The mobile phone first appeared in India sometime in the nineties. It was a bulky box quite similar to the landlines we still use today. It had an equally big antenna and was heavy and cumbersome to carry. That was just the beginning.
Very soon they were all over the place. With the alarming speed at which they shrunk in size, these pocket sized wonders, sure packed a punch.
The mobiles of today are gizmos that can do multiple functions. They can send text messages, they can send and receive video messages and they have a host of facilities that somehow make the “talk on the move” function seem redundant.
As is the case with every invention, with time the prices crashed and today these little things are available for as less as five hundred Indian rupees.
In India almost every one, everywhere, seems to have one. The vegetable vendor, the bus conductor, students, the office goers, almost everybody irrespective of economic status has a cell phone. This little midget has taken the world by storm.
Thanks to the cell phone everybody is available almost all of the time. It’s a boon for people who do a lot of field work. It means the offices they work for can keep in touch with them.
Also in cases of emergency, like you are stuck in a road jam or in some catastrophe, all you have to do is whip out your phone and call for help or call your family to put their minds at ease. You can text one message to several people at the same time.
Through your cell you can go online and check your email. You can play games on your cell phone to kill time, not the best of uses, but a use nonetheless.
You can even listen to music on the cell, watch video clippings and if you are of the artistic bend and wish to click a spontaneous photograph, viola!! One click on the cell phone and you are done.
Everywhere you go, you are swarmed by people glued to their cell phones. It has reached the proportions where often one sees a young couple walking down the beach hand in hand; both their other hands holding on to their individual cells talking to other people.
It means that people are talking a lot more than they used to for sure. It means that when you visit a friend for dinner most of the time everybody is busy on their individual cells. It also means that people drive recklessly-their one ear and one hand occupied by the cell.
However, it is the total invasion of privacy which cell phones have caused which is scary. People are recording videos of other people without their knowledge and then selling them. Advertising through text messages has become such a nuisance that you have your cell phone beeping almost all the time.
In case of an emergency, often, the network is jammed thanks to the indiscriminate use of cell phones. Several health risks have been projected by the misuse of the cell phone; one of them being the decreased count of sperm in men due to prolonged use. Kids have been caught storing answers on the cell phone to use during examinations.
What use is technology if it makes us restless, impatient and deprives us of the moments that really matter-a cup of hot tea had against the backdrop of the pitter patter of the rain, a walk on the beach with a loved one. What use is it if it robs us of the joy of taking a walk down the beach listening to the sound of waves? With every technology, along with its uses come the misuses and it is the users responsibility to use technology with caution.