Bane of mobile phones

July 24, 2006

Mobile phones are like marriages … you can’t do with them and most definitely cannot do without them!- Anon

They keep you connected, in sync with those you want to, but they are also a pain, because sometimes you need your space. You do not have your privacy any more: anyone can reach you easily whenever they want. Today’s mobiles have become fashion accessories as well as technological devices.

You hear of children being ridiculed in school by their friends for not having the latest tech/trendy mobile. Add to that the evils of downloading inappropriate content.

The mobile phone contributes to our shrinking attention span, a subject of serious concern today. The complaints are familiar and frequent: People on mobile phones talk too loud, they use them at inappropriate times, and they just don’t seem to care if they are bothering anyone. Mobile phones at theatres. Mobile phones in vehicles. Mobile phones at funerals. Mobile phones at weddings. Mobile phones in class. And of course, mobile phones in restaurants.

Traditionally quiet places such as film theatres, temples and live theatre venues are now compelled to remind patrons to turn off their mobile phones or other devices before a performance.

It is nearly a decade since mobile phones came to India. And still you find people getting excited seeing a mobile and act like kids when they get a new toy. People should be over it. People need to pay attention to commonsense etiquette rules to govern their behaviour with mobile phones and other electronic devices.

I definitely believe the cell phone in schools and colleges should be banned. If the student needs to contact his/her parents, there are a number of telephone booths he/she could make use of. Doctors have also reported that the use of cell phones could be a health hazard. People led normal lives and reached their children even when cell phones did not exist. Cell phones have just become a fashion statement for students who incur heavy bills paid by their parents.

“It’s like asking to live without salt: you can do without it, albeit unhappily, but with it flavour abounds.” This is what a friend told me.

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25 Responses to “Bane of mobile phones”

  1. Vani Says:

    Bellur,

    Well, you seem to have written it just when I have been getting irritating SMSes (not obscene…but disturbing) from some stranger…I have to keep my phone switched on all the time in order to speak to my Overseas offices, but now I get scared whenever the SMS tone beeps. I spoke to the Cellular company and they very coolly informed me that they cannot help me…going to the police…unwanted publicity….Yesterday being Sunday I had the advantage of switching off…when I switched it on this morning…again, there it was. Thankfully, it seems to have stopped.

  2. Shruthi Says:

    Yes, and the status in society is measured by what kind of cellphone a person has – that is so irritating. People buy high-end phones, and they don’t know how to operate anything!
    I know a person, who always asks a person showing off his new phone, “Can you make calls with that?” :D

    [I had forgotten to change my bloglines subscription to your new bloglink :)]

  3. rk Says:

    Vani: Really a coincidence. Really bad that some sadists get cheap pleasure in ‘gol-huykoling’ others! sadhya, nillthalla.

    Shruthi: Thanks for your maiden comments at Eden Gardens(WP). (Blogspot was like a home turf).

    Till date, most of the people who have seen my mobile have mistaken it for a ‘Geometry box’ or a toy mobile. It is an old model, and weighs nearly ‘kaal-kg’!

    i imagine the next-gen-kids to be born with 2 mobiles hanging in both the ears: In one, incoming free, in the other, outgoing free!

  4. travel plaza Says:

    RK, great post. Yeah I think as with everything else, cell phones too have advantages as well as dissadvantages. And like you said, all of us led normal happy lives without cell phones…We have been resisting my 12 yr old’s demands for a cell phone for a while now..don’t know how much longer we can hold out. The simple reason being that he has access to a phone all the time that he is in school…so why a cell phone we ask?

  5. coup Says:

    Ok, it can be “irritating”, but how about the countless lives it has surely saved in emergencies of some kind? Aren’t there mobile phones specifically designed with kids in mind these days, that allow them to only dial a few set numbers, with the sole thought of “in case of emergency” in mind?

  6. Mridula Says:

    I so much agree with what you have written. And during the music or other performances, in spite of being asked to switch off the mobile phones by the organizers, cell phones still ring. Thankfully my students do not give me much trouble with their mobile phones.

  7. rk Says:

    TP:Thank you. Sometimes, parents are forced to accede to their kid’s demands(read it as commands).

    Coup: Yes you are right. But I have seen kids asking their parents to get them the latest mobiles with max. features. I feel they can enjoy life without all these gadgets…… did I hear you say ‘Generation gap’? ;)

    Mridula: Thanks for your comments. You are lucky to have got those disciplined fellas. Actually, apart from these irritations, more irritating is when some Insurance or Bank personnel calls you at odd hours or when you get an unwanted SMS by a mobile service provider.
    Keep visiting often!

  8. Vidya Says:

    Hi Ramki,

    I get irritated everyday when I get the same message
    from Airtel ringtone club eveyday.
    It goes like this -“Ondhe tarahadha tring tring ring keli bejaaragidheye? Airtel saadhara padisutthidhe ……………………Ee seveyannu nimage odhagisalu neevu koduvudhu thingalige kevala 30 Rupayigalu maathra………”
    Ufff!!! It bugs me when I make the baby almost asleep and he suddenly wakes up when the mobile rings.

