Communication And Cell Phones : The Evolution Of Electronic Communication

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The evolution of social interaction, like so much of human existence, usually takes place over multiple generations. However, the advent of mobile cellular devices and their proliferating ownership and use has altered social interaction dramatically in the last decade; communication never stops. Instead of looking ahead while walking and engaging with other pedestrians, many people are looking down and interacting with their mobile device. Texting while driving is such a significant problem that 48 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands have laws banning and/or restricting it (Cellular p2). The sight of a group of people enjoying a conversation without using their cellphones is virtually obsolete. …show more content…

In January 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone and declared that “this will change everything” (Planet p1). This tautology, as it turns out, may have been more prophecy than mere introduction and begs the question of whether those involved in its infancy critically and judiciously thought through all potential ramifications of the technology on our society. Today, approximately 77% of Americans own a smartphone, an increase from 35% in 2011 and in the 18-29-year-old age group, that statistic soars to 92% (Smith p3-4). Interestingly this age-group encompasses the Millennial generation who are often thought of as “digital natives,” those who grew up with this kind of available technology. Among this age-group, over 80% use texting as their first choice in contacting friends (Hyman p5) and approximately 90% have one or more social media accounts (Meyer p5). With the onslaught of instantaneous digital communication available every moment of every day, it is not surprising to see adaptation. When texting, the English language has changed to such a degree that, visually, it barely resembles its origin. Writing for Parenting Magazine, Tahnk gives us an all-to-real example of this: “UGTBK, OMG! ALOL!!! GTG, MOS…TMB L8R, K?” (p1). Initially unintelligible, this communication strand “translates” to: You’ve got to be kidding, oh my God! Got to go, Mom over shoulder…Text me back later,

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