Mobile Mania

I watched with interest, the recent IPL series. However, more distracting than constant replays and zoozoo endorsements were those intermittent SMS vote requests that kept popping up on the screen. In India cool ringtones and text messaging seems to be the ‘in’ thing- from the jingle of the Vedic prayer to a Thought for the Day and what the Stars Fortell for you this week.

Cell phones have taken over the way we think or act. A US survey revealed that Americans as of today would gladly give up their TV sets or telephones in exchange for that precious gadget. Most of the respondents apparently used their mobiles for text messaging, followed by those who took pictures at the slightest provocation or recorded scenes randomly. Other participants said they