Funny Things to Ponder

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Usage

Usage


Mobile phones are used for a variety of purposes, including keeping in touch with family members, conducting business, and having access to a telephone in the event of an emergency. Some people carry more than one cell phone for different purposes, such as for business and personal use. Multiple SIM cards may also be used to take advantage of the benefits of different calling plans—a particular plan might provide cheaper local calls, long-distance calls, international calls, or roaming. A study by Motorola found that one in ten cell phone subscribers have a second phone that often is kept secret from other family members. These phones may be used to engage in activities including extramarital affairs or clandestine business dealings.[48] The mobile phone has also been used in a variety of diverse contexts in society, for example:
  • Organizations that aid victims of domestic violence may offer a cell phone to potential victims without the abuser's knowledge. These devices are often old phones that are donated and refurbished to meet the victim's emergency needs.[49]
  • The advent of widespread text messaging has resulted in the cell phone novel; the first literary genre to emerge from the cellular age via text messaging to a website that collects the novels as a whole.[50] Paul Levinson, in Information on the Move (2004), says "...nowadays, a writer can write just about as easily, anywhere, as a reader can read" and they are "not only personal but portable."
  • Mobile telephony also facilitates activism and public journalism being explored by Reuters and Yahoo![51] and small independent news companies such as Jasmine News in Sri Lanka.
  • Mobile phones help lift poor out of poverty. The United Nations has reported that mobile phones—spreading faster than any other information technology—can improve the livelihood of the poorest people in developing countries. The economic benefits of mobile phones go well beyond access to information where a landline or Internet is not yet available in rural areas, mostly in Least Developed Countries. Mobile phones have spawned a wealth of micro-enterprises, offering work to people with little education and few resources, such as selling airtime on the streets and repairing or refurbishing handsets.[52]
  • In Mali and some African countries, villagers sometimes had to go from village to village all day, covering up to 20 villages, to let friends and relatives know about a wedding, a birth or a death, but such travel is no longer necessary if the villages are within the coverage area of a mobile phone network. Like in many African countries, the coverage is better than that of landline networks, and most people own a mobile phone. However, small villages have no electricity, leaving mobile phone owners to have to recharge their phone batteries using a solar panel or motorcycle battery.[53]
  • The TV industry has recently started using mobile phones to drive live TV viewing through mobile apps, advertising, social tv, and mobile TV.[54] 86% of Americans use their mobile phone while watching TV.
  • In March 2011, a pilot project experimenting with branchless banking was launched by the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank, and Bank Harapan Bali, a subsidiary of Bank Mandiri—the biggest bank in Indonesia and one of the cellular operators in Bali. Its aim is to increase the amount of bank customers. In Indonesia, only 60 million people have a bank account even though banks have existed for more than a hundred years, whereas 114 million people have become users of mobile phones in only two decades. Branchless banking has been successful in Kenya, South Africa and Philippines.

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