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Technologies: Mobile Phones and Human Capabilities

Mobile Phone Technology

Mobile phone technology is the fastest growing form of communication in the world. Mobile phone technology is opening up new modalities of communication between individuals and organizations. The government has also been a major beneficiary of mobile phone technology. According to a World Bank report, the spread of mobile phone usage has been uniform across the world (World Bank Group, 2012).

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Consequently, mobile technology has been incorporated into various activities including payment services, government operations, and planning services among others. Mobile technology can easily be applied to human services professionals. Mobile phones have little to no entry barriers. This paper explores how mobile phone technology can be used by human service professionals in the course of their duties.

The main reason why mobile technology favors the activities of human service professionals is that “mobile technologies offer portable, real-time, communication and information access for people who previously had little to no access to affordable communication channels” (Smith, Spence & Rashid, 2011, p. 77). A majority of the activities that are carried out by human service professionals target the portion of population that is often marginalized.

Therefore, human service professionals have the chance of establishing a direct connection between their clients and themselves. The existence of a direct line of communication improves the quality of service that is delivered to human services’ clients. For example, a domestic dispute professional can ensure that his/her clients express themselves without fear of reprisal by using mobile phone technology to establish direct communication.

Most of the duties that are carried out by human services professionals involve collaborations with the government and other public institutions. Mobile phones have the ability to connect seamlessly between various individuals and institutions (Zambrano & Seward, 2012). For instance, most child-protection agencies use mobile phone technology because it is more secure than most of the other forms of communication. A domestic service professional requires similar secrecy when conducting his/her duties.


One of the most likely challenges in the adaptation of technology into a human services project such as the Food Bank of South Central Michigan is mistrust. Although technology was thought to be quite reliable in terms of security, recent breaches in security-protocols have created mistrust amongst users. For instance, in cases where a domestic dispute professional is dealing with a high profile client, mobile phone technology might not be reliable.

The reasoning behind this argument is that cell phone records can be obtained easily by interested parties (Dabholkar, 2006). To deal with this challenge, human services professionals should provide their clients with information about the type of communication that would be used for each engagement. For example, a human service professional should brief his/her clients on the benefits and risks that come with the use of cell phone technology.

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Another challenge for domestic dispute professionals is that they might lean too much on technology when establishing direct communication with their clients. Subsequently, some ethical oversights will be made in a scenario like this one. For example, either a domestic dispute professional or his/her client can abuse direct communication via mobile phone technology by calling at odd hours of the night.

In another scenario, a domestic dispute professional might decide to use his/her personal mobile phone to contact clients about official matters. To deal with this type of challenge, technology must be used within the confines of ethical limitations that guide human services professionals. For example, a domestic dispute professional should avoid sharing his/her personal mobile phone number with clients.


Dabholkar, P. A. (2006). Consumer evaluations of new technology-based self-service options: an investigation of alternative models of service quality. International Journal of research in Marketing, 13(1), 29-51.

Smith, M. L., Spence, R., & Rashid, A. T. (2011). Mobile phones and expanding human capabilities. Information Technologies & International Development, 7(3), 77-78.

World Bank Group. (2012). World development indicators 2012. Switzerland: World Bank Publications.

Zambrano, R., & Seward, R. K. (2012). Mobile technologies and empowerment: Enhancing human development through participation and innovation. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

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