The influence of cellphone usage of teenagers' social interactions within the community: A case of Ngummo Nairobi County
We live in a world where we are faced with rapid and dynamic changes in communication technologies. The cell phone is one of the rapidly growing communication tools in the world. The number of mobile phone users in Kenya currently stands at 29.7million (Communications Commission of Kenya, 2012). Statistics show that 44% of teenagers aged between 15-19 years own a mobile phone while 85% of those aged between 12-19 years are cell phone users. These statistics provide an important background for undertaking a research on teenagers and cell phone. This study looked into the influence of cell phone usage among teenagers on social interactions in communities. There have been a number of suggested theories and studies that have been contributed to the rising popularity and commonality of cell phones as to how they are affecting the way individuals are interacting in society. The advent of the mobile phone has denied people the opportunity to interact more socially including face to face interactions. People are spending more time on their phones communicating to those within their social circles and ignoring proximate others and adjacent surroundings. A disconnect however exists between the level of social investment in social interactions and cell phone usage occasioning to loss of social capital. This therefore led to the need of undertaking a study to establish and determine how the cell phone usage among teenagers has affected social interactions in communities with a view of coming up with recommendations on how to overcome them. Specifically the study established how independent variables like socialization, communication and entertainment through the phone, had an influence on the social interactions in communities, which is the dependent variable in Ngummo, Nairobi County. Descriptive survey design was used and a sample of 3 estates and 2 schools in Ngummo were selected through stratified sampling and simple random sampling methods. Teenagers including students, teachers, parents and community members of the sampled schools and estates formed the study respondents. Questionnaires with both closed and open ended questions were used to collect data as well as observation and interview methods. The findings from this study established that most of the cell phone usage among teenagers has a negative influence on social interactions within the community.