Are our Cell Phones becoming a nuisance for us?
THE TROUBLE OF TECHNOLOGY
A CELL PHONE IS MERELY A SCIENTIFIC INVENTION TOO INNOCENT TO BE BLAMED FOR ANY TROUBLE. IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE USE WE MAKE OF IT, WRITES DR MUHAMMAD AMIN MALIK
SCIENTIFIC Technology has made our life trouble-free, effortless and faster. Today, our quality of life is excellent, life expectancy is high, general prosperity is high and entertainment is readily available. But this modern technology has been shifting and altering human identity. On the home front though we have large number of electronic gadgets and other devices available to carry out our daily household chores yet it is felt that too much mechanization resulted for our inability to work of our own self. We have got used to machines that our bodies get absolutely frozen and become unfit to do any work. Moving about all the time in cars, watching TV, chatting and playing with mobiles etc have made us couch potatoes. At the lowest and smallest level of life, man has lost his own humaneness as though he himself has become a machine. Thus the blessings of science though innumerable, have a matching number of abuses. The abuses are so great that they even pose the danger of complete annihilation of the human race on earth.
Cell phones have become such an integral part of our lives that it's hard to imagine how we can ever survive without them. It has brought the world so narrow that we are always in contact with our family, business matters, happenings of the world and the possible dangers, no matter wherever we are. It certainly serves as an inevitable communication medium in this fast moving age but, does life start and end with it? While for some people scientific devices which include electronic devices like mobile phones, TVs etc are a necessity, there are some people who classify them as luxury and maintain that only water, food and shelter are necessities of life. For some people keeping a mobile phone is a fashion while for others it is indispensable. To the surprise of many, I have seen officers in PB-4 not possessing a mobile phone. Once I asked one of my friends why he is not having a mobile phone, his reply was that I donít need it. He maintained that people lived happily in the past without mobile phones. Truly some people may not need it, but others would be lost without it.
The use of mobile phones during the last decade has diverted all our dormant energy towards uselessness and futility with a huge loss of money and time. Today we are wasting most of our precious time on the mobile phone while chatting, laughing, playing and passing time doing nothing. The God must definitely be laughing and asking questions as why the youth on earth are laughing and chatting with slanting heads when they are apparently alone. We have really got bogged down with this machine. It has considerably reduced our efficiency in study, work and other activities. Is the life meant for all this?
The more available we make ourselves on the phone, the more available everyone expects us to be. How annoying it is when you have a call on your cell phone and you're in the bathroom or having a fast asleep and how irritating it is when you are having a meeting and everyone is paying attention to you and suddenly your mobile starts ringing. Nobody minds getting a call when it's important, but what about if it's not?
In a bygone era, etiquette and manners ruled society with an iron fist, but these have gone out of the window in the modern world of cell phones. The ringing of cell phones in the places of worship like the mosque when there is a pin drop silence in the awe and respect of God is not only annoying and distracting but is against the sanctity of the Holy mosque. I believe the correct etiquette is that one doesnít take the phone at all in the mosque, or switch it off before entering. God probably would not be impressed with ones expensive gadget and nobody else will be either if it disturbs their prayers.
Similarly the ringing mobile phone in a classroom disturbs the whole class and thus affects educational activities. While the teaching community has been overwhelmingly in favor of ban on mobile phones, parents are more enthusiastic about their children being allowed to carry cell phones at school and colleges. The teachers point out that cell phones do not exactly have legitimate academic uses during the classroom sessions. It is a big question that do our youth need a cell phone or not when they are studying in the schools and colleges. Seriously, how many times in a year would a parent need to contact their child for emergency? Would it justify keeping the mobile phones on through out the day? If you're a business man, there are times when being instantly available is extremely useful and profitable. But for most of us, that call that we get when we're on the toilet or fast asleep isn't usually going to win or lose us a million bucks.
