The paper presents a comparative analysis of the male and female responses with regard to the use of mobile phones and the role of these devices in their lives. The sample size comprised six respondents, including three males and three females, whose age ranged from nineteen to twenty-one, as summarized in Table 1 below. The discussion represents the obtained results and correlates the findings in terms of male-to-female similarities and differences in mobile phone usage.
Description of the Sample
The Data Collected from the Female Respondents
Analyzing the responses of female interviewees, two out of three of them has two phones in their daily use, with Apples iPhone 6 (F3 and F2) and Blackberry Q10 (F3 and F1) as preferred brands alongside with Samsung (F1). While the users tended to refer to the most up-to-date smartphone models, F3 indicated its attachment to Blackberry since it is still different from all the new phones, such as iPhone, because it has its own look, with both a keyboard and a touch screen. This feature was also emphasized as one of the advantages of this brand by F1 in line with its advanced security system that cannot be hacked at all. Additionally, Samsung was praised for its constant innovations and updates (F1), while Blackberry lacks this feature (F1). Being waterproof was listed as an important trait of the phone (F3 and F1). It is necessary to note that a brand name and reputation were listed among the key features of choosing the phone model by F3 and F1 respondents, who underlined thorough promotion of iPhone and the lack of such in relation to Blackberrys phones.
This group of respondents has precisely named the main competitors in the field, and provided interesting details with regard to their ideal phones look. To illustrate, F3 stressed that, It would look like a circle, with two cameras on the front at the top and the bottom and no camera from the back. It would have a keyboard and a touch screen and be of all colors at the same time. In contrast, F1 was even more creative by stating that, It will be a transparent glass screen of large size, which will make one think that you are holding a glass, but when you turn it on, you will see that it is a screen with colors. Furthermore, F2 asserted that she would like to see her ideal phone looking like iPhone just with the longer life battery, bigger, less sensitive and with stronger glass. In this way, the respondents emphasized a vital role of innovations and the enhancement of the existing models as anticipated outcomes for the discussed devices.
Similarly, social media networking was indicated as the primary activity performed by means of their phones within different social environments, such as home, institutions and others, with WhatsUp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, and stuff like that (F2) as the most frequently used services. With regard to learning facilities, the phones were found useful for checking and writing emails (F3, F2 and F1) and being up-to-date with a learning schedule and syllabus (F2 and F1). Finally, F1 noted the usability of smartphones for daily activities, such as checking the ratings of restaurants to go to, navigation (via Google Maps), listening to the music (F2 indicated this too), taking selfies (F3), and uploading information on the laptop among others.
The Responses of the Male Participants
Only one out of two male interviewees had two phones, HTC and Sony (M1). The respondent explained his choice of the first brand because of simplicity and a well-combined software-to-hardware correlation in contrast to Sonys advanced physical features, including being waterproof and shock- and dust-resistant among others. M2 preferred Samsung s4 due to its innovation, while M3 used iPhone 6 on the grounds of all the apps, the big screen and the camera as well as a great brand that is very prestigious and elegant. The male interviewees listed the most popular phone brands as the main competitors. At the same time, all participants underlined that it would be great if the phone-makers could have combined the best multiple features of the greatest phones in order to create an ideal device. The main traits were named as physical characteristics (being dust- and waterproof, long-life battery), having good camera resolution and well-organized and designed software and hardware. Therefore, the male participants of the interviews paid the greatest attention to the quality and multi-functionality of a new phone to be developed that would have integrated the achievements of the best practices in the field.
The home-related use of phones was linked to social networking, in accordance with the responses of all participants, including Instagram, YouTube, SnapChat, Twitter and Facebook, texting, and playing games online (M3). The latter activity was not indicated as important by any other respondent. In terms of the institutional environment, the participants emphasized several common activities that were often performed via their phones. For instance, the interviewees reported on the frequent use of the phone for being aware of the college life, events, instant connection with the institutional staff (M2 and M1), scheduling their daily activities and other learning-oriented purposes (M2). M3, who is a freshman in the college, tended to use the phone for leisure even in the learning time. M3 and M1 also listed taking pictures and videos as significant activities to be made by means of their phones.
Following the above results obtained in the process of interviewing, it is relevant to assert that there were both similarities and dissimilarities between the responses of the participants on the gender basis.
To a great extent, the primary determinant of choosing a phone was its brand name. This feature was the same for both genders. In particular, the supremacy of the brand was the most important factor in attachment to highly positioned Apples iPhone, considered as the major representative on the global market. Similarly, both males and females have indicated that it is significant for a phone to combine good physical and software-hardware-related characteristics at the same time. Those individuals from the sample who could not find the phone that met these integrated requirements preferred to use two phones simultaneously.
What is more, the essence of the smartphone use in a variety of environments was another common requirement of the respondents of both gender groups. To be more precise, social networking was referred to as one of the most notable spheres of the phones use in the lives of contemporary youths. This trend is equally important for both females and males within all social domains. Therefore, in this respect, the phone can be referred to as a useful tool for socialization of young individuals regardless of their gender characteristics. Apart from that, practically all respondents underlined a growing role of this device in enhancement of their learning process. To illustrate, the interviewees emphasized the issue of the immediateness of response to their tutors and instant connection with their learning institution and environment as one of the emerging and increasingly developing trends. Such tendency clearly shows a highly expanding scope of the usability of phones in the daily life of the youth. It is also relevant to underline that the interviewees emphasized interactivity as the most important trait of modern-day communication via the analyzed technology as opposed to other more traditional activities appropriate for phones, such as listening to the music.
Differences in the Responses
Analyzing the data collected, there are several differences in the responses of the male and female participants of the interviews. First and foremost, it is necessary to assert that the females showed stronger attachment to the brand and a combination of a traditional and up-to-date models. Namely, they found the availability of keyboards a distinct feature of the phone they could not get separated with alongside with experimenting with a frequent change of phones because of emerging trends in the industry and the popularity of particular models, such as iPhones. On the contrary, the male interviewees tended to use phones that are the most functional and advanced. By the same token, the males appeared to be more practical in terms of revealing their aspirations regarding an ideal phone for them. Instead of making up something new and unknown before or fantasizing, they preferred to combine the best features of all models in one, the best phone ever. In contrast, the females were more creative in this respect and underlined a vital role of technological enhancement and innovation, even up to a breakthrough in the field. Apart from that, none of the female respondents named gaming as an important activity for them, while one of the interviewed males, M3, identified this characteristic as one of the most important for him.
In conclusion, of course, a small research sample does not allow making any generalizations regarding the role of phones in communication of contemporary youths at large. However, it is relevant to underline that the interviewed participants support general trends in the field, such as the increasing role of interactivity features of phones in light of an array of activities available on these devices, especially with relation to social networking.