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Rafael Vicente’s paper on the effects of phones, and specifically cell phones, on a Filipino demographic take an investigative look at how effectual the introduction of a new piece of technology can be on a group of people.  Vicente describes the waves that the technology brings as truly revolutionary.  The nature of communication is changed down to its very fundamental nature.  Dimensions such as anonymity, distance, and expediency are all layered into what is normally a human activity.  However, while this communication revolution had the positive impact of restoring hope to a distraught public of individuals, its harms are seen in various manifestations.  Specifically, Vicente cites:

” For the anthropologist, this is evident in young people’s gullibility for the marketing ploys of cell phone providers: they end up spending more money sending messages of little or no consequence. He further charges cell phones with leading to “anti-social” behavior: children “retreat to their own cocoons,” while the parents who give them the cell phones evade responsibility for “interacting” with them in any meaningful way. Other writers report students’ use of texting to cheat on exams, or the role of cell phones in spreading slanderous rumors and gossip that may ruin someone’s reputation”

The problems presented here are a result of the power of communication being taken too far.  We see such unfortunate mishaps even more frequently and severely represented in our current society.  Gaming applications like Flappy Bird and Fruit Ninja frequently take individuals away from other stimulating activities, devices like iWatches allow students to cheat on their exams more efficiently, and parents and children alike opt to communicate remotely with others instead of each other when sharing the same company.  None of these phenomena were allowed to occur, however, when telecommunication was restricted to just land lines.  Furthermore, individuals were forced to remember phone numbers instead of storing them in contact lists, equipping them with that knowledge so that they could dial their contacts on another’s phone when they lost their own.  Individuals even needed to learn skills like deciphering physical maps instead of depending on GPS navigation.  Ultimately, Vicente’s investigation proves that the introduction of a powerful technology can certainly provide an increase in quality of life and efficiency for many.  The real question is where the increase in efficiency levels off and starts to see negative results as the result of distracting overstimulation.