It is interesting to see how many people everyday user cell phones while driving. It does not matter whether they are driving motor bike or Car. It has become an integral part of driver’s activity. Nobody really thinks it is not right to use cell phones while driving.
Today morning while driving to drop my son to school I found the car before me in going at a very slow speed. I honked decently and waited for the person to either give me way or to increase his speed. I was in a hurry as I was having only few minutes to my son’s school gate closing time. So, as usual I lost my patience and honked like crazy. Finally the car in front of me gave me way. While overtaking I saw that he was talking over phone. I just crossed him then I found another person riding his bike has kept his cell phone on his shoulder and he has bent his head so much so that the cell phone does not fall. He was again blocking my way. Once again I had to honk endlessly to get some space so that I can cross him. I was about to reach my Son’s school, I found my cell phone started ringing. I did not pick up the phone. After some rings it stopped and again I started getting the call. It continued several times. After dropping my son in school, I saw 7 missed calls from my friend and I called him. As soon as he picked the phone, he shouted at me. “Why didn’t you pick up my call, are you alright”. I said I was driving. He laughed at me and said “You are working in a software company and you can’t to multi tasking”. I kept quiet and realized. Cell phone is no longer just another tool, it is now an integral part of our body. If we call somebody and he does not pick up the phone we either get worried or get annoyed. We assume that the person is either not well or he is ignoring me. We do not mind doing any other activity along with talking over phone. We talk while cooking, doing household activities, doing our work at office and mostly while driving. Why mostly while driving is because we get maximum privacy and we think every phone call is an urgent call. But we forget that we are either not giving enough attention to the person we are talking to or we are not bothered about people behind us who are in a hurry but unfortunately we are blocking their way.
I remember when I was studying in Engineering College at Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology located in a village called Sarang near Talcher city, we used to have only one STD booth near our hostel. Every week I used to call my parents to let them know that I am fine. Letter writing was not obsolete that time but it was no longer a popular medium due to STD booth revolution. I had a room mate. His name was Ramesh. He never used to join us for this weekly ritual. I asked once, why don’t you call your parents. He said, they have only one phone that to in their village post office. That phone was mostly used in place of ‘Telegram’ facility. Which means if a call comes then everybody will think there is a bad news or urgent news. Because bad news should be shared at the earliest. Good news can come via letters. So, if he calls then the post man will go to his home and inform his parents to come to post office at a specified time. Then his parents will get scared first and will stop eating and sleeping till they really talk to him. As long as there are no phone calls they are at peace thinking his son is absolutely fine. But now a days he and his wife both have cell phones. He sends a message once he reaches office that he reached. Then he sends another message that he is going for lunch and the when he finishes his lunch and on. If one of the activity message is not sent then his wife becomes panic and calls him. So phone call changed from a urgent information device to an online diary.
This also brought another change in us. We are now unable to distinguish between urgent matter and not (so) urgent matters.
So cell phone is not only spoiling our health by exposing us to so much of radiations but also affecting our behavior, civic sense and inbuilt prioritizing capacity.