A Cell Phone is a small, handheld two-way communication device
which uses a microwave radio signal
to link into pre-existing telephone
communication grids through a network of ‘Cells
,' broadcast/receiver towers located at regular intervals throughout population centers.
Introduced into first world, industrialized nations in the 1980's, Cell Phones attained widespread acceptance and use among most demographic groups by the turn of the millennium. In 1999, there were an estimated 24 million cell phones in use in North America, and approximately 2 million PCS phones, (a higher frequency digital version of the original analogue Cell Phone.)
As a result of this new trend in communications, observable behavioral features began to emerge which might collectively be termed, ‘Cell Phone Culture.'
Phones ringing or being answered in theaters during performances, while driving, or while in public washrooms all gave rise to enthusiastic public debate. Of significant interest is the effect Cell Phone use appears to have on the stress level in people. A common complaint regarding Cell Phone Culture is that many users feel they are never entirely free from work responsibilities during times traditionally considered off limits to anything but personal pursuit and leisure.
Another of the more significant factors surrounding Cell Phone use is that of public health. After an early flurry of concerns during the mid 90's that microwave Cell Phone radiation may have been linked to increased instances of Cancer, the entire issue seemed nearly to vanish from public concern during the late 90's and early years of the third millennium. Interestingly, this trend continued despite numerous studies in various countries which found that Cell Phone Radiation had many unexpected effects upon biological systems. While connections to Cancer were found to be tenuous, regular short term exposure to Cell Phone Radiation was found to have significant impact upon memory and cognition, glandular function, permeability of cell walls in the brain, and EEG sleep patterns.
For more information on this subject see, Cell Phone Radiation.