Cell phones and Internet: A luxury or a necessity?

ASHLEY LADD – Hoof Prints Staff

Living in this generation, it is a rare sight to see someone without a cell phone permanently clutched to their hand or to not hear someone gossiping about what they saw on Facebook the night before. During the ice storm that took place in the last week of January, almost everyone in Northeast Arkansas lost internet connection as well as cell phone service. Through these times, it became increasingly obvious how much people rely on technology to make it through their daily lives.

Technology has become the basis for all communication with friends and family. With the convenience of cell phones and e-mail, it is rare to send letters or even use a landline phone. The ice storm caused power lines to fall and disrupted cell phone use. Many students didn’t know what to do without electricity and not being able to communicate with friends the way they’re used to doing every day. This is an era that is notable for advanced technology and communication. Not having the luxury of a cell phone or internet access seemed unbearable to most people who have never been through this type of experience before.

A few students said they experienced trying times after losing internet access and cell phone signals during the ice storm. Michael Miller said that he was completely lost without his cell phone. He had no way to be able to stay in contact with his friends and family. With no electricity, he had no way of charging his phone. He eventually bought a car charger and regained his service after what he says was “the longest three days of his life”.

Autumn Fletcher also went without internet access and phone service. She stated that she felt “lonely” without her cell phone. She had no way of staying in touch with her friends. She said that she went and stayed in Marion where she could use her cell phone. She was not so lost without the internet because she had the internet on her phone and was still able to access Facebook.

Not everyone had to suffer through with no phone communication. Caleb Miller used his landline phone to his convenience. “I had no cell phone service, but I had a home phone. There were times when it didn’t work, but for the most part, it was just fine.”

Although it seems that nearly everyone went days without cell phones and internet, apparently not everyone was affected by this. Ricardo Cordero said that he never lost service because his service provider was AT&T, whereas many BIC students are customers of Alltel.

The ice storm seems to have brought about change. People living in the northeast region have learned what it’s like to live without electricity and technology. They’ve learned new skills and gone through an experience thta may have possibly changed their perspective on life.