    Mobiles are very useful but Non sense sometimes and totally unavoidable for without staying connected u tend become
    BREATHLESS!! hhaha:)

  9. coup Says:

    Hmm, i think the fact that i’m from a foreign country is skewing my views on the matter. We hardly get any spam sms’s or calls, and as for kids, kids will be kids, and you should ban that type of formulated advertising if you want to stop them asking for the newest gadgets. The concept of “video ringtones” is ludicrous; who wants to watch a music video when their phone is ringing?

  10. rk Says:

    Vidya: Same here. They really irritate you. A groundnut seller as well as a CEO, a beggar as also a filmstar all have a mobile. And the nice thing is all of them get these irritating calls and SMSes!

    Coup: The fact that you are from a foreign land is just getting a new perspective.

    I feel the music mafia is mainly selling its stuff (read ringtones) to kids. But the point is they are exploiting kids. They extract the money from children. That is the core of their business. To take the money from the kids. Any kid that spends 50-60 bucks a months on ringtones should be taken to task by their parents.

    They are taking advantage from the fact that kids are in their development. I find the behaviour of the Music Mafia morally corrupt.

    While I can understand ringtone demand to a degree, I can’t really see that video ringtones will have the same appeal. Ringtones — whether ‘phone-style’, musical or whatever — signify that a device you’re not currently using requires your attention. More often that not, it’s out of your line of sight when that happens, but no matter — you only need to hear it. Once it’s started, you’d generally want to start the call (and end the ringtone) as quickly as possible.

    To get your money’s worth from video ringtones you’d need to watch the video as your phone’s ringing — thereby not answering the phone.

    If you had told me a few years back that ringtones would be a big part of the future of the music business, I would never have believed it. Well, ringtones now account for more than 10% of the global music market and are overtaking CD sales sooner than expected. I don’t think video ringtones will be as much in demand as audio

    Anyway, what’s your ring sound like? ;)


  11. Leave it or take it, mobiles have become a part of our lives. Just try to holiday in a place where you don’t have mobile, landline or Internet connectivity, then you will realise the importance of the gadgets in question.

    All you parents out there, answer one question: If your son or daughter says they will feel secure having a handset, how many of us will refuse the request?

    Wait for the day when mobiles will double up as your credit card, access card, what not!

  12. rk Says:

    Kishor,

    Firstly, the link in your blogpost “who are bloggers” made interesting reading. Also, heard that the book “One night @ the call center” is a pretty good book. Suggest you write a review in your blog. Thanks in advance. :)

    Now to your comment. When the mobile phone becomes not just an essential item for communication but instead something that takes control of a child’s life, parents have a right to be worried. :(

    I have heard parents telling that their teenager can do nothing else but sit by their mobile phone waiting for calls or text messages. They say ‘my child will no longer communicate with the family, her phone has to be beside her day and night, we often hear her texting or talking in the early hours of the morning, her homework is suffering, her hobbies no longer take priority ….she is not the daughter we once had’

    The youth of today are the first new generation to have an ‘anytime, anyplace, anywhere mobile communications culture’ and excessive and more proficient use of it can be viewed as part of defining generational differences – a form of rebellion.

    This culture, however, is no comfort to parents who cannot understand the obsession. Only a few years ago we all managed to organise ourselves and keep in touch with each other perfectly well without the mobile. Now some children are so obsessed that they are unable to communicate uninterrupted, are constantly checking for messages and become irritable if they have to be away from their phone for any period of time. The family as a whole is finding the ‘mobile culture’ stressful causing rifts between members.

    It is exciting to be part of a growing technological world and all should enjoy its benefits, but in moderation. Children need to have agreed boundaries for mobile phone usage. Communication within families is also essential to ensure safe practice.


  13. Thanks, RK, I will post a review when done.

    First and foremost we must stop making comparisons from the past. Like a software, parents must try to upgrade themselves with the latest edition as fast as possible to avoid any “virus” or “system hang” :)

    You need to sit with your ward and try to explain them the pros and cons of mobiles. Some social habits/behaviours change over the years. You need to accept it.

  14. Gangadhar Says:

    Nice write up RK..I hate mobile phones the way people use it..
    Privacy is going public!!! See my post herebut i use one for me..but i give my number to a very few imp persons…

  15. rk Says:

    Kishor: Yes, everyone must keep up with times.
    And looking forward to read the review. :)

    Gangadhar: Read your post. Good one. But the cartoon didn’t open. :(
    I feel driving while talking on a mobile phone is as bad as or maybe worse than driving drunk.

  16. Gangadhar Says:

    RK,you can view the cartoon,by pasting the actual link in a new window..as wordpress is not allowing us to place .gif images..

  17. rk Says:

    Thanks Ganga, I got to see the cartoon. lol!


  18. [...] links: Bane of mobile phones  Helmets are [...]

  19. click Says:

    Thank you for your wonderful web site and this guest page

  20. Sanchit Says:

    Hey Buddy!Let me inform u that u r a beatiful writer

  21. Jyotsna Says:

    It’s a rubbish response stupid I wanted debate. Then go to hell.

  22. Sanjay M Says:

    whats a rubbish response? I think I missed something here…

  23. pooja Says:

    Rk wp are not allowing us to post any pic..


  24. mobile phones that have built in cameras are my favorite because they can capture those special moments and events :':


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