SmartPhones - Are They a Teenager's Friend or Fiend?
SmartPhones - Are They a Teenager's Friend or Fiend?
  • Kim Sun-hong
  • 승인 2009.12.08 17:09
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The twentieth century has brought some dramatic changes to our lives. We especially know that the cellular phone has revolutionized our daily lives. However, as we progress into the twenty-first century, the functions of the cellular phone have compiled to the point in which the influx of information merely confounds the older generations. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, the vast majority of cellular phones only had one function, which was calling. Texting grew popularity in the 1990s and wireless Internet gained prominence in the early 2000s. Nevertheless it is clearly a clich and obsolete to claim that those functions are unique and original these days; virtually every cellular phone comes with them now.

In the early 2000s, SKY, a Korean cellular phone manufacturing company, presented a radically different phone. This phone wasn't the first to have a camera attached to it, but undoubtedly, it was the one that popularized the camera application. Later, another phone appeared and this had the June application. June, essentially a wireless web portal, allows its users to access to viewing shows, movies, and live television channels. Though how great it might sound like, June was pricey. In 2007, LG's Prada phone was released and captured the attention of millions around the world. Yet, this phone wasn't flawless either. In fact, there were many problems to it. Though its touch screen applicability might let its users to easily text and dial phone numbers, the cost of this fad was incredibleabout 1000 USD. Though many criterions commended the phone for its functions, the vast majority criticized the manufacturers for selling the phone at such a high price.

Apple was anticipating for this for a long time; Steve Jobs knew that a new generation of cellular phonesthose that are touch screen and have a plethora of applicationswould soon rise and dominate the cellular phone industry. So he and his coworkers came up with a product that would shine above others: the iPhone.

"The iPhone is an Internet and multimedia enabled smartphone designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The iPhone functions as a camera phone (also including text messaging and visual voicemail), a portable media player (equivalent to a video iPod), and an Internet client (with email, web browsing, and Wi-Fi connectivity) using the phone's multi-touch screen to render a virtual keyboard in lieu of a physical keyboard." ( As soon as this was released, it was praised everywheremost notably Times Magazine as the Invention of the Year in 2007.

Yet this phone too isn't impeccable. Most importantly, this phone is a luxury item; it's expensiveend of story. Though it is significantly cheaper to purchase them, the monthly bills its users have to pay are skyrocketing. Timothy Webber, a Fifth Former (Junior) at St. Mark's School at Southborough says, "I had the iPhone for the past year. And I have to admit that it's expensive. You only get 450 minutes and you have to pay 40 USD monthly. And the Internet isn't free too. If you have an iPhone, you have to pay 30 USD monthly as well. What, that's like a minimum of 70 USD per month If I knew it was this expensive I would have reconsidered it."

Yet, there's still more too it. If one takes his iPhone on a vacation to a foreign country and roams it, it's highly likely that that person will get a costly bill, mainly for international data roaming. Most people aren't aware that their iPhone will receive incoming data even though they aren't browsing on the Internet; the fact that their iPhone is on is really what matters. So they are supposed to turn international roaming off or leave their iPhone back home. Though many people are learning this from previous people who spent $4,190.76 during a trip to Europe, many more are still fully unaware of this. It is only a matter of time for them to realize the consequences. And for teenagers who don't really read their manual book carefully, it is really chancy for them as well.

Stephen MacNeille, a Fifth Former (Junior), at St. Mark's School also has the iPhone. He says, "This thing is essentially a computer. You can IM (Instant Messenger) on this thing and use Skype on it. I love this thing, but honestly, this is taking so much of my time away from me."

Smartphones such as the iPhone are gradually becoming essential items for us. Though they may look deluxe, well rounded, and ideal, that isn't the full store. If used inappropriately, this cannot only take away our time and money, but can also lead to obsession to such products. It is important that teenagers are fully aware of what they can do before parents purchase one for them for their birthday present.

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