Citizen Journalists and five other uses of mobile phones

Filed under Editorials by Adam Torkildson on August 3, 2016 at 1:55 PM

Everyone’s a reporter – thanks to mobile phone technology. Mobile phones have put a broadcast studio in the hands of almost everybody. The head of Turkey’s government recently used his cell phone to rally his supporters when the mainstream media had been taken over by rebels. And, his followers spread the word through social media and live-streaming until they won. Making every citizen a media soldier is only one of the once unforeseen uses of mobile phones.


Here’s five other uses for mobile phones:

  1. Teacher: Phones can access the internet of course where you can research just about anything your need to know. But, that’s sort of passive in contrast to streaming TED talks, KAHN Academy, and increasingly numerous university lectures. And, new and evolving applications make exchange with class activities and instructors more effective and timely. Among other benefits of education anywhere an anytime is the spread and improvement of literacy on an international scale.
  2. Healthcare: As phone technology integrates with personal fitness applications, phones become their own mini-clinic. They can store your doctor’s schedules and remember your medications. But, they can also monitor blood, store, and report blood pressure, pulse rates, weight status, exercise efforts, and more. Releasing information and exchanging updates with care givers improves their records and accelerates your care.
  3. Emergency Response: Evolving technology will address a key limitation of mobile phones – the lack of power and/or network. Mobile accessibility has proven indispensable in local and widespread emergencies, small scale and big. From taking care of an accident victim to recovering from an earthquake, accessibility is vital. Existing providers are working on emergency response tools to expand bandwidth, and Globalstar has petitioned to use its satellites to enable multiple providers to share their Wi-Fi spectrum.
  4. Productivity: Industrialize nation’s still link productivity to outputs per time unity. So, tools like digital time clock have become indispensable. They report employee time accurately, calculate wages, and interface with payroll systems. Still, more development is tying individual worker phones closer to their employer functions with regard to performance, calendar, expensing, and field reporting.
  5. Economy: More users will gain confidence in using their phones for banking and retail purposes. They will move customers through and out of shopping venues faster, and they will revise the monetary system to keep up with their speed and utility. But, the impact on world economy will spread. For example, a single mobile phone in an underserved community strengthens the residents’ political and economic power, bringing them a resource and voice they had not enjoyed.


There’s much written about future phones. They will curve and bend, fold and extend. They will have better speakers and cameras. They will boast artificial intelligence, virtual experience, and even holograms. They may be larger, smaller, and even round. But, those features are consumer focused, and the market will rule on their popularity.


The people will define the market.

The real power in mobile phone futures lies in use people find for them. The people know better than the technologists. They know what they want and how to use it in ways designers never considered. For example, the “noble” uses listed here did not play much of a role in the original planning for the hugely profitable cell phone market. Phones originated to satisfy a market for more convenient personal communication, and they have served that call tremendously. But, real interest lies in the “under-market” values defined by citizen journalists and these five other uses for mobile phones.



Author Bio

Wendy Dessler

Title: Super-Connector at OutreachMama

Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

Twitter Handle: @outreachmama

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