By Kenneth Blaisdell
Whether it be in the car, on campus, on-the-go students are taking advantage of cell phones.
Text messages, email, voice messaging – all of this at any paying subscriber”s fingertips. The world is only a button away.
“Cell phones are such a convenience,” says Delynne Peay, of the BYU Folk Dance Department. “When I think of someone I have to call, I call them instead of putting it in the list of things to do. It is nice to just think of it and do it.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, there were about 340,000 cellular phone owners in 1985. In 1999, that had ballooned to an amazing 86,000,000 cell phone users. Not only has the use gone up but also the bill gone down; in ”85 the average phone bill for a cellular customer was $96.83, where as today it has dropped to $41.24.
But as a struggling college student, do you really need a cellular phone?
50.1 % of college students owned a cell phone, 28.7% wanted one and 21.2% did not want one, according to a recent poll of college students across the United States conducted by Cellular One.
Cellular plans are now reaching out to students. With such a large market to sell to, the different carriers have made affordable packages that appeal to students with a large amount of minutes for night and weekends.
“Many plans have unlimited night and weekend minutes, and with those plans most students will use those weekend minutes to call home,” said Russ Hill, 22 a junior from Sandy, majoring in International Studies.
Hill also works for Spring Communications. He said cell phones are practical because they eliminate the need for phone cards and the unhappiness of large phone bills.
The appearance of several cellular providers in the last few years has also added to more competition and cheaper rates.
“It”s easy to keep in touch with friends and family.” said Tyson Downs, 24, a junior majoring in General Studies from Ephrata, WA, also a Verizon Wireless phones salesman.
Cellular phones not only provide a way to make personal communication possible and efficient, but they also enable users to make their cell phone an extension of themselves.
With changeable faceplates and covers, the exterior can reflect the owner. With several options for rings, a cell phone can play any tune the owner wants.
Some brands of phones are more user-friendly than others, with easily accessible menus and contents.
Size also varies with cell phones, ranging from older phones that are bulky and long to the compact flip phones that are smaller than the average wallet.
If that is not enough proof, look around campus. Cellular phones are becoming not only a status symbol, but also a very functional extension of communication needs.
Tiffani Bishop, 20, a junior from West Valley City, UT feels that cell phones are important.
“Cellular phones are definitely a necessity for college students, you are always gone – it is the only way you can get messages,” Bishop said. “They are also great for emergencies. Just make sure you stay within the minutes in your plan, that way it doesn”t have to be so costly.”
Delynne Peay, enjoys how available she is to her family.
“I like the opportunity that I have as a mother to know that my children can reach me more easily where they are and I am. I don”t use it for every day telephone communication, just so my family can keep in touch with me at any time.”