Social Question

blueberry_kid's avatar

Were cell phones a terrible invention?

Asked by blueberry_kid (5952points) June 7th, 2010

My mom says back when she was my age she didnt have cell phones, and texting didnt really become popular until a few years ago.

Of course in some peoples many opinions, my grandprents think cell phones are stupid. But all the kids in the world basically think cell phones rock, i have a cell phone, and its like a brain, i NEED it. So are they good or bad thing.

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23 Answers

Trillian's avatar

I question your use of the word “need”. You left out apostrophes, capitals and proper punctuation. So apparently you don’t “need” proper grammar.
I submit that you also do not “need” a cell phone in that you will not drop dead without one. You may experience an inconvenience of having to wait to tell your friend a vital piece of information about what another person is wearing.
You may have to wait an hour or more to find out if Cissy really thinks Gil is hot!
You may not ever learn what earth shattering wisdom has come from the, dare I say it?, vapid mind of Paris Hilton as you wait avidly for her next tweet.
None of these things are vital to your health and well being. You would still, somehow, go on with your life.
Notice that I do not address whether or not Cell phones are good or bad. It is not the technology but the use of which they are made and the reliance on said technology that is good or bad. Even Twitter is neither good nor bad. Stupid? Well look at it in this way. People have their phones set up so that they are notified whenever people whom they do not know have something banal to say about life. I believe that this in itself qualifies as stupid, but I don’t go around hassling people for this. I feel that stupidity is anyone’s choice, just a it is your right to refuse to learn to spell, capitalize and punctuate properly.

DominicX's avatar


Older generations think they’re “stupid” because they’re used to life without them and can’t imagine life with one. But are computers stupid? Are cars stupid? Are cameras stupid? There were a lot of things that we didn’t used to have and they we don’t “need” to survive, but that doesn’t make them “stupid”. It’s all in how you use it. No one really needs to have a cell phone, but if you want one and can afford it, then I don’t see why a person shouldn’t have one. I for one am extremely excited about the iPhone 4 coming out 6/24.

If you go into withdrawal without your cell phone, if you break down and can’t function when you’re without one, then I’d say it’s probably a “bad” thing. However, there are some of us who appreciate the convenience of a cell phone but are capable of living without it, even if it’s just temporary.


There’s a lot more to cell phones than celebrity gossip. As a user of a cell phone, I would know.

janbb's avatar

Stupid is as stupid does.

marinelife's avatar

I think they can be a good thing or a bad thing.

For example, if you are walking along the sidewalk focusing on your cell phone and you step out in the street and get hit by a car (happens all the time), they are a bad thing.

If you come upon an accident and you can call for help, that is a good thing.

lillycoyote's avatar

No, people were a terrible invention.

Trillian's avatar

@DominicX Defensive much? Generalize and stereotype much?
I clearly said “It is not the technology but the use of which they are made and the reliance on said technology that is good or bad.”
I certainly did not say all teenagers have spots and drool over celebrity gossip. I certainly never said that any inanimate object was stupid.
Easy, easy…down….‘k?

john65pennington's avatar

Cellphones are great, except there needs to be tougher laws governing their use, especially when it concerns driving an automobile. in Tennessee, we have an “open container law” that forbids the driver to drive a vehicle and have an open container or drink of alcohol in his possession. this same law should apply to cellphones… headsets used with cellphones should also be outlawed. statistics are slowly piling up that backs my answer. Washington State has a new cellphone-driver ban law that goes into effect June 12, 2010. the other states should follow.

I am a great grandparent and i love my cellphone. i never talk or text while driving. its too dangerous. many people cannot talk on a cellphone and stay focused on their driving.

To date, the good outweighes the bad, when it comes to cellphones. many citizens have notified the police of crimes in progress that have resulted in the apprehension of criminals that otherwise would have never been captured.

Pandora's avatar

There are a few great things.
1. Alone on the road, if I break down I can call AAA
2. Able to contact people in emergency.
3. Able to text a grocery list if someone is at the store.
4. Able to send pics of something I am buying and not having to make an extra trip back to the store because I got the wrong item.
5. Able to talk to someone as I sit and wait alone for an appointment.
6. Able to call someone and ask for directions if I’m lost.
7. Someone can call you and let you know they will be late if you have to meet them somewhere or pick them up earlier than they can make it.

