Cell phones affect society in a variety of positive and negative ways. Cell phones improve communication and give people access to a broad range of information no matter where they are. However, studies by the Pew Research Internet Project suggest that people have the tendency to let cell phones distract them from important activities and weaken their interpersonal skills.
According to South University, cell phones have many features that are beneficial to society. At a basic level, they allow people to connect with each other no matter where they are in the world. However, smart phones also serve as handheld computers that let people quickly and conveniently perform tasks as diverse as banking, research, word processing, translation and voice recording.
Nevertheless, South University also describes the way that cell phones can impair people's social skills. The high number of messages and notifications that arrive to cell phones make cell phone users constantly alert to these interruptions. As a result, they find it harder to focus on important tasks that require extreme concentration. Moreover, the accessibility and diverse features of smart phones lead people to constantly use their phones in situations that may be inappropriate, such as work, school and family gatherings.
The Pew Internet Research Project notes that people are also becoming accustomed to the brief, delayed, impersonal communication style of text messages. This makes it harder for cell phone users to effectively and confidently communicate with others in real life.