The Significance of Cell phones to the Progressive Lifestyle of the Filipinos

CHAPTER 1
Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Cellular phones, a computer controlled communications system that connects the telephone system to a network of mobile radiotelephones, has been the latest trend of this country, mainly because of the features it has to offer: Multi-colored casings, Colored LCD’s, Polyphonic ringing tones, WAP, JAVA games, Infrared reception, WAV files, built in cameras, and of course, the ever popular text messaging feature. Text messaging is the technology wherein you can communicate with people through the use of mobile telephones with the short message service (SMS) feature, just by typing a message composed of 160 characters. It works with a prepaid or postpaid SIM card, current telecoms that supports this feature are the Globe telecoms, Smart telecoms and Sun Cellular network. Text messaging has been the people’s favorite source of communication for the past few years, until present. It is communication made easy for the people of today. Its purpose is to cut down on call costs, and it has been the permanent replacement for the “pager” or “beeper”, which, others consider as a thing of the past.

Generations are defined by certain ideologies and certain lifestyles. It was the Flower Power for the 60’s. It was the disco for the 70’s. Madonna and Michael Jackson era for the 80’s, and modern technology for the 90’s till present.

Technology has been around for quite sometime. The first cell phones were much bigger compared to that of today. However, it only picked up few years ago. Cellphones used to be just for calling people during emergencies, but now, it is very popular because of its text messaging feature. It was undoubtedly the reason why cellphone purchase skyrocketed in the first place.

The main reason why text messaging is so excessive is simply because we all like to keep in touch with each other. We easily reach others just by texting. Because of this, the Philippines has been known as the text messaging capital of the world.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The following are given problems that the researchers wish to answer:

Major problem:
1. What are the areas of the Filipino lifestyle that cell phones have greatly revolutionized?
Minor problems:
1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a cell phone?
2. How does the cell phone phenomenon affect the lifestyle of the Filipinos?
3. Why Filipinos are so much hooked into cell phones?

1.3 Objectives of the Study

1. To be able to know to what extent the cell phone technology has influenced the progressive lifestyle of the Filipinos.
2. To determine the advantages and disadvantages of the cell phone technology and recommend corrective measures in case of disadvantages.

1.4 Significance of Study

1. To know why text messaging became so popular in the Philippines
2. To know how it cellphones has affected our lifestyle,
3. To know the purpose of cell phones, regarding its significance, and the significance of being able to use the text messaging service.
4. To determine the advantage and disadvantages of having a cell phone.

1.4 Scope and Delimitation

The research study is about the significance of cell phones to the progressive lifestyle of the Filipinos. The researchers are given four weeks to gather data, which is not enough to cover more broad findings which is why the researchers focused on the significance of cell phones itself. Moreover, the research has been limited inside the campus of San Beda College, due to the unavailability of materials and lack of sources to conduct further study.

1.5 Definition of Terms
Cell phone – a wireless electronic gadget used for communicating
Camera – a device for taking photographs
Infrared – wireless reception that enables the cell phone to connect to the computer
Impact – the power of an event
Monophonic ringing tone – ringing tone that produces more than one tone
Polyphonic ringing tone – ringing tone that produces more than one tone
SIM card – a module that stores private messages, dates and personal numbers
Text Messaging – messaging service

CHAPTER 2
Review of Related Literature

A cellphone, in society nowadays, can even be a status symbol of some sort. The smaller, slickier and more expensive the phone the more “powerful” your image becomes. Some would say that carrying one, or rather how you carry it, is also part of the “japorms” of today’s urban fashion. It’s like, if you had one, you are definitely IN more than out. It has made such an impact to the Filipinos that the Philippines has been addressed as the “text messaging capital of the world”. (Jimenez .6) Cellphones in this modern day era are vastly becoming an important part of our lifestyle. Nowadays, it has become more than just a tool for communication. It had definitely gone beyond its utilitarian use. Now they’re fashion accessories. An outfit is never complete without one. Men and women are more or less “judged” based on the technological devices that they have. Some say that it’s the way of the world, and in this modern age where everything is wired, people wouldn’t be that surprised that cell phones have become so commonplace that it’s no longer a question of owning one or not, but rather on what you have and how you wear it as regards to your lifestyle.

Cellphones have really taken off. It used to be something that you can use to call somebody or receive a call from somebody, now they’re called “mobile offices” by some, but in general, people refer to them as “smart phones”. What is a smart phone? By definition, “A smart phone is a wireless phone with text and Internet capabilities. It can handle wireless phone calls, function as two-way radio, hold addresses and take voice mail and can also access information on the Internet and send and receive E-mail and fax transmissions”. (Jimenez .6) Thus, Cellphones have become more than just a tool for calling somebody or receiving a call from somebody. Its features are a delight to every person, as it has numerous features such as a schedule organizer, internet browsing, wireless phone calls, radio, mp3s, cameras and much more. It has become a perfect fit to our lifestyle. With that, Filipinos are most likely pre-occupied on checking their cell phones from time to time.

