[Prelude: It has taken me a long time to complete this article. I could not decide whether I should publish this article or withhold it because I was not sure how strongly I felt about it. There is an honest fear in me that warns me not to openly stand for/against something like this, because in future it may put me at a disadvantage. I hope that many of you share this fear.]
Did this prelude mislead you to think that I am thinking something else? This could be the worst article ever, written at CanTHee Rava.
It has increased connectivity and it has increased business opportunities. However, there is something about mobile phones that makes me say ‘no’ to them. People who start reading this article may start exactly from the opposite opinion ‘pole’ and by the end of it we may meet somewhere near the middle. Say hello to each other. Off we go…to our respective poles. Expect that to happen!
What are the obvious demerits of a mobile phone?
- Denatures language (may invent new words, but not helpful in the long run)
- May cause ‘arthritis’ to your fingers (you may survive if you have got bones of steel or not an avid texter)
- Raging ring-tones, out-of-context caller tunes!
- Makes you carry your world with you always (‘always’ is the key word)
- Bad photography
All of the above do not apply to a responsible mobile phone user. Who is that person? Those who responsibly own a mobile phone say that they choose and wisely turn it off . They turn it off if they are in an official meeting (good). They turn it off when they are driving a vehicle (very good). They put it on a silent mode when they are in a public place (very very good). They follow many more good user guidelines. I respect that. However, as soon as the self-enforced ‘ban’ ends, you can see the real response. The same old saga continues. Like any other technology, mobile phones have given rise to new and amusing behavioural patterns in humans, which are worth a study. To name a few… “Running upstairs to open air, sneaking outside a bus/car window, can I call you back, give me a missed call, calling others over their land-line and asking them where they are!”…
Internet is another thing that is similar in power. I do not carry internet with me wherever I go, do I? With a laptop or a hi-fi mobile phone, one can carry internet almost anywhere. I would prefer them to be away. Physically static. I want me to go to them when I need them rather than they staying with me 24/7. You could be right in recognizing a weak mind at work. However, it could be wrong to say that this notion applies to every technology that we use. No, it doesn’t. We are attracted to things that involves active participation. Watching TV and Listening to Radio is passive, and you cannot do it for long. Driving a vehicle is ‘active’ but it requires more than an active participation (I mean at least 100% all the time). You cannot do it for long.
When it comes to mobile phones and internet, both of them allow active participation and they can tolerate less than 100% involvement. What a dreadful and an irresistible combination.
Many believe that as a technology and as a multitasking tool, mobile phone is evolving so fast that its users find it difficult to evolve with it. We cannot beat a machine in its own game, especially when it is manufactured to do things that we cannot do, can we? It is that same old temptation that becomes an addiction before one understands it.
Yes, it could be glorious hypocrisy if one says he doesn’t own a mobile phone but wants others to answer him when he calls them over their mobile phone. I put my hands up. I admit that in certain unknown, strange situations, mobile phones can be life saving devices. I don’t think all of us need to carry one, to be safe.
Another thing that bothers me most about mobile phones is their ability to do more than just assisting telephone calls. I don’t think you get just a mobile handset these days. People treat a phone as ‘crap’, if it is just a phone even if it is sturdy and has a legible-chirpy keypad. To them, it is not value for money, which I don’t understand. In general, it is worrying to see how people take basic (meant to be) functions for granted.
It has been an active resistance on my part not to own a mobile phone. Whenever I hear a person say “what? you do not have a mobile phone?”, I do not respond and you know why? If I wait for a moment, there is a high chance that the same person will say “lucky you”. I will certainly smile. Many know that they cannot run away from it because it has become their extended self.
and there you have your mobile phone in a nut ‘Cell’.