Your next computer may be your cell phone

By Karli Morello
September 22, 2006

Shane Evans

It goes without saying that college students spend the majority of their time on the internet, but the question is: are they on the computer or their cell phone?

The word “phone” is an understatement when it comes to what is on the market today. It is almost impossible to find a cell phone that is not equipped with a camera and it is becoming rare to find one that cannot access the internet.

Senior business major Rachel Simon said, “I think these new phones are great especially now since people are always checking their emails.”

Simon owns a Motorola Razr phone which includes a camera and internet access according to Motorola.com. Other phones that include these and other features are The T-Mobile Sidekick, The Verizon LG “The V,” Blackberry, Treo and many more.

The first of these advanced cell phones to really make an impact was the T-Mobile Sidekick. It’s a phone on the outside but flip open the screen and it turns into a full-fledged keyboard, very similar to a computer.

After the Sidekick made a huge impact, more companies started to invest in similar products. Soon there was a variety of these advanced cell phones like the ones listed above. The most recent of these phones that has been produced is the Chocolate by LG.

The Chocolate is part MP3 player and part phone. Although the Chocolate is known especially for its music player, all of these phones are equipped with the latest technology from cameras to MP3 players to the internet and even talking, turn-by-turn navigation systems.

The question is, are these smarter devices replacing computers? Senior elementary and special education major Colleen Patterson said, “Since they have all the same capabilities, I think they might because you can take them anywhere. It’s just a matter of storage space.”

Patterson also owns the Motorola Razr but said if she did not have a computer, she would buy one of these advanced cell phones because she is constantly text messaging. With the full keyboards on these phones, it makes things like text messaging and e-mailing much faster because the user has a single button for every letter instead of one button to every three to four letters.

A study conducted by Mary Madden, a pewinternet.org research specialist, reports that 100 percent of college students use the internet on a daily basis and 72 percent check their email at least once, daily. Forty-two percent of college students also said that they use the internet primarily to communicate socially, although 69 percent said that they use the phone more than the internet to communicate.

This study gives a hint that maybe cell phones are replacing computers in at least a social manner. Another report done by Robin Greenspan on Clickz.com stated that 36 percent of college internet users use their phone to do so, not the computer. Although 36 percent is a low number, it has certainly risen since the debut of cell phones many years back.

Patterson also commented on how she feels about her high-tech cell phone. “I love my phone, it’s my best friend and I would be lost without it!

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Karli Morello

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