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Oh my ‘Love’ where art thou? My heart laments for thee….  Your chest rocks with palpitations, your mind cannot concentrate on any task on hand, your pulse rate goes erratic with anxiety, you fear missing out on notifications, the Facebook feed beckons you, the Instagram uploads pile up and the emails pings resound in your ears. And yet the little monster is nowhere to be found. Have you ever been in the above situation?

Yes, I’m referring to your smartphone!

Notwithstanding the video clips that went viral showing corn being popped by the mobile phones( which by the way was fake), studies popping up periodically about brains being fried literally with phones stuck to the ears & emitting microwaves with cells going haywire to make brain tumors, sperm count studies in humans showing a gradual decline over the years thanks to the proximity of the laptops & phones in pockets radiating merrily. Nothing seems to deter the initiated. Read majority of humans. So dependent have we become on this little monster that an absence for a few minutes from our hands brings on panic attacks. The name of this disease : nomophobia. Literally an acronym for ‘no mobile’ phobia. Long forgotten is the original use of this little one, making and receiving phone calls. The fingers itch to text WhatsApp messages or browse the news or click pictures of anything & everything including your next meal however mundane that maybe. If nothing else you update your Facebook status or worse still stalk friends, family members, neighbors or just random strangers. How is it that this random piece of gadgetry has taken over our lives. Every possible information of our lives is stored in this flat powerhouse of information & knowledge. “As smartphone evokes more personal memories, users extend more of true identity onto smartphones” says a research study in Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and social networking. Just having a smartphone within reach even if it’s switched off & face down reduces your cognitive capacity. While having it available in a different room gives your brain a boost, says another study.

And that brings me to the crucial question of allowing young impressionable minds unlimited access to this monster? The educational system emphasis on using this in classrooms had me protesting loudly. How does one monitor a student playing games on  the device rather than following your PowerPoint slides? If their cognitive capacity is compromised by the smartphone in their hands, what comprehension are we expecting… ladies all your thoughts welcome

  1. September 24, 2017

    Plus the incalculable harm in terms of mental health .
    It’s an experiment in realtime – immature minds ( physically and cognitively) with access to 24×7 electronic noise – without the faculty of being able to cherry pick only the good. I’m sure our minds and bodies can’t evolve fast enough to adapt to this pace of change.
    Recall reading a random statistic stating the level of anxiety in a typical high schooler today is comparable to that of a psychiatric patient in the 1970s. As a physician get to see far too many young people struggle with anxiety and other mental health challenges – dread to think that too may become the norm .

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