As for the rest, its just pretty much a waste of time. I hate it when people call me throughout the day for nonsence like I have nothing else to do. Or people feel like having long conversations that are boring because they are stuck in traffic. Listen to the damn radio!
You shouldn’t drive and be on your cell any way!
You shouldn’t text and drive either!
Or people go out with you only to answer their cell phone or text every few minutes instead of having real conversations with their company, friends or family. But instead of taking advantage of that they talk to everyone else and then when your not in their company they decide they need to text you or call you. WHY?
As already stated, its not the phone that is a stupid invention. It was just put in the hands of stupid people.
There should be a cell phone test you have too take before you can be licensed to have one.
The rode was safer when people where not hooked to their cell phones like they need to suckle it to survive.

Zaku's avatar

They can be useful. They can also be a crutch that can seem to remove the need for other things like public phones, skills for meeting people without them, etc.

Other down sides of the cell phone phenomenon include:
* They take people’s attentions away from the world around them.
* Many cell phone users assume that everyone else should have one, should answer them, etc. This leads to new peer pressures, broken relationships, and impositions, lack of privacy, lack of peace/time alone.
* People get used to relating to each other via phone and text, which are limited compared to spending time in person.
* People feel entitled to use their cell phones in inappropriate circumstances, such as during classes, public performances, bathrooms, libraries, while spending time with someone in person, etc.
* Some users even start to feel unsafe or disconnected without their cell phones.
* Cell phone companies have been exploiting the market and wasting many people’s time and money with their domineering “minutes” and “plans” and other crazy complicated pricing schemes.
* All the cell phones produced and discarded amount to a lot of garbage and resources used.
* Lots of people are spending a lot of time with these radio devices near their head or body, and it’s not known what health effects that might have in the long term.

lillycoyote's avatar

To clarify my “No, people were a terrible invention.” comment. Cell phones are great. I love mine and I love that my friends have them. I like that I don’t have to track down a pay phone in case of an emergency. I like that after one of my best friends was displaced by Hurricane Katrina and ended up in Houston and then Baton Rouge and all sorts of places, that I could get in touch with him no matter where he was.

But… I’m fixin’ to kill the next person I encounter who makes themselves the center of the universe while on their cellphone, particularly people who can’t walk and talk at the same time. These people include anyone who blocks my ingress or egress to a building because they are on the phone, breeze through a door and let it slam back in my face because they are on the phone, talk on the phone while they are driving, particularly if they are driving 10–15 miles under the speed limit, people who shop in the grocery or any other store with blue tooth headsets, put brake lights on your ass or get off the phone, don’t just stop in the middle of the aisle or hover over the green beens while you discuss why Frank needs to get his shit together, I might like to get some green beans too. Bottom line, if you can’t multi-task then don’t. If you can’t talk on the phone and do other things then don’t, because you’re in my way and you’re bugging the crap out me.

mattbrowne's avatar

Were cars a terrible invention?

janbb's avatar

@mattbrowne I think so; they destroyed town living, the countryside and ultimately will destroy the earth.

mattbrowne's avatar

@janbb – Yes, but there are also ambulance cars and they save lives.

blueberry_kid's avatar

I was reading a book about all these inventions and it said that if we keep doing what we’re doing right now, we’re going to end up homeless, fighting for food, and dieing and then later be called Rusties

janbb's avatar

@mattbrowne True dat, but I wonder if the trade-off is worth it.

lillycoyote's avatar

@mattbrowne and @janbb I guess it would be kind of a wash when the ambulances are going to pick people injured in car accidents? :)

Val123's avatar

Well, they’re an invention, and there are those who abuse them. However, I don’t think anyone “needs” a cell phone, any more than anyone “needs” a clothes dryer. You can certainly get along with out either of them.

Now, I wonder who the dummy is who invented food??

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, but ambulance cars also pick up people having a heart attack in their house. Fire engines are cars too. Rushing to deal with a fire. The police use cars too, helping people who might become victims of a crime.

lillycoyote's avatar

@mattbrowne I was just playing the devil’s advocate there. :)

blueberry_kid's avatar

Look @Trillian, I was typing that question very fast because i was in a rush that day, so i didnt have time to look over it, so dont sass me, I apoligize for my improper use of grammer. Im very sorry, and apperently the Fluther Mods didn’t tell me to take care of it at all, so excuse me because of my improper use of grammer, again. So please don’t judge me.

mattbrowne's avatar

@lillycoyote – I know. For every 999 blessings of technology there’s one curse. Sometimes we seem to be too focused on the curses taking the rest for granted. Just take hygiene in hospitals as an example. That was revolution in the 19th century. It changed the world.

NaturallyMe's avatar

I feel 50/50 on this one. I hate them more than i like them, but the only reason i think they’re any good is for emergencies. Other than that, i suspect they are in fact bad for your health in some way, and it just gives people the opportunity to bug you are inconvenient times. I mean, there’s no reason why you should have to be available 24/7 to everybody else.

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