Smartphone as a Means of Communication & Its Influence upon College Students.

AuthorSaha, Amal Krishna


The introduction of Smartphone in consumer market in twenty first century has brought a revolution in communication technology. Smartphone, in practical sense, is a mobile phone with far advanced features and functions. It has a high resolution touch screen display, WIFI connectivity, Web browsing capability and the ability to accept sophisticated applications. Its impact is felt in all walks of human life. Significant number of people use their Smartphone to read news feeds, post status updates, read and reply to messages and post photos. It has provided greater opportunity for knowledge lovers to fulfill their thrust and dreams. It is one of the smart inventions in the modern world that keeps individual connected to the society and world at large. Today, use of internet has become an integral part of students' life. Smartphone along with the internet and high speed mobile browsing provide an alternative channel to deliver education services. Smartphone helps the students to keep up with their work, even if they are on sick leave or miss classes for other reasons. Smartphone can also be the source of distraction in students' life.

During study time, they check their emails, play online games and even watch TV channels. It enables users to interact with their friends and family when they feel. Parents, especially the mother, contact with their children time to time while they are in college or away from home. They remain worried until they comeback home safely. People consider cell phones as a safety device because parents typically fear for the physical safety of their child.

Students can enhance their social life, if they so desire through their cell phone. Social networking may help to build social bonds and these may reduce or increase stresses. Smartphone undoubtedly encourage people to spend more time with the technology and less with fellow humans in disguise (Griffiths, 2000). It is quickly replacing the lap-top or desk top computer as a preferred method of accessing the internet. Students are no longer limited to their classroom boundaries; they can record primary observations from the field and analyze it on location. They can even discuss issues with their colleagues and teachers who are not present in the field. The ever growing Smartphone has opened new opportunities for students both inside and outside the classroom.

The present young generations were exposed to mobile phone/Smartphone as early as when they were three-four years old. Parents give their mobile phones to them for playing games and they avail this opportunity to feed them as they very often refuse to be fed. The young adults use their phones while they are walking, driving (a car or motor cycle), crossing the rail line and even in the class room during the class hours when teachers turn towards the blackboard. Very often, when they are in a bus or a cab or an auto-rickshaw for commuting, their Smartphone is on and their eyes are fixed on the screen. They are not interested to know what is going on around them. They are not sure who is sitting beside them and when he/she is leaving. When they even talk with friends their eyes are glued to their Smartphone's screen. Jackueline Wilson, a recipient of the 'Bafta children' special award mentioned that "today's children are growing up in a completely different world. Their lives are ruled by social media. Electronic life has wiped out books" (Rackham, 2017). They no longer try to remember things as they rely on their Smartphone for everything. It has become an integral part of their life. Even when they go for sleep, it is in their bed side.

Smartphone may be considered as a common communication medium in today's world. In 2014, 21.6 percent of the global population used them and the trend is growing very first all over the world. By 2020, around 37 percent of the world's population is projected to own a Smartphone (Statista, 2017). This communication channel is also used by the terrorists to lure someone to join them for jihad or anti-state activities. Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India in Global conference on Cyber Space warned that "Nations must take responsibility to ensure that the internet does not become a play ground for the dark forces of terrorism and radicalization" (Bureau Report, 2017).

Review of Literature

The history of Smartphone is not so old. It came to the market in 1993. Initially, it was predominated by corporate users and used as enterprise devices. This era began with the 'Simon' from IBM in 1993. 'Blackberry' is considered as the revolutionary device of this era. It introduced many features like e-mail, internet, fax, web browsing and camera. Apple brought its first Smartphone in 2007 aiming to reach general consumer market. Google unveiled its Android operating system at the end of the year 2007 with the intention to approach consumer Smartphone market. The influence of Android technology has been tremendous in this period as it provided a great opportunity to all vendors to build their devices to meet the different consumer needs. To have Smartphone by the students depends on the family income and parent's attitudes towards the Smartphone. Pearson student mobile device survey (2015) on college students reported that "85 percent of college students in USA own Smartphone compared to 72 percent in 2013". In India, the number of Smartphone users grew to 239 million by the end of 2015. It is expected to be 702 million by 2020. Around 64 million people in India use face book daily through their mobile devices (Nath, 2017). A very recent report from UNICEF (Times News Network, 2017) reveals that internet users in rural India have increased by 22 percent between October 2015 and October 2016. In urban areas it has increased by 7 percent during the same period of time. It has now 157 million users in rural areas and 263 million in urban areas.

Today the significant number of young generation use internet for communication and socialization. It is becoming a part of life for communication throughout the world. A person may receive 'breaking news' from anywhere in the world in a minute which was unthinkable a few years before. People work, sleep, walk and drive with their cell phones. According to National Safety Council (NSC, 2015), 1.6 million car crashes occur each year due to use of cell phone during drive in USA. There is no specific record of car crashes in India due to mobile phone uses during drive. Around 44 percent of cell phone owners sleep with it next to their bed wishing not to miss any calls, text messages and other updates during the night (Smith, 2012). A large number of students use their cellphone during class hour when a teacher turn back towards the blackboard. They do not concentrate towards the content of teaching. They distract the...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT