News Column

Smartphones 'mobile magic'

June 12, 2014

Abdellatif Sharaa

The introduction of smartphones was a significant achievement that affected the lives of millions of people across the world. There are many benefits of this modern marvel but we should take a moment to also consider the negative effects. When I started hearing about mobile phones, like most people I wanted one. But when I asked about the price, cost of service, and mind you, the size of the device, it was easy for me to decide against it.

A few months later, there was an incident and I needed to use the phone in Kuwait City, but none of the stores in the areas let me use it, so the "mobile magic" returned to mind, and the journey began. Things changed, and as the case is, advancements and discoveries are made by the hour, and phones started coming in different shapes, sizes, functions, applications and uses. Today, one can save a life with the use of a mobile phone, as he may communicate with a doctor with audio and video from anywhere and get instructions on what to do and how to act.

Mobile phones make it easier to communicate and bring people closer and faster, but the introduction of new applications created another type of cult following – you now can see mobile users of all ages using the phone while walking, driving and working, not only to make a call, but to play games, writing messages and even arguing through WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook, Tango…I do not think that I can write them all! Parents can use mobile phones to guide and control their children, wherever they may be. Even business contracts can be agreed upon and finalized by using a mobile phone while at the airport or amusement park. But many people, regardless of age, hardly drop this little device from their hands, even in bed, without realizing that there will so many harms out of this thing as they become addicted to it, and they feel that it is equal to the oxygen we breathe.

Sometimes I ask my daughter, who is in high school, to bring me a glass of water, and she goes to the kitchen and disappears, only for me to find out that she was so involved with a call or conversation that she totally forgot the task she went to do.

We are trying hard to wean her from the phone, because it really affects her daily routine, and her studies too. We must realize that as much as mobile phones are a blessing, they can be a curse. I do not need to speak about and describe the horrific car accidents that have taken place because of the use of phones while driving as an example. I've seen very angry people in government departments and health centers, because an employee is not doing his job, busy with his mobile phone.

Just yesterday, a new report was published about the overuse of mobiles and it was proven that the use of mobile phones in the dark may cause retinal detachment and blindness, and this is very alarming as many of our children use the phone while going to sleep. In fact, mobile phone radiation can be dangerous to the human body's well being, and may cause headaches, earaches and blurred vision.

The invisible radiations may damage the brain and certain cells in the head region, among other things. Mobile phones with cameras, for example, are causing privacy problems, and go as far as illegal acts and extortions. Studies show that abusing the use of mobile phones can generate stress, anxiety or addiction.

It specially refers to teenagers. It has been observed that teenagers who use their mobile phones too frequently are more prone to anxiety, sleep disorders and stress and fatigue, apart from cognitive and attention issues. Please, do not use your phone while driving – be safe and keep others safe too.

By Abdellatif Sharaa

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Source: Kuwait Times

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