Mobile phone is one of the greatest inventions of our time. The way and manner in which this small gadget is able to accomplish great tasks and send messages over a long distance with terrifying speed is a marvel to many humans. Those were the days in Ghana where making phone call was an exclusive preserve of the rich. Only the affluent and the highly ranked in the society had a couple of telephones and Fax machines to transmit information with. Today however, mobile phones are all over the place in different sizes, shapes and features. There is no household presently in Ghana without this scientific gadget. There are benefits that one could derive from the use of mobile phones. However, the abuse of it could bring negative consequences to the user and the society in general.
One of the most important benefit of mobile phone is their use in the transmission of messages from one person to the other with great speed, ease and convenience. The continuous usage of this gadget has made the world seem small . In time past, messages or information were entrusted to others to be delivered. It could take long distances for an information to reach its right destination. But the advancement in Technology has brought about the production of smart mobile phones which could be used to send tons of messages from one part of the world to another via the various social media platforms at the comfort of one’s home. Within a matter of seconds, someone in Ghana could easily inform a relative abroad about the demise a member of the family . A practice which could have taken days and weeks if not months to accomplish. This phenomenon has reduced the practice of having to travel a long distance to deliver messages. The use of mobile phones have eventually reduced correspondence through letter writing among Ghanaians and other people of the world.
Apart from the transmission of messages, mobile phones are used to transact business between people, countries and continents. Purchase orders are sent by phone to firms located far apart for the supply of goods and services. In the same way, mobile phones can be used for the payment of goods purchased. These transactions are easily done on mobile phones with internet facilities on them. For instance, mobile phones can be used to purchase and make payments of goods on various online marketing sites like Amazon, Jumia, Kikuu among others. Also, some business firms take advantage of the portability of mobile phones to communicate with their customers and also update them on new products by calling or sending them texts anytime, anywhere.
Additionally, mobile phones are beneficial in making research. Mobile phones with network facilities (smart phones) are used widely by businessmen, teachers and especially students to find facts on topics of interest. Students can use mobile phones to access the internet for information that helps them to accomplish their assignments. The portability of this gadget enables teachers to obtain extra information on topics at any point in time on the internet before their lessons so as to have adequate knowledge of the topic content.
In spite of all these benefits, however, the proliferation of mobile phones in recent time has brought about some negative activities that are taking root and are affecting individuals, society and the world at large. The first on the list is armed robbery. Mobile phones have made it easy for armed robbers to target their victims by tracking their victim’s biodata(age, sex, occupation, location or residence) and others. On the day of execution, phone calls are made between gang mates about the current location of the victim before they attack. Similar procedures are used to rob banks and other financial institutions. The use of mobile phones have led to the increase in armed robbery cases nationwide.
Additionally, examination candidates engage in examination malpractices through the use of mobile phones. Candidates receive examination questions with answers to the questions hours, if not days before the examination. Photos of the question papers are directly forwarded to students by secret agents. This illegal act is made easy through the use of mobile phones with internet facility as questions are sent through the instant social messaging apps like WhatsApp. This practice has seriously undermined the credibility of examination results and the examining bodies in general.
To add to this, one cannot address the negative effects of mobile phones without reflecting on how it has negatively affected children of this generation. This gadget has made children to lose focus on basic chores they have to perform at home to help their parents. They would rather spend the whole day manipulating the gadget than to help their parents or even study. This happens when addiction sets in and parents are not able to control it at the initial stage. Children who are not regulated and thought how to use mobile phones to their advantage get exposed to explicit contents like pornographic videos and images. Influence of the opposite sex sets in and the situation worsens.
In conclusion, it can be said that mobile phones are beneficial because of the roles they play in easy transmission of messages, the transaction of businesses and helping in researching information. On the contrary, the same mobile phone can be abused when they are used in robberies, examination malpractices and leading children astray.