Impact of Cellular Telephones on China: Moral and Ethical Concerns

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Introduction

The ability of the society to effectively resolve ethical issues acts as a key contributory factor to optimal socio economic growth and development. Twenty first century ethical dilemmas have intensified owing to fast changing lifestyle and consumerism patterns based on global demands.  Notably, these dilemmas can also be attributed to the increasing technological advancements that have impacted on the conventional traditions of the society. As a result, the critical values that were instrumental in prescribing ideal societal code of conduct have degenerated to worrying levels. The increased technological innovation and invention in china has led to the rise of various moral and ethical concerns that compromise its value system. One such technology that has had unprecedented effects on the values and virtues of this country is cellular phone technology. This paper reviews the particular moral and ethical concerns of this technology and underscores the efforts of the Chinese government in countering the same.

To begin with Zhao (2008) indicates that the issue of hidden charges has raised various concerns in the recent past. Usually, dealers in the respective industries make advertisements with regard to flat rate plans and fail to include other relative costs pertaining to the intrinsic taxes that users are expected to pay. This misleads the customers who end up paying hefty charges for use of such services.  Usually, the service providers in China defend this practice by indicating that it is the most efficient way to make the customers understand their offers. This is unethical because it basically amounts to deceit. The government of China as well as other legal agencies is informed about this practice. Notable countermeasures are underway as the government has initiated investigations in this.

Statistical evidence ascertains that close “six out of every ten road accidents in China are attributed to use of cell phones during driving and alcohol” (Yang, 2008). Conversations destruct the drivers and undermine their ability to concentrate on the road. The subsequent loss of lives has far reaching effects not only on the families of these individuals but on the entire society. To counter this, Cartier, Castellas and Qiu (2005) ascertain that the Chinese government has banned the use of cellular phones when driving. The law enforcers are responsible for apprehending and punishing any offenders in this respect.  Furthermore, they carry out intensive awareness creation and public education to raise the cognitive capacities of the populations about the importance of refraining from the practice.

According to Jingjun (2006), use of cellular phones in schools and churches has also raised significant controversies. In learning institutions, these have been implicated for contributing significantly to cheating in examinations. This is in most cases; this is carried out through text messaging that allows for exchange of information. Further, some students disrupt lessons by leaving their ring tones on. Communication during class sessions is another moral concern that compromises the level of discipline that was initially upheld by learning institutions. Efforts to address this concern have been primarily assumed by the school districts that mainstream relevant regulations in school rules. For instance, students are banned from using cellular phones within lessons. I n addition, they are expected to switch their cell phones off during examinations. Datamonitor (2009) asserts that other practical measures have been to confiscate the cell phones especially when they are not put on silent mode or switched off during lessons. This disruptive and annoying tendency has also been extended to the churches and mosques. The religious leaders in this regard are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that vital values and virtues are upheld by the congregation.

Another ethical concern that has had devastating implications on the country’s environment pertains to the e-wastes that stem from the manufacture and use of cellular phones. In this respect, Cartier et al (205) argues that China does not have a comprehensive environmental policy to address the rising quantities of e-wastes that are associated with the cell phone manufacturing industry. Current trends project that by 2020, cell phone related e-wastes would account for a significant three million tones (Datamonitor, 2009). In certain incidences, these wastes are transferred to developing countries and dumped in the same because of their weak environmental legislation. Of great concern however is the emergence and spread of terminal diseases that are caused by these wastes. In his review, Yang (2008) cites that the Chinese government is working relentlessly towards developing a viable enviro.............


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