Mobile phones or life accessories?

A few years ago decent mobile phones were the reserve of the rich kids at school with many of my friends and I not getting phones at all until around 12 or 13 years old. These days eight year-olds can be seen nattering away idly on the streets (to who I’m not really sure).

My first phone (pictured, below) was a Mitsubishi Trium Geo- used mainly to enter competitions on Saturday morning kids’ TV and for checking football results because I only had Channels 1-5 back in the days before Freeview! I definitely wasn’t allowed to take it out of the house and it was hardly ‘mobile’ anyway. Loading these mobile internet pages would take anything up to 10 minutes to check a score using the WAP technology.

Mitsubishi Trium Geo - my first mobile phone

These days we’ve got 3G, 4G soon to be rolled out and even Wi-Fi on mobile phones. Is it all getting too much though? I’ve noticed we’re all getting so antisocial in real life with Facebook, Twitter are taking over both at home and on the move. I was dead against joining Twitter in 2009 before I started University. I now have over 2,000 tweets. (And looking back in 2017, I now have over 15,000).

With Blackberry Messenger (BBM), Pingchat, WhatsApp and other instant messaging services so persistent that you can even check when your messages have been read, invading our phones like MSN Messenger once did on our PCs – I feel that mobile phones are perhaps becoming too integral to our daily lives.

Driving while using a handheld phone is actually illegal and can actually land you in Magistrates’ Court or with a hefty fine. It can also cause scenes like the videos posted below:

Using phones in the cinema is also particularly annoying – either the light pollution that they cause or the vibrating alerts. I don’t go to the cinema often but I frequently see people tweeting that they are seeing a certain film from inside a cinema.

Lectures are another place where constant use of phones is a distraction. Whether it be the clicking of the keypad, the light shining underneath desks or even the noise of text alerts, it is pretty insulting to your lecturers and after paying upwards of £3000 each year to get a degree, why not focus fully on learning?

Walking and crossing roads is a pretty common sense situation. No matter how good you think you are at multitasking, you may not always get so lucky. Quite a few people have bumped into me or narrowly avoided doing so due to using their phones while walking and I’m sure that I’m not alone. Take a moment to take in the world around you before you next check who the latest person to ‘ping’ you is.

Hospitals used to prohibit the use of mobile phones to stop them interfering with the equipment. Nobody really seems to listen to this now though!

Even on the London Underground where there is not an ounce of signal. It’s perfectly fine to have a game of Angry Birds to cure boredom, but what is the point of trying to send a message or tweet knowing that you could just as easily wait until you leave the station?

 

Phones can help in really awkward situations for example if you’re stuck in a room with someone with very little to talk about, however, they have also reduced the socialising that we used to do face to face.

I feel that texting or messaging people while out on a date is probably the most disrespect someone could show me. Nothing is really that urgent is it?

As well as phones being disrespectful and a potential safety risk they are now also very pretentious. Referring to phones by name e.g my iPhone, my Blackberry, my crackberry, my berry or even “my baby” (Megan Smith, Guardian, August 2010) is pretty annoying. Whatever happened to just saying “I’ll check my phone” Imagine broadcasting to the world that you were just going to check your Nokia 3210?

I’m not saying I’m innocent, or that phones should be only used for calls and texts, I think it’s just a case of using them at the right times.

What do you think? Leave comments below.

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