In our modern era, an interesting contradiction is rising in our cities due to the rapid advancements in technology. While the prevalence of “dumb phones” coexists, we can witness a generation of smart kids who are adapting to urban life in ways we have never seen before. The unique combination of elements is not just a simple decision; it is quietly transforming the fundamental structure of our city centres. In this exploration, we delve into the intriguing phenomenon of dumb phones and smart kids – impact of phones on cities, to uncover the different aspects related to it and examine the unexpected impacts of the same on our cities, communities and people.
Dumb Phones Smart Kids – Impact of Phones on Cities
Currently, there are over 1.2 billion young people, between the ages of 15 and 24. The majority, over 80 percent, reside in developing nations. Youth, despite their increasing numbers, face significant exclusion from participating in the decision-making process, ultimately leading to their social and political marginalization. Furthermore, young people are frequently perceived as contributing to the problem, rather than being an integral part of the solution.
Mobile phones are the most common type of modern ICTs. The popularity of using the internet among young people has increased with the availability of affordable cell phones. The use of mobile phones has become incredibly widespread, making them the most commonly used form of modern ICTs.
A report from the World Bank reveals that an astounding three-fourths of the global population now possesses the incredible ability to connect with others through a mobile phone.
- The developing world is now more mobile than the developed world.
- About 80 percent of the developing world has mobile-cellular subscriptions out of nearly six billion.
- Between 2000 and 2010, the number of mobile subscriptions in low and middle income countries experienced an astonishing increase of over 1,500 percent, soaring from a mere 4 to an impressive 72 per 100 inhabitants.
The mobile revolution is playing a crucial role in facilitating transformative changes in cities, owing to a combination of factors including a young population, rising incomes, and declining prices of mobile devices. This phenomenon is not only leading to significant social advancements, but also driving economic and political progress.
They may not be disruptive now, but population shifts in cities and the proliferation of mobile phones are making for interesting times. Two significant changes have occurred, setting the stage for further advancements.
1. The Youth Bulge
The youth bulge is a result of better management of contagious diseases, leading to a remarkable surge in the population of young city dwellers. The bulge is affecting the population pyramid, especially in developing countries.
2. The Mobile Miracle
The rise of mobile devices and computer technologies has brought affordable phones to communities. This has created new challenges and opportunities for young people to bridge gaps in cities.
The traditional barriers between young people and the government are being shattered by the power of ICTs. The affordability and widespread availability of cell phones and social media platforms foster a profound and meaningful connection among young individuals, as well as between youth communities and their leaders.
This was not happening just ten years ago. It could bring a huge change in how the government interacts with young people.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have the power to enhance user-generated information, revolutionizing the way public officials and local government bureaucrats comprehend the requirements of the youth.
On the other hand, youth groups possess a greater understanding of the constraints and opportunities present within local governments in regard to service provision. User-generated content is an essential element in this process, especially among young people.
Social capital for all ages
The youth in government have incredible potential to embrace ICTs and enhance local governance. They can be identified as key champions in taking forward ICT-enabled urban governance for youth.
Young people who are well-acquainted with modern devices have a significant edge over others, resulting in what can be referred to as a youth-local government ICT gap.
Effects Of Using Mobile Phones
Previous encounters with government services have revealed that various factors, such as technological and human capability, financial stability, and bureaucratic opposition, have the potential to hinder the implementation of ICT programs and diminish their long-term influence.
- There is a pressing need to enhance ICT skills among young people due to the following reasons:
- To empower them to transition from basic mobile phone platforms to advanced internet-based systems.
- It is crucial to develop these skills in parallel with the establishment of infrastructure that ensures broadband capacity is accessible everywhere.
- The expansion and development of these skill sets among youth will undoubtedly have a profound and far-reaching impact on local government.
Young individuals are becoming renowned for their boundless creativity, remarkable swiftness, and unwavering determination to achieve significant outcomes. This is a great chance to bring about positive changes for young people. Moreover, considering that young people constitute a significant portion of the population, they are not only enthusiastic users of mobile platforms, but also pioneers in developing cutting-edge technology. Hence, it is undeniable that the youth will lead the way in embracing and driving the transition towards governance empowered by ICT.
As today’s youth and future generations embrace new, faster, and more interconnected technologies, it is imperative for cities to revolutionize their approach in engaging with them. To make a meaningful difference in the lives of the underprivileged, cities should begin their journey from the ground up. So, the concept of dumb phones and smart kids – impact of phones on cities and by initially embracing simple and accessible technologies, they can lay a solid foundation for progress. As costs decrease and superior devices become more prevalent, they can then strive for further advancements.