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Saturday, August 30, 2014

MOBILE MANIA


 Wherever you go, the scene is familiar. Be it in a crowded Metro Rail, City bus, park, cab or in auto rickshaw, you will be sick of seeing people hooked to their digital mates all the day to munch their favorite bits of information. The problem is more predominant in youth of both genders.

No doubt that with increasing tools of communication, we become a more connected society. But we are seriously in danger of losing the connection with our own selves.  The mobile phone clamours for immediate attention at every moment like a new born infant. From passion to obsession and then to addiction, it leaves its own scars on our emotional life.

We are a strong nation of 900 million mobile phone users, the world’s second largest after China. Like population explosion, India equally ranks second after China in mobile phone usage. When technology reaches at their doorsteps for an affordable price tag , people don’t hesitate to spend on gizmos to be more empowered and entertained.

The recent survey of Ericsson Consumer Labs (April – June 2014) in India brought some chilling facts to light. According to survey, Indians outpace the US in smartphone usage – 198 minutes compare to Americans who spend on an average 132 minutes daily. It also points out that 60% of Indians check their smartphones on an average 77 times per day , and 26% doing it over 100 times. Health experts say that it is a disturbing trend that may severely compromise their mental health.

Mobile phone becomes an extended organ of  body, cursing with continuous partial attention. It has unrestrained access whether it is in bed room or wash room. You can’t deny that it could pay your utility bills, make your travel tickets, do E-shopping in the cool comforts of home. 

But over-dependence make us blunt and robotic . When the mobile phone usage crosses a threshold limit, it spirals into an obsession and experts say that this compulsive behavior lights up the same pleasure centers in the brain in almost the same way as drug or alcohol dependencies. A pile of new deceases already added to the medical science : Nomophobia – the fear of having no mobile phones, Textaphrenia - thinking that a message has arrived when it has not, and Textiety – panic attacks over not receiving or sending text messages.

Mobile phone almost put us in a fix. It becomes a serious attention grabber in all waking hours. It is a culprit in one of the fatal accidents occurred on 24th July, 2014 in Masaipet in Medak District of Telangana (erstwhile Andhra Pradesh) perishing the lives of 14 small school going children in a school bus. The cause of accident is purportedly due to driver’s not paying attention as he was speaking on his mobile phone with earphones, while crossing the unmanned railway crossing when it rammed the moving passenger train.

It is time to learn quick lessons and recast our relationship with this gadget to bring sanity back into our lives. In fact the solution centers more at individual level with these easy to follow steps :


a) Don’t keep mobile phone as background activity of whatever you are doing.
b)  During focused work hours, avoid phone chats/ text messaging.
c)  Don’t login internet continuously which itches to search something which you need not require.

d) Don’t  listen music with earphones continuously as it may damage your ears.

e) Don’t speak on mobile phone while driving as it is not a passive activity. If required, stop the vehicle and speak liberally.

f) Don’t watch news on mobile phone before you retire for the day.

g) Don’t check mails/ social networking sites soon after you wake up in the morning.

h) When you are on journey or commute, don’t keep the mobile phone on hand. Shove it into  pocket or bag to enjoy the journey. 

i) Gauge constantly the amount of time you spend on gadgets. The very idea would put you in moderation.

j) Never allow the idea of your gadget superior to you.

Not sensing the danger looming in front of  you  may cost dearly and snatch away the simple pleasures of life which don’t come for a price.

Youth, are you listening ? 
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