It is a common nuisance in Kashmir that people keep talking raptly on their mobile phones in their right hand while driving their cars/vehicles using only left hand. While doing so they tend to drive slower and have delayed reactions and it makes everyone pay the price of that distracted driving when they get stuck behind that personís slowly moving car. It adds to the already jammed and clogged routes of Srinagar city. The worse part is that there are many motorcyclists who also try the same. One can simply imagine how dangerous it can be at any point of time.
Some studies have shown that using a cell phone while driving is equivalent to drink-driving in which the driverís concentration becomes impaired and the focus is away from the road and from operating the vehicle at maximum efficiency. These people hit other cars or innocent pedestrians, who get killed due to these stupid guys who thought it was his/her right to drive and call simultaneously. Even using a Hands-free models or speakers in the cars distracts the driverís concentration. The Government has already banned the using of mobile phones while driving. If someone thinks that he can escape the punishment then he is wrong. At least he cannot escape the punishment of an irreversible accident which may happen to him at any time. Therefore Individuals should be aware of their actions on the street and must act responsibly. They can use mobile phone in an emergency after parking their cars.
There is no such thing as quiet time anymore nowadays. We see people in offices, restaurants and on the roads glued to their cell phones talking and laughing, at full volume much to the dislike of others. At functions, people disturb the whole audience by their ringing mobile. Even worse is when the offender actually answers the call there and then. Even worst is that these people are least cared for troubling others and feel elated that people are calling them.
Another big nuisance is the calls and messages we receive from mobile phone companies which disturb us a lot. Sometimes these companies are calling us at odd times and leave us perturbed with mp3 music flashes. While rushing to attend these calls sometimes one may injure himself badly. Despite having not subscribed for them we continue to receive these calls and messages of music, advertisements all the time which distracts us a lot. Most people donít have the time to respond them or simply they are not interested in any such activity.
People must understand that excess of everything is bad. They must be aware that there is a mounting evidence around the whole world that mobile phones are frying our brains and they are not safe. They have been linked to brain tumours, headaches and numbness in the head and users often experience a burning sensation behind the ear. There are reports that heavy mobile phone users develop "electromagnetic hypersensitivity" in which certain individuals experience a variety of health symptoms like skin sensitivity, fatigue, tiredness, concentration difficulties, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitation, brain disorders and digestive problems.
There are several theories as how the mobile phone emissions may interact with our biological tissues. The simple example I can quote to the readers is that how our computers and TVs emit a crackling sound when the nearby cell phone is ringing or about to ring. It is to be mentioned here that almost all pieces of electronic devices we see, emit electromagnetic waves. Computers emit more waves than other devices because they process so many functions. We human beings are also like computers. Our body is 70% water which is a polar molecule i.e. it has positive and negative charges. We have electrolytes and ions and so we too are electric and need electricity to function in the from of electrolytic salt. Our muscles and neurons are thought of as electric tissues of the body. So if there is an interference between the cell phone signal and the computer's electromagnetic waves there can also be interference between the cell phone signal and our body. May be after some years the research will come with a clear and confirmed indication of harmful effects of emissions associated with mobile phones. So it is better to be on a safer side and presume that the dangers are real, after all it is related to our health. Curios readers can go through my article entitled ďHealth Hazards associated with Electromagnetic Fields (Mobile Phones, Microwave Ovens and Power Lines)Ē GK dated 11-may 2009.
We should learn how to use the mobile phones properly and responsibly after buying them. Now it's time for all of us to create some new rules of etiquette about cell phone usage. A cell phone is merely a scientific invention which is innocent and is not to be blamed for any nuisance. They are not bad themselves, it just depends on the way we use them. Albert Einstein says "Why does this applied science, which saves work and makes life easier, bring us so little happiness? The simple answer runs: Because we have not yet learned to make sensible use of it."
(The author is Associate Professor at the
Department of Physics Amar Singh College, Srinagar. Feedback at email@example.com)
Lastupdate on : Wed, 1 Dec 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 1 Dec 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 2 Dec 2010 00:00:00 IST
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