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Nishad Padiyarath on why excessive smartphone use could have serious consequences for society.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Well, while I am still in bed, I pick up my phone, press the Facebook app and see what’s going on in the world. I will also open WhatsApp and chat with my friends. It is also the very last thing I do before going to sleep at night.
Yes, I am addicted to my smartphone and I must admit that. But I am not the only one. Hundreds of people are today addicted to mobile phones. According to a recent survey, an average amount spent online has more than doubled from 9.9 hours a week 10 years ago to 20.5 hours. Astonishing, isn’t it?
I received a call from my friend last week. His nine-year-old son is a mobile phone addict and he is worried that it has now grown into an “obsession”. As soon as my friend gets back home from work, his son grabs the phone and stays glued to it right up until bedtime, playing games and fiddling with apps. “I am worried if it will affect his memory. He is becoming obsessed with it,” his father says.
Even in families, I hear of husbands and wives these days texting each other at the dinner table instead of indulging in direct face-to-face communication. This has started ruining relationships.
Can you reduce the use of mobile phones apart from using them for a “real cause”? Yes, you can. If you can switch off the mobile phone for a flight journey then you can keep off the device and use it only when required.