By Buma Bronhilda Wasa*
The effect is palpable even if ominous. The victim is usually seen in front of a television screen, or near a radio set and sometimes even in conversation with an interlocutor. However, their attention is not on what they are watching or listening to but on their mobile phone which they unconsciously manipulate sometime to the knowledge of the person with whom they are supposed to be conversing. This new addiction is causing people to indulge in sometimes abominable actions like conversing while driving or concentrating on the phone while engaged in a supposedly important dialogue.
Looking around the world today we will notice that people are not only dependent on their phones but have grown emotionally attached to them. Phones are the first things we get hold of when we wake up and the last thing we check on before we go to bed. They have become a basic element in our day to day life. Statistics have shown that a new phone owner is more attached to his or her phone more than one who has owned a phone for more than a year. Many people cannot imagine living without phones due to how attached they have become to these gadgets.
The Smartphone is hardly the problem. The problem of attachment to smart phones are the applications, internet and games it connects us to. Communication between people physically has become a thing of the past. Families now sit together in the same milieu but all heads and attention are buried on their phones. Even during religious services, people cannot resist the temptation of not touching their phones. We have seen couples sit in restaurants and snacks paying attention to their phones and ignoring each other. Due to the availability of phones almost everyone has access to the internet. Staying connected is now a national obsession. Libraries are no longer visited because with one option on your phone you can access any book or article you want. We have witnessed accidents that happened because the driver was manipulating his phone while driving. We have witnessed people fall into pits, holes and even hit themselves on objects on the road because they had their heads buried on their phones while walking.
Also, people have died or gotten wounded because they go as far as using their smart phones while charging them. For the advantages of access to internet on the smart phones, people can shop online, advertise businesses, access banking apps for easy financial transactions. When faced with a situation you can easily reach out to someone for help. We get entertained from the funny videos, the talent shows, the pranks. We get educated due to the easy access of information and interactive content.
However, as the adage goes, all that glitters is not gold. As the phone technology gets smarter, the price for the phone has experienced upward mobility. Also smart phones are a great distraction. Instead of studying, we get entangled with funny video or uncensored programs like pornographic videos. More so, much attention on phones affects the eyes because phones have HEV lights which can damage the eye retina. With all this we will conclude that a phone is a necessity in our day to day life but should be handled with much precaution.
*UB Journalism student on internship