How Have Cell Phones Changed Communication?

Quinn Dombrowski/CC-BY 2.0

Cell phones have changed communication by allowing people to connect with friends, family members and coworkers quickly, and allowing them to interact with others virtually, without requiring a physical presence to interact. Mobile phones enable people to call and catch up with others virtually anywhere. With cell phones, people can connect quickly to others close by, across the nation and even in different parts of the world.

Cell phones allow people to communicate verbally with each other as well as in written form via text messages. In addition to calling and sending texts, some phones have additional technology such as the ability to play music, connect to the Internet and email servers, take pictures and even provide directions. Cell phones provide a fast and effective means of communication, but also draw criticism. Critics argue that the constant use of cell phones by individuals means more time staring at the screen and less time interacting face-to-face and engaging in direct communication with others. Doing so, critics argue, reduces the quality of conversations, and reduces the ability of individuals to think creatively and form complete, correct and meaningful sentences. Cell phones allow people to communicate nonverbally, which may reduce the quality of interpersonal skills among cell phone users.