Mobile phones are like friends you can't do without. A recent study by researchers at Baylor University in the US found college students spend an average of nine hours a day on their cell phones. Women students spend 10 hours a day on the device, while men students spend almost eight hours.
"That's astounding," says James Roberts, lead researcher of the study published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions. "As cell phone functions increase, addiction to this indispensable piece of technology becomes a realistic possibility." Overall, top activities in cell phone use included texting or instant messaging (see box).
A study on Indian teenagers by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS GenY Survey) found that urban students depend heavily on their mobile phones. Social media and instant messaging are most commonly resorted to.
The cell phone doubtless allows us the freedom to gather information, communicate, and socialise in ways only dreamed of before the discovery of cellular technology. At the same time, however, cell phones can lead to dependence, as shown in this study.
To find out how dependant YOU readers are on the device, we posed a simple question: do you think you will be able to survive two days without your mobile phone? To make the scenario more believable we asked them to imagine how they'd live, say, if a magnetic storm — which is quite likely if there is a phenomenon called solar flare — cuts off all electronic connections.
I'd die or turn mad
Every morning I wake up from sleep, grab my mobile phone and check for WhatsApp and FB messages. If there are any, I reply and then I go back to sleep... We GenX guys and gals are controlled mainly by our mobile phones. I am not ashamed to say that most of us can't survive even an hour without the device. Even if I don't die, I will surely turn mad.
Life will be better
If a magnetic storm cut off all electronic devices, I'd have so much time to spend with family and friends. Whenever my mother called, I would respond immediately. I'd walk to the market or shop to buy something (for I couldn't order it on the phone). I'd save so much because I wouldn't have to recharge my phone frequently or buy expensive Internet packages. I'd have to maintain a diary to remember important dates and events. I'd have to use fat old dictionaries to look for a synonym. I'd have to visit a library for research work. I'd get time to listen to the real twitter of birds and have the neighbourhood adda session without getting interrupted by some odd ring tone. And my eyes won't swell up after a late night spent surfing the Internet on my phone. It'll be the same for my classmates and we will be able to attend morning classes on time and with a fresh mind. Most important, teachers will b happy as the grades will go up.
Can't imagine life without it
Living two days without a cell phone is like surviving unarmed in a combat zone. It not only helps us to stay connected but is a key to entertainment, networking, navigation, schedules and so on. Yes, we are over-dependent on it. The cell phone may have affected our social skills, but it is indispensable. Love it or hate it, we just can't ignore it.
Send that magnetic storm
If a magnetic storm cuts off electronic connections I'll be able to do justice to a pending to-do list—detached from obtrusive screens and taking a break from online social platforms. I'll read all those books that have piled up, get some cooking lessons, play board games (such as Monopoly and Scrabble). Play football and tennis with "real" friends in the neighbourhood. I will also be able to spend quality time with my family. Above all, this will give me an opportunity to tend the plants in my terrace garden. Life would be much more peaceful, happier, uncomplicated, exciting and meaningful without network devices. I will get back control of my life — in fact, I am looking forward to such a magnetic storm and wish it occurred once every three months.
We will survive
The cell phone is my dearest friend and without it our lives will be dark as hell and survival simply impossible. How will I stay connected in a world devoid of Facebook, Twitter,Whatsapp and Hike? It's true we have become dependent on these pocket-sized miracles and will turn nearly mad, but I am sure in a crisis we'll learn to live without it. Just like flood-affected people are surviving right now in Kashmir, or the way people in Uttarakhand survived
Everything will collapse
Without the cell phone or telecom the entire communication system will turn topsy turvy. Medical systems, disaster relief, finance, education and so on will collapse. We cannot even live for a couple of days without telecommunications.
Source: Junaid Khan, Class XII, Vikash Residential College, Kantabada, Bhubaneswar, the Telegraph, retrieved 1st October 2017, https://www.telegraphindia.com/1141016/jsp/you/18929051.jsp