Filipinos consume much more time using their cell phones. A major usage of mobile phones involves sending and receiving text messages. In a way, this mode of communication has become a way of life in the Philippines. Here, everybody seems to text — bankers, policemen, nurses, maids, Cabinet members, even the president. Almost every kind of person has engaged in the use of cellphones, or at least has an idea about cellphones. A device that was once peculiar has vastly become a dominant phenomenon in the country. Everywhere you look, people seem to be obliged to check on their cellphones from time to time to check wether or not they received a text message that has become a daily habit of every Filipinos. (Meinardus.7) In relation, texting is probably the main reason why Filipinos have indulged themselves in cell phones. Without this feature, people would not bother to own one.

SMS, (short messaging service), popularly known as text messaging, has been transformed from a cheap and quick means of communication into a potent tool for organizing instant protests. (Serfino.16) Text messaging has indeed become a convenient and cheaper way of communication. Its design is to make things easy for the users, giving fast and accurate service, in which only through this service the users can avail. Text messaging is not only popular because of its affordability and efficiency; it has proved to be the easiest access for Overseas Filipino workers in communicating to their loved ones back home. (Servano .8) Aside from its local contributions to the society, text messaging also helps bring people closer to their loved ones abroad. Through the use of this feature, Overseas Filipino Workers can reach us in seconds, without too much hassle.

Cell phones were designed to include the following features: Caller ID, voice mail, call forwarding, call waiting, teleconferencing, NDD/IDD, and yes, text messaging. It was undoubtedly the reason why cell phone purchases skyrocketed in the first place. (Cadiz.9) Come to think of it, one cannot blame those people who got hooked on this craze. For one, it is an efficient mode of communication. There are no hassles because you do not have to wait eternally for the other person to reply. The response is so quick and short. Also, it is so accessible. You can actually talk to anybody you wish anytime, anywhere. It has become one of the easiest and most fun way of keeping in touch with friends and family.

Under the effects of cell phones to the Filipino lifestyle, In her article, Dahli Aspillera, states that “due to the intrusive and domineering nature of cell phone users who blithely force us to listen to private musings meant for the ears of someone we cannot even see, we find ourselves unwillingly preoccupied by the dopey details of some stranger’s dinner plans, business dealings or marital woes,” which means that with the continuous phoning, any respect for the privacy of others has melted away. People have become impolite. (Aspillera .5) According to an editorial in the New York Times by a writer named Sharon White which she read, she concluded the following:
1.) It is impolite to place cell phone calls at a distance of less than 10 feet.
2.) It is impolite to place or to receive a cell phone call in the presence of dining companies.
3.) At a theatrical event, it is definitely not okay for audience members to place or receive phone calls in or around any kind of theatrical venue.
4.) Inside a lavatory stall, the presence of unseen strangers, even those present only via cell phone, is not welcome among the pants. Less during the vulnerable Homo sapiens waste elimination process.

Felix D. Ayugo, in his article “Cell phone antenna and human health” listed down clinical evidences of the hazards of cell phone to the health of the cell phone users as follows:
1.) Association of headaches to cell phone use
2.) Growing evidence that cellular telephone radiation could affect the brain.
3.) The elevated incidents of leukemia and brain tumor.(Ayugo .137)
Thus, we should be equipped with the knowledge of these clinical evidences which cell phones are most likely able to cause because of its radiation. Lenie Lestuna, emphasizes in her article that using a mobile phone while driving or walking is inviting accidents of the worst kind. According to her, parents irked over the amount of time their teenage children spend on their cell phones sometimes missing out on homework or staying up all night to send text messages to friends, and even teachers are constantly bothered by students sending text messages to each other during class hours. (Lestuna .15) Ching M. Alano in her article “How safe are cellular phones” wrote about a recent study which shows that KF fields similar to those use din mobile telecommunications increases the incidences of cancer among genetically engineered mice, therefore it may prove to also have the same effect to humans. Also, mobile telephone according to her can cause interference in other certain medical devices such as cardiac pacemakers and hearing aids. Therefore, individuals using such devices should contact their doctor to determine the susceptibility of their products to the said effects.

