How the Cell Phone Is Changing the World
November 13th, 2010

“I was actually sitting around with a bunch of Ethiopian farmers recently,” says Duncan Green, research director for the charity Oxfam, “when I noticed that none of them had light or running water, but each family had a mobile phone.” The reasons are simpler than we think, he says. “Before, these farmers, if they wanted to check on a sick relative elsewhere, had to walk three hours in each direction. Now they just make a call.” That convenience, he says, drives their eager embrace of the phones. But the phones’ growing ubiquity—“they’re a technological Coca-Cola,” Green says—has other uses, too. Here are five ways they’re changing the world. 1) Exposing Secrets. 2) Advancing Democracy. 3) Enabling Commerce. 4) Distributing Medicine. 5) Waging War.

read the full article by Ravi Somaiya in Newsweek


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