This is an article written by Sumaira.
Cell phones. Walking along the halls of my high school, all I see are faces hidden behind these electronic devices, fingers and thumbs madly clicking away. To someone who has long been denied access to such a consuming technological marvel as the modern cell phone has evolved to become, it is easy to draw a decisive conclusion: cell phones are taking over our lives.
Perhaps if I owned a cell phone, I would understand the fascination it holds over the lives of my peers. Perhaps it’s a secret disclosed only to those privileged enough to own one; like a cult. Once you buy a cell phone, you are immediately recognized by the Cult of the Cell Phone as someone worthy to behold the secrets behind cell phone use; secrets such as why exactly people can’t wait until the end of class but feel the ardent need to disrespect their educators by pulling out their cell phones in the middle of it and madly texting away, or why they forego face-to-face conversation with the people in their vicinity as opposed to sending multiple messages to those farther away, or why it is that they find texting a suitable alternative to everyday conversations.
I may never find out.
The fact is, however, that 3.3 billion people in the world own cell phones. That is about half the world’s population. In fact, in countries with mature markets such as Italy, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, and Great Britain, the number of cell phones being used has exceeded the population of the country. Now consider this: about half the world’s population lives on under 2 USD a day. About 100-150 million children do not have access to education, even though education is recognized by the UN as a basic human right. About 158 million are child labourers (1 out of ever 6 children in the world), tasks which often involve work in hazardous situations, crippling neglect, and abusive exploitation, both physical and sexual.
That is the world we live in today. And here we are spending our money on unneeded luxuries like cell phones, among other things.
The thing about cell phones is, they are dead useful at times. When you’re stuck some place and need immediate help, a cell phone is a sure way to let others become aware of your situation. Despite its advantages however, we seem to be exploiting them to fit our own personal schedules. Instead of using them for emergency purposes, like they are meant to be used, we use them as a haven, to save us from the otherwise dull lives we suppose ourselves to lead. They are a way for the student to be rebellious, for the driver to feel daring, and for the underdog to look “cool”.
I for one am hard-pressed to control my anger when I watch more and more people succumb to the cell phone mania. I know people with not one, but two or three cell phones. I know a lot of people to whom cell phones are essential to life. And I believe it has to stop, before we face an unsociable world, bereft of face-to-face communication and relying only on the speed at which our fingers can press buttons.