Everybody knows that mobile phones let us call from anywhere to people that are anywhere (where there's network coverage.) We’re no longer tied to a cord to communicate. Usage has spread so much that we take it for granted, but these little devices have changed our world in many other unappreciated ways.
People expect you to answer no matter where you are because most of us keep our phones on 24/7. Mobile phones can run out of charge and that’s a perfectly legitimate excuse that wasn’t available with home phones. When people had home phones, you knew where they were. Mobile phones let you pretend to be anywhere. Area codes once meant something but now that people are transient and want to keep their numbers when they move to a new city, mobile phone area codes no longer represent where a person lives although they do give you a clue as to where that person may have lived at one time.
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Mobile phones have become status symbols in a way. They help define who you are just like cars do, although phones are easier and cheaper to update with the latest. They travel with you no matter where you walk. On the other hand, you travel with a car and you have to leave it parked somewhere once you reach your destination.
I have a theory that the convenience of calling from anywhere at the last minute has made people flakier. Why commit to meeting with friends if you can decide and contact them at the last minute? In “the old days,” people had to figure out plans ahead of time and flaking out was more inconsiderate. Finding friends when you do meet up is so much easier now too. I don’t even remember how I found my friends before. I know it didn't involve a megaphone though.
The best impact the mobile phone has had on society is the ability for people to reach each other in case of an emergency. I’m sure many emergency situations have been averted or made a bit better because family members could communicate with each other.
The home phone is going the way of the dinosaur. Mobile phones do everything a home phone can do and much more. The savings from not paying for a home phone can be used towards paying for texting and internet service. With that we can communicate with people via text without having to talk out loud. Privacy is maintained and the interaction can be delayed. Plus you can send pictures, sound and video to give live updates. Having internet on the phone lets you look up directions at the last minute or find places to go that you would not have otherwise found. Weather and traffic information is a touch and a swipe away.
It’s an amazing new world that mobile phones have created especially now that they’ve become “smart.” We can never go back, but why would we ever want to give up our electronic Swiss army knives?