Mobiles and Lives

Musings Mar 6, 2016

"Good morning. Happy day” and a cluster of smileys greet me in the morning. This is the wake-up call of the contemporary times. Just as the rooster was to my grandfather, a beeping phone is to us.

The evolution chart of the world from the magma, the humans from the unsuspecting jellyfish, Google from the hearts of CERN, the user-savvy smart-phones from the erstwhile pagers are contrasting in their own right.

When my uncle boasts of his memory which helps him recollect and differentiate the numbers of a certain Mr Sethi from Mr. Sodhi, I can try to match him with my mobile’s non-exhaustive Contact list, but the result might be the same, his’ unparalleled memory will stand inimitable.

Mobile use growth rate graph (All rights held by Tomi Ahonen)

The mobile usage has grown at rates faster than spurt in black money in the safes of Switzerland and Luxemburg.

A book can be judged by its cover.
A person can be judged by his/her phone.

Mobile phones have undergone evolution. The brick-like gadget of the past has transformed itself into a stunning anorexic avatar. Just like our transition through the life, it has had its own transition in the highway of no return. Various mobiles have come and gone like cricketers- once its domination is over, it will be dropped and finally retire into oblivion.

If your mobile doesn’t show up with any connectivity, it is similar to you losing your eyesight/hearing/speaking. Nomo phobia (an abbreviation on “nomobile-phone phobia“) has come into prominence in recent years. YouGov, a UK-based research organization conducted a survey which found that nearly 53% of mobile phone users in Britain tend to be anxious when they “lose their mobile phone, run out of battery or credit, or have no network coverage”. The study found that about 58% of men and 47% of women suffer from the phobia, and an additional 9% feel stressed when their mobile phones are off!

And out-of-the-blue came terms like FOMO. While you are wondering if it is the brand name of a new launched smart-phone, it turns out that is actually a fear, a Fear Of Missing Out. Defined to be “the pervasive apprehension that others might be having more rewarding experiences from which one is absent”, it simply keeps nudging a person’s curiosity to know and be a part of what his/her friends/mates are doing. While statistics say that 2/3rd of the world’s population suffer from this angst, 80% of them do not even know they are affected!

The calls and text messages burnt a hole in your pocket. To curb this menace, Whatsapp, WeChat and many others came to the fore with the Android boom. How hypnotized one gets almost immediately after gaining the hold of a smartphone! The aimless swiping back and forth the home screen never seems to cease. It is called fun to converse with the person seated next to you through a phone than interaction via human senses. Staying in touch with each other has taken new definitions. Posting the everyday activities on social media has become mandatory to denote existence. The interlinked accounts, the internet of things and many more, that decide what you want even before you know it, continue to curb the capacity to think, judge and decide. This mania passes to the generations coming. Kids prefer Temple Run over a nice game of Hop and Run in the now deserted playgrounds.

From a position of affluence, the phones have become a sine qua non object for one and all. The mobile may not have its keypad anymore, may not offer the same old games it had earlier. But it sure proves to enhance the human lifestyle to heights never imagined before. At these heights came irrevocable effects. When was the last time you saw pigeons, heard them chirp joyously or nonchalantly watched a squirrel open a nut or did anything similar? The towers, signals and radiation raised to attend to mobile connectivity have resulted in a disconnection between human race and other forms of life. The radiation affects not just man, but also the peaceful livelihood of the flora and fauna around.

For those who claim to be exceptions, wait for your day. On a fine Sunday morning, when my mobile is lost, my dear uncle will brag about his insurmountable memory. My response will be meek. But it will be ‘restored’ when I buy myself another mobile.


Gopalakrishnan U

Gopalakrishnan is an avid blogger. He loves giving a font sized life to anything by writing about it. He likes watching world movies. He has a keen interest in quizzing and in reading novels.