Cell Phone: A necessary Evil

Dr. Vikas Sharma, Proloy Sankar A famous quote cited by Margaret Heffernan “The Cell phone has become the adult’s transitional object, replacing the toddler’s teddy bear for comfort and a sense of belonging”. Its invention has made a revolutionary change in the fields of communication, but this useful gadget, accompany some disadvantages too. It is not a naive task to discuss on cell phones, as it is a broad spectrum subject possessing various pros and cons. First and foremost, we need to discuss about the device posing versatile uses. The cell phone or more lay manly known as mobile phone is a device that is used to make calls or to send messages to our near and dear ones. Now a days, the use of the mobile phone is not only to make calls or send SMS, in addition to that, it is used to listen songs, watch movies, play online games, browse the internet, as a calculator etc., to mention a few. We all carry the versatile device with us to communicate with our relatives or friends who are not near to us physically. The invention is a great success in science. In recent years, cell phone has become one of the fastest growing communication technologies. The studies have indicated that mobile phones can be used in any settings, including restaurants, grocery stores, buses, trains etc. for e-mails, text, using map, finding information etc. These days, the mobile phone has become a basic need for us and have completely changed the lives of humans for many years. Mobiles have become widespread all over the world and with its noble invention, the writing of letters has become a history. In earlier times, people used to write letters or send telegrams to communicate with their near and dear ones that used to take a lot of time, but with this invention, it has become very easy to communicate with the people who are in distant places. A feature known as the Global Positioning System (GPS) can be used by user’s to track locations or browse the internet. On the other hand, some mobile phones have a very good quality camera that can be used to preserve memories. Most of the people use mobile phones for entertainment purpose. They not only use their cell phones to make calls, but they also use the internet to browse different things like listening songs, watching movies etc. It has become an integral part of our daily communication. Their small size, relatively low cost and many uses make these devices very valuable to advocate, who are increasingly using them for communication and organization. Moreover, the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, have witnessed the tremendous potential of cell phones. It has been extensively used by students for attending online classes and has helped a lot to support the academic system. It has also helped the business organizations for their smooth functioning. In fact, the whole world has become a small village due to the revolutionary invention of mobile phone or the cell phone. It is not possible to write all the uses of mobile phones in limited words. As every coin has two aspects, mobile phones / cell phones also have two different sides. It solely depends on the user how to reap the pros and cons. This useful gadget, accompany some disadvantages too. They have some adverse effects on our society. Now a days, mobile phone or its connection is easily accessible. As a result of that, some anti-social groups or criminals are using it to facilitate their anti social tasks. It has become very difficult for law makers to track the criminal activities that have been committed with the help of mobiles. On the other hand, most of the school / college going students or teenagers are seen addicted to cell phones. They spend too much time on mobile phone, browsing different social networking sites or watching movies or playing games that spoil their valuable study hours. While cell phones are useful, it often comes with negative consequences. Social media applications and platforms are programmed with attention and addiction software that reinforces continual engagement. The software in cell phones manipulates emotional and cognitive awareness and responses, resulting in altered interpersonal communication and mass communication. Extensive research / various paper documents, made by researchers, suggest that extensive use of mobile phones is detrimental to our health. Various ailments like migraine, loss of hearing or even brain tumor accompany the extensive exposure to mobile phone usage. Moreover, most of the researchers are with the agreement that mobile phone is the cause of distress and wickedness to around 70% teenagers. They must overcome the wrongdoing else it might lead them to some serious health or mental issues. Teenagers or students are greatly influenced by the evil side of cell phones. Instead of using the mobile phone for their benefits, some students are seen wasting their valuable time indulging in listening to songs, playing online games, spending hours in social networking sites, sending offensive messages, watching pornographic videos etc. to name a few offenses. A recent survey reveals that more than 35% to 40% road accidents are caused due to uses of mobile phones while driving across the globe. Coming to conclusion, cell phones are tools of modern life and should be viewed as such, not a personal companion, but a device which connects a human being to fellow human beings, albeit electronically. No doubt, mobile phone has some negative aspects, we can’t deny the fact that cell phone has made a remarkable change in the development of our civilization. Last, but not the least, we cannot deny the usefulness or necessity of mobile phones in our day to day life. (The authors are from the Division of Biochemistry, FBSc, SKUAST-Jammu)