Truly, the Filipino lifestyle revolves mainly around cellular phones these days. From the time one wakes up to the time one goes to sleep, only a cellular phone is needed to get through the day (Manila.2B). It is a reality that we cannot escape the fact that mobile phones have become a major part of our lives and that people cannot go to work or go out if people don’t bring along their mobile phones with them, on the other hand cellular phones became a great trend among Filipinos almost everyone in the country owns a mobile phone. No longer have the playthings of the rich or the tools of high-powered businessmen or women, cellular phones evolved to become an everyday accessory (Hiscock.2B). It is true that from the past few years’ cellular phones are just gadgets for the rich and tools for the corporate world, because nowadays a person can buy a mobile phone for a low price or by installment basis. Even an average person use this technology everyday, for their livelihood or small business, because they need to communicate with their dealers and clients furthermore cellular phone models has advance its options for the past years. Like the old models of mobile phones, its screen is only limited for the colors black and white but now we can use a multi-colored screen and some additional features like a built in camera and a mp3 player ect. Aside from that we can now access several new options from our mobile phones thanks for the advancement in technology. Also owning a cellular phone has also become “aspirational” among the regular workers, who feel elated by the idea that the models they use are also those owned by their superiors. Somehow, it gives workers the feeling of being equal to their bosses (Hiscock.2B). On the whole it can greatly increase moral among the regular workers. Because they can say for themselves that they can catch up for the position to that of their boss.

According to the Canada-based institute of the future, the technology horizon is also a cultural horizon in the sense that “new technologies are driving the world toward more connectivity”. And as these technologies mature, they will most likely create new behavior (Estopace.1). Culture can be altered by emerging new technologies. Because work nowadays is much easier unlike in the old days that everything we do, we do it by hand. Like in telecommunication it become much faster and easier to communicate through phone and now people made mobile phones to carry it anywhere anytime. In addition there is no doubt that the cellular phone has become an extension of its user. Fifty-three percent of Filipinos say they plan most of their social activities using their cellular phone (Estopace.2). Mobile phone gives people an opportunity to organize their lifestyle or work schedules. It makes the user feel more secure about himself having a gadget that can manage his time. In addition, the plethora of new handsets in the market may have its advantages as more and more people in the region admit that chasing after new models is crucial in keeping up with trends (Estopace.3). Mobile phones have increase in its sales these past few years. For this reasons many people intend to buy a much fancier cellular phone than the one’s they have. Trend in the Philippines is as important as food for our body people like to boast the beautiful things that they have one example is the technologically advance mobile phones.

Chapter 3
Summary and Conclusion

Summary

Cellular phones have become a peculiar lifestyle to the Filipinos. It has become a national trend for almost every kind of person in the country.

The research paper aims to solve the following problems: Major
Problem: To be able to know the areas of the Filipino lifestyle that cell phones have greatly revolutionized. And the minor problems: To be able to know the advantages and disadvantages of having a cell phone, to be able to know how the cell phone phenomenon has affected the lifestyle of the Filipinos, and to be able to know why the Filipinos are so much hooked into cell phones.

The entire research paper gathered data from books, websites, and periodicals.

Based on the data gathered by the researchers, the cellular phone usage has affected the Social needs of the Filipinos. Mobile phones have become a necessary tool for business as well for the people’s everyday life, because it grants access to other people through telecommunication. Despite being a distraction at times, it is a reality that we cannot escape the fact that mobile phones have become a major part of our lives and that people cannot go to work or go out if people don’t bring along their mobile phones with them. Cellular phones have become a great trend among Filipinos, and almost everyone in the country owns a mobile phone nowadays.

Conclusion

After a thorough investigation, the research therefore concludes that:
1. Cellphones, can now even be a status symbol of some sort. The smaller, slickier and more expensive the phone the more “powerful” your image becomes.
2. Being reachable is one of the top reason for buying a cellphone.
3. The positive effects of cell phones are providing easier way of communication, the privilege of being able to use its exclusive features like cameras, radio, mp3 and helping people organize their schedule.
4. The negative effect of a cell phone is that it can become a source of distraction when working on something.

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NEWSPAPER

Aspillera, Dahli Texting the Filipino way Malaya, Aug.17, 2000, vol. 19/No.210 p.5)

Ayugo, Felix D. Cell phone antenna and human health Philippine Daily Inquirer, p137, vol.15, No.32, 11/4/2000

Hiscock, Donald Text Messaging and Teaching Manila bulletin March 13, 2003

Serfino, Dennis New Industries Thrive on Cellphoone boom Manila Standard June 13, 2001
Lestuna, Lenie Cellphone misuse spells danger Today, May 10, 1999, No. 1, 933, p.15

Cell Phone Setting New Trends Among Filipinos. Manila Times. Vol. 102, no. 575.

INTERNET

Sol Jose Vanzi. Asians’ Growing Affair with the Cellular Phone. Philippine Headline News Online 2003.

http://www.newsflash.org/2003/05/si/si001769.htm

Raul Pertierra, Eduardo F. Ugarte, Alicia Pingol,
Joel Hernandez, and Nikos Lexis Dacanay, Txt-ing Selves: Cellphones and Philippine Modernity, Manila: De La Salle University Press, Inc. 2002

http://www.finlandembassy.ph/texting2.htm

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