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Cell phone overuse

There are numerous manifestations of indiscipline in the use of cell phones: Folks settle down to have dinner as a family, but one, if not…

There are numerous manifestations of indiscipline in the use of cell phones: Folks settle down to have dinner as a family, but one, if not the two, parent clicks on a button on his phone to accept an imposing incoming call. He excuses himself from the table to take the call, staying away for upwards of five or so minutes. And before he’s done with the current call, several other calls come in, at which point he either ignores the incoming calls or judiciously decides to give a priority to one of them. He might even have wanted to terminate the current call but didn’t quite know how to do so without offending the caller. So, he is just happy that a new call comes in. After he is done with a caller, he might decide to return the calls that came in while he was “busy.” So, he calls two or three persons to explain why he couldn’t pick up their calls. Well, to cut the long story short, by the time he is back to the dinner table, the other family members have finished eating and have moved on! In some cases, the dinner might actually have been booked at a fancy restaurant in town, with marque price tags. The location doesn’t matter: the phone will have the better part of the event. It doesn’t even have to be in a restaurant; it could happen on a family trip!
You see, because of indiscipline from excessive phone usage, our good friend has missed the opportunity to share quality time with the spouse, who might otherwise have been lonely, although not alone, for most of the day, or to spend time with the kids, who only have a finite time to socialize with their parents each day. I am sure you get my drift. A question I have is: “What time do we have to raise our kids if ‘cell phones wouldn’t allow us to rest,’ or, more appropriately, if we wouldn’t allow cell phones to rest?”
Scenarios such as the one described above make me wonder how we managed in the pre-cell-phone era. Cell phones are supposed to improve our quality of life, not to separate us from our family and loved ones. The attachment to cell phones is so serious in some families that close relationships are impossible. Or, how can a child learn from the father when the father is never available to interact with the child because of “busyness?”
Sometimes, it is not just our families that get the brunt of our bad phone habits. You are inside a public transportation system, and cell phones from all corners will not allow you to collect yourself or have peace of mind.
Yet, in most cases, the calls are not free. I always marvel at the amount of money that people spend on cell phones, buying them and “re-charging” them – especially people who are just getting by, financially-speaking. Why don’t they just save a chunk of the money into a bank account to prepare for future financial security? To be sure, business people have to be on the phone to make transactions. But most of us, including a large proportion of business people, don’t stay long on the phone for business-related reasons; we do so for purely social reasons, often times with negligible value-addition to our lives. Thus, not only do we not spend enough time with our loved ones, we also waste money. Why has the need for humans to be on the phone changed so drastically in less than ten years, after all we have been on this planet for millions of years? I am amazed by the little respect people have for time, especially in the developing countries. Time is one thing that, when lost, can never be regained. Thus, at least three things suffer when you stay too long on the phone: you miss an opportunity to spend quality time with your family and friends, you waste money, and you waste time. You can even be stressed by the lack of “breathing space.”
These are not the only problems you get for overusing cell phones. More insidious are the health-related issues. There is still the concern that the electromagnetic waves associated with cell phone operation are bad for humans, and might actually cause cancer. This will advise that we limit our phone usage to the barest necessity. A very recent research reported that working smartphones late into the evening doesn’t just make it harder for you to get a decent night’s sleep, it also exhausts you by morning and leaves you disengaged by the next afternoon. The deleterious effects on performance at work of “sleeping with your smartphone” have been published in a Harvard Business Press book.
The bottom line in this article is that several bad things could happen to you from cell phone overuse: you could miss an opportunity to spend quality time with your family and friends, you waste money and time, your work suffers, and your health could be in jeopardy.

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