Impact of Mobile Phone Use on School Students’ Interpersonal Communication

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Rajesh Deol, Dr. Meenakshi


Mobile phone has become the primary platform of communication for today’s youth starting with school students. The use of mobile phone gives youth the power to be in a ‘perpetual contact’. With this ability to be contacted at any given moment, mobile phones allow youth to withdraw from the physical world to engage with the virtual world which has implications for interpersonal interaction. Most studies indicate that indiscriminate use of mobile phone by the youth affects interpersonal communication with unanticipated consequences specially contributing to reduced face-to-face interactions. At the same time, some others show that mobile phone through its diverse applications provides substantial opportunities for the youth to establish better and closer relationships among friends and family. This paper investigates existing literature and secondary data on impact of mobile phones on interpersonal communication among youths particularly teenage school students. The paper argues that excessive or problematic use of mobile phone among youth may negatively influence face-to-face communication as the youth continue to use their device oblivious to those in their presence. The extent of mobile phone overuse and its long-term impacts on the youths’ cognitive behavior as well as interpersonal interactions, however, will need to be firmly established through longitudinal studies so far lacking in smartphone related research. The paper concludes that the communication culture fostered by the ubiquitous use of mobile phone necessitates coexistence and blending of face-to-face communication of the youth with the technology-mediated communication enabled through mobile phone.

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