Who does not own mobile phone this modern day?
The fast and convenience of smartphones have made their use a norm in the 21st century.
It has become an integral part of our daily living.
You see them at the dinner table, in lecture halls, hospitals, market places and even in washrooms with people who have purchasing power and with some children.
The smartphone has massively revolutionised the phase of communication today.
The devices facilitate easier connection with others and to places, events, entertainment, opportunities, businesses, products and services.
Rather ironically, it also does so ‘affordably’.
That further explains its popularity.
Cell phones were initially developed for the United States military motivated by the need to stay in touch.
Ever since the cellular phone has gone through massive changes that have made it accessible to the ordinary civilian.
This, in turn, has increased the number of manufacturers over time to meet the demands of the increasing number of users.
Over a hundred phone brands exist worldwide as a result.
Sense of urgency
Despite its convenience, the question that remains is whether mobile phones are taking away our sense of urgency?
Some argue that we are so engrossed in our virtual world that we turn to neglect the real world.
Yet what we do not know is that, it is actually decreasing our sensitivity to emotional cues, eliminating our ability to understand, stealing our attention, distorting our emotions and that of others and overall, reduces our social skills.
The time and effort that we put into our cell phones limit our time to connect and communicate with people around us.
A group of friends or relations seen together may lack physical or verbal communication and interaction.
Each of them has something to do on their mobile device and this negatively affect our natural behaviour.
Continuous and increased dependency on these devices also lead to addiction. Social media platforms only worsen our fear of missing out on social events as they glorify the actual events occurring.
This tends to increase our desire to keep up with societal trends which consequentially takes our minds off work and academics.
In an emergency situation, we begin to take videos and pictures just to share on social media instead of offering help and assistance.
In the health sector, patients could have complications when health personnel handling critical cases constantly take time off to check updates and reply to messages on their smartphones.
Yet, big brands such as Apple and Samsung do not want us to get out of our negative habits.
They keep making us yearn for more and more of the latest developments and features in these smart devices.
Convenience is the name of the game. Take away the average person’s cell phone for merely a couple of hours and hell will break loose.
They visually can’t function or stay balanced. It has morphed into a third leg to some extent.
Without our phones, we feel unbalanced and detached from the rest of the world.
It is without doubt that the mobile phone is a significant invention of the 21st century, considering its discernible impact on the society.
It is like living in a microwave oven society.
Some can argue that we have grown increasingly impatient and lazy as a result, but that’s another discussion all together.
We are becoming more reliant on our cell phones to get us through the day. Truth be told, mobile phones have made our lives easier and convenient and it is here to stay for a long time.
But should it take away our sense of urgency?
I think the choice is ours, to determine our dependence on cell phones.
The writer is a student at the Ghana Institute of Journalism.