage cellphones have done to Ghana’s once vibrant social life.

In defining social interaction, John Lewis Gillin and John Philip Gillin wrote: answer. “

Pitirim Sorokim also describes social interaction as “any event whereby one party tangibly influences the overt actions or state of mind of the other”. (Sorokine, 1928). Thus, social interaction is a reciprocal and interdependent activity.

Advantages of cell phones

By inventing the cell phone, Martin Cooper, widely regarded as the “father” of the cell phone, gave humans the ability to carry a device with them that allowed instant communication.

The main advantages of having a mobile phone are that it is easier to express yourself through communication and creativity, to access entertainment, to be safe and to connect to the Internet.

Communicating with family, colleagues, friends and more has never been easier.

Techspirited, a state-of-the-art platform, said: “By enabling instant access to any desired destination across the world, mobile phones have changed the communication landscape.

Not only globally, cell phones are important in everyday life.

Besides ease of communication, expressing yourself creatively has never been easier.

Despite the immense benefits derived from mobile phones, its negative impact on social interactions cannot be minimized.

Cell Phone Technologies Can Create Addictive Trends In People

Highlighting the global addictive nature of cellphones, Thrive Global, an American company that provides technology and media for behavior change to help people struggling with stress and burnout, said in its article published in 2018 that the growing dependence on cell phones had developed a fear of being away from them.

This is called “nomophobia”, which is an abbreviation of “phobia without mobile phone”.

“Some students keep their cell phones with them in their shower rooms depending on their need to be able to stay close to connectivity,” the article said.

“This is supported by a study in which the UK Post asked YouGov to research whether we develop anxieties related to our mobile phone. As it turns out, almost 53% of young cell phone users in Britain develop anxiety when they cannot find their cell phone, lose signal or break their phone! ” he added.

In Ghana, the situation is no different! People can become emotionally linked to their phone in such a way that they feel grief, anxiety or hopelessness if they forget it at home.

In public transport, the addictive repercussions are so obvious that when you greet a passenger, instead of looking them in the face, smiling and responding, the unexpected happens instead – he or she nods in response. bending over. to the phone.

Some passengers even end up missing their bus stops or leaving their valuables in vehicles due to excessive concentration on their cell phones.

Excessive use of cell phones undermines confidence and decreases public speaking skills, experts say.

Cell phones have gradually created a generation of very vocal and opinionated people on social media platforms, but in real life these same people find it difficult to strike up a conversation.

Ghanaian public. On college campuses, one will notice something interesting, that some students who were very expressive and visible on social networks, seemed to shrink in fear during group presentations at conferences.

Cell phones create constant distractions and promote isolation

Cell phone interruptions occur at weddings, family reunions, cinemas or offices, and even at religious gatherings. This has a detrimental effect on the productivity of the work or the classroom and slows down the speed at which the work is done. It is true that cell phones make people connected and the world a small village, but if not used with care they can physically isolate you from your family and those around you. One of the typical negative impacts is when you come across a group of young people sitting around a low table but not talking to each other and glued to their phones.

Also, if a teenager or partner is overly interested in their cell phone, it can damage the relationship with the family or partner.

Final thoughts

The pros and cons of cell phones show us that having more ways to communicate with others can be a great resource. Below are some suggestions to help you work on your mobile phone addiction and improve social interaction.

1. Tracking your cell phone usage, for example by adding up the number of times per hour you check your phone, can increase your awareness of your problem. You can download an app that tracks your cell phone usage like Checky, App Off Timer, or QualityTime. You can use this information to set a specific goal of how many times per hour or per day that you allow yourself to check your phone.

2. Create a plan for the use of your phone. Limit the use of your cell phone to certain times of the day. You can set an alarm on your phone to notify you when you have reached your maximum time. For example, you can afford to use your phone only from 1800 hours to 1900 hours. You can also set specific times not to use your phone, such as when you are at work or school. Write down your plan and goals to make them more concrete. Keep a journal of the goals you’ve achieved and those you’re still working on.

3. Change your phone settings. Some settings on your phone may alert you every time you receive an email or Facebook notification. Make sure to turn them off! This will reduce the number of times your phone turns off or vibrates. This way you are not notified every time something happens.

4. Remember that whatever you want to check on your phone is not that important and can wait. The next time you feel the urge to use it, take a step back and think, “Do I really need to call / text this person now or can it wait until later?” “

With all of that said and done, how you use your mobile phone matters. If used wisely, a mobile phone can be one of the best gadgets you will ever have on hand. You can use it to profitably enjoy your life. Don’t be put off by the downsides of cell phones, it’s all about choosing how it benefits you the most.

By Eric Appah Marfo

Source: GNA

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