A mobile phone is an electronic wireless, portable scientific device, which is used to receive and send voice and messages. With the advent of smart-phones, mobile phones have now got a new meaning. Now they are not only means of communication, but are also the sources of information and entertainment.
Telephones have changed dramatically since Alexander Graham Bell spoke the first words into a telephone on 10th March, 1876. In the early 1980s, portable phones were like a small-scale mobile phone. In 1983 Motorola first produced commercially hand held mobile phone (Dyna TAC 8000x). Several other companies started to produce mobile phones. From the First-Generation System (1G) now it has come to the Fourth Generation System (4G). The mobile devices have become the lifeline of communication in today’s time.
In the developed world, smart phones have now overtaken the usage of earlier mobile systems. However in the developing world, they account for only 20% of mobile telephony. Mobile phones are used for a variety of purposes, such as keeping in touch with people, for conducting business and in order to have access to a telephone in the event of an emergency. Further people may use it for playing games, listening to the music, watching movie, internet surfing, mobile banking etc.
Technology in particular mobile phones has become an integral part of all our lives. We seem completely reliant on our phones no matter where we are or what we are doing. People these days are empowered to be mobile savvy by staying connected. We can now send/receive e-mails anywhere, easily stay connected, take photos, play games, manage calendars and the list goes on and on. Mobile phones have become so much necessary that human beings have become over-dependent on it.
In a way, mobile phones have become a constant source of interruptions in our lives. Whether it is a family get to together, any professional meeting or attending a programme, our mobile phones can ring anywhere. These regular interruptions lead to divided attention and an individual cannot give his best to a single activity he is involved in at that moment. This annoys other people and lowers the efficiency of the individuals.
Mobile phones have dehumanised the dynamics of human contact. The essence of personal touch is lost in today’s tech-savvy world. People have confined themselves to the world of mobile and have forgotten how to interact in real life anymore.
The face to face communication has taken a back seat. Gone are the times when the family used to sit together for the dinner and that strictly used to be the family time. The instant messaging and social media applications have become the favourite past time of the most of the people across all the age groups. Some people become completely disinterested in spending time with their families.
The most affected section of the society by the usage of mobile phones are children. They are spending hours on the mobile phones playing games. This affects their reading time and sleeping hours also. This also plays havoc with their physical and mental growth.
A large section of teenagers and young people have fallen victims to the use of the mobile phones. The instant messaging and social media applications are very popular among them. Also, they have easy access to pornographic sites, which ultimately may cause a permanent bad effect on their young minds.
The health effects of mobile phones are dangerous. Excessive use of mobile phones sometimes leads to migraine, weak eyesight, sleeplessness, chronic fatigue, infertility, cardiac problems and tumours in extreme cases.
Recently research has suggests that the radiation from lithium-which is contained in mobile phone batteries may produce brain cancer and tumours. Also, mental illness, such as Alzheimer’s disease (memory loss) and sleep problems could be caused by excessive use of mobile phones. Besides, psychiatrists and sociologists believe that mobile phone addiction is becoming one of the biggest non-drug addiction in the 21st century. It is more than proven that excessive mobile phone use could endanger human health.
Not only human health, some studies suggest that the increasing number of mobile phone towers in cities may be one of the causes leading to reduced bird population. Some research suggest that the ill effects of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) emitted by mobile phones may harm birds and damage bird eggs and embryos. Decreasing number of sparrow and many small species of birds are really alarming. Experts claims that once gone, these birds would never be back.
Constant use of mobile phone leads to many risks in our life also. As it is a source of constant communication, often people are on call and phones while they are walking in the streets or driving the car. These lead to major road accidents which may lead to injuries and even death in many cases.
However, we cannot deny that mobile phones are a great invention and almost a perfect technological breakthrough. It would be unfair if we restrict ourselves to only the negativities of these devices. Mobile phones have provided a great level of convenience and safety to those who use it.
With these devices, one never feels lonely. There are a large number of mobile applications which are helpful to manage most of the things in our lives with the help of a single touch.
One can set alarms and reminders, schedule meetings and have video conferences via mobile. Besides, a large number of applications help us to do online shopping, get the food delivered at home or office, take care of our health, read books, listen to music, get information etc.
The instant messaging services help to connect with each other as and when required. The physical distances are now overcome by connecting through mobiles. It is a big support for the people who are living away from their families. They can have a video call with their families as many times as they want to talk to them in a day. The video calls are either free or very affordable.
The human dependence on the mobile devices has increased significantly. Technology is good as long as it is our slave. The day it starts becoming a master it can have some serious effects on our life.
Over utilisation of any resource is harmful. Now mobile phones have intervened into our lives so much, that some have started considering it as an inevitable part of their lives. They have become habitual to it like a person is addicted to drugs and even worse. This has consequently given rise to new phobias!
There is no doubt that mobile devices are an absolute necessity in today’s time. Still, the extent to which these are to be allowed to invade our lives is in the hands of an individual. We need to make an optimal use of the mobile devices to reap the maximum benefits out of it.