Are mobile phones dangerous?
As I was reading TechLahore’s current post about the number of mobile phone users in Pakistan having increased from 300,000 in the year 2000 to the current number of 90 million, and was pondering over the question he asked – why had nobody – private sector or government – thought about encouraging or investing in the manufacturing of mobile phones locally, my thoughts wavered and I began to think of the millions of mobile phone users in Pakistan.
Isn’t it nice to see that certain types of technology can no longer be restricted to a small select group of people due to the price barrier or even the literacy barrier? Whether it be a sabzi walla, a rickshaw driver, a rural village woman, an executive in an organization, a politician or a businessman, most people can afford to buy a new or used mobile phone of one sort or another. Possessing a mobile phone gives them access to easy communication and hence, to some extent, this technology has proven to be a great equalizer.
Maybe I am being too simplistic but it warms my heart to see such mass usage of a relatively new technology. Innovative use of it, as has been seen in the Grameen model, can also lead to economic empowerment.
However, there are some dangers associated with a mobile phone that really have nothing to do with the technology itself. How many times have you seen people talking on their mobile phones while driving? It doesn’t matter what they are driving – could be a car, a bike, a rickshaw, a donkey cart, a scooter or a bus. This is the cause of many accidents on our roads today. If you need to be connected, why not get a headset or a speaker phone attachment so that your hands can be used to control the vehicle you are driving.
As if this isn’t bad enough, some people actually read and send text messages while driving. Imagine your eyes being off the road, and your hand being off the steering controls, at the same time. Scary, isn’t it? And yet how many of us have done it at one time or another?
Why not pull over to the side of the road if you really need to take a call or send a message. It is a lot safer. The life you are saving could be your own. End of public service message 🙂
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