I was walking to my place and I passed by a few rickshaw pullers who were chatting amongst themselves. I overheard one of them saying; “iska may-mo-ree kitna hai?” (How much is its memory?) I chuckled and moved on in amazement. This incredible device which has taken Graham Bell’s invention to a whole new level has made communication far easier. The device that can be seen in almost everybody’s hands was so expensive and rare ten years back that none could have imagined a rickshaw puller owning one. In fact, not only have cell phones become accessible to people with all kinds of financial statuses but they have also added incredible features to their major use- wireless communication. Playing videos, watching movies, listening to music, chatting with friends, accessing the internet and other such attributes of a modern cell phone have made it no less than an addiction, especially with the youth.
A survey of people who own mobile phones showed amazing results. Two-thirds of these people said that they check their mobile phones for calls or messages even when they do not hear it ring or sense it vibrate. Almost half of the cell owners accepted sleeping with their cellular phones near their pillow so that they may not miss any calls, texts or updates during the night. Everywhere you look, you’ll find people glued to their cell phones. The sad truth is that instead of using cell phones to assist us and make life easier when needed, we have let it rule our lives. Not only do we miss out on important things by focusing on our cell phones but we also expose ourselves to the negative effects of cell phones on our health.
Though scientific research is ambiguous about the effects of cell phones on our social, physical and mental health it does not mean that we can continue using cell phones for long periods of time. Nevertheless, cellular phones have become an integral part of our daily lives and we cannot completely stay away from them. What we can do is limit their usage and follow certain precautions.
Most of us work with our cell phones nearby. Professionals need their cell phones to be close to them but students too? The answer is an obvious no but we do. Keeping cell phones near us while studying, is a huge and constant distraction. It affects our concentration and constantly gives us the urge to pick up our cell phones and see if any of our friends texted us. Then there’s the need to always stay updated about what is happening in the lives of people we know and since smart phones have made accessing facebook as easy as picking up the phone, we spend hours logged in and reading stories posted by our facebook friends. Applications that allow us to chat with our friends add to the various diversions that are already present in a cell phone. I am sure it happens a lot. We decide to take a short break from studying, pick our phones up to play a game and we never get to know that trying to complete a tricky level extended our short break to a long break. So, as long as you want your efforts to produce desired results, it is best to keep the phone away while you study or work.
Researchers have data that shows that a two minute call can disturb the normal electric activity of a human brain for up to sixty minutes. It is advised that phone calls made through mobile phones should be short. There are times when the information to be conveyed is short and a text message can suffice. Prefer texting in such cases. The advent of cell phones brought with it an increased risk of traffic accidents in case of people using their cell phones while driving. I too have had a couple of narrow escapes because I was texting while driving. When you are on the road, it is your responsibility to be aware of the other vehicles and the pedestrians. One false move on your part and it can put innocent lives at risk.
Some researchers have also suggested that sperm count can be remarkably reduced if men keep their cell phones in pockets near their waists. This too has not been proved to be completely true but ask your self if it is worth the risk. Prefer keeping your phone in your shirt’s pockets or in your jacket. The cell phones work when signals are transmitted via electromagnetic waves. The temporal lobe of the human brain carries out a number of important functions- speech, vision, hearing and creation of long-term memory to name a few. When you talk over your cell phone while holding it close to your ear, the waves emitted by it are absorbed by this part of your brain and these waves can cause damage to it. Hence, it is better if you use a headset instead of your phone.
Finally, it is not just the harmful effects of cell phones on our health that need to be considered. Healthy social interaction is essential for maintaining the strength of our bonds with friends and family members. There are times when we are busy, stuck with work or cannot visit them and in such cases modern day cell phones and their incredible applications can help us stay in touch. However, spending time with them in person is extremely important. In addition, letting children own cell phones is not just bad parenting but also a grave mistake because it hinders their much needed social interaction which is essential in order to develop and flourish their friendship with fellow class mates and neighbourhood children.