Cell Phone Abuse – Social Problems

Mobile Phone is a Real Friend but ……. inconsiderate, annoying, discourteous and stupid in public places

Mobile Abuse
Like millions of others, you may be the victim of cell phone abuse.

What is cell phone abuse?

Imagine ….. You are in a public place trying to concentrate on something or in serious discussion with your friend or enjoying a peaceful moment. A stranger 5 to 10 feet away starts talking on his cell phone …………

Your concentration breaks or your conversation ends or your peaceful moment disturbs’ Now you are a victim of cell phone abuse.
If you become the victim of a cell phone abuse, you will develop any one or more symptoms of cell phone abuse like…
1. Inability to concentrate on what you are doing
2. Mild or severe irritability or annoyance
3. Sensitivity to stupid ring tones (pop songs or loud music)
4. Initially thinking that the cell phone user is actually talking to you
5. Wishing the user would finish the call
6. Wishing the user would leave the place
7. Wishing that the battery would die

Here are the Social Problems related to Cell phone Abuse

Mobile Phone in public places creates social problems like

1. In attention blindness
2. Caller Hegemony
3. Cognitive load
4. Accidents

Inattention blindness

• Cell phone use in social situations may result in overload – both physical and mental.
• Local interaction with the surroundings and remote interaction with the other person demands certain attention- E.g. When you talk in a bus stand or crossing the road.
• Cell phone use in public places makes the user “blind “to local cues due to cognitive overload. E.g. When you use cell phone while walking through the road, you will not see a vehicle coming close to you.
• Cell phone use in public places reduces the reaction time to events around the user. E.g. You will not get time to move away from a danger.
• Reduced attention to local situation may disturb others since the user is not attending the social situation. E.g. Your conversation and body language may be annoying to others.
• Use of Mobile phones in gatherings, meetings, entertainment places etc disturb others through inattention blindness

Caller Hegemony

• The alarming ring tone may demand higher attention to the phone rather than the local settings. If you use cell phones in busy areas, trains or buses, the sudden ring tone may alter your attention or the message from the caller may cause a disturbed feeling. This will leads to inattention blindness. This will not be the condition, if you use a land phone.
• Caller Hegemony is the asymmetric relationship between the caller and answerer.

Cognitive load

Mobile phone use in public places makes the user overloaded and become unaware of the details of communicative behavior of co- located individuals as well as other relevant features of the social situation. It is advised that not use cell phones while driving a vehicle or operating machinery or crossing the road.


• Mobile phone use while driving may cause accidents due to inattention blindness and cognitive load
• Cell phone conversation distracts the driver’s attention, increase reaction time, and reduce visual field attention
• Cognitive load rises above visual sensation and diverts attention.
• Reaction to and memory of visual inputs while driving will drastically reduce if the cognitive load increases.
• The same negative effects may also happen if the driver uses a hands free phone.
E.g. If the actual distance between two vehicles is 5 meters, due to cognitive load, the driver may feel that, it is 10 meters. This is the reason for the accidents, if cell phone is used while driving a vehicle.

Psychological problems

Over use of Cell phones may cause two New generation Psychological problems

No-Mo phobia (NoMobile phobia)

When we run out of credit or battery, lose of phone or are in an area with no reception, being phoneless can bring a panic symptom referred to as NoMo Phobia or No Mobile phobia

Ringxiety- Ringtone anxiety

Ringxiety is the sensation and false belief that one can hear his or her mobile phone ringing or fell it vibrating. Humans are sensitive to auditory tones between 1000 and 6000 Hz. The ring tone frequency falls within this range. The term is also used to explain the condition in which a person frequently takes the cell phone to see whether there is any a mis call or messages
Cell phone abuse is a worldwide epidemic which is now affecting millions of men, women and children especially teen age students

To the cell phone abusers we say …………..
Consider cell phone as a communication device and not as a status symbol.
Try a little Cell phone courtesy…. and do not burden others with the pseudo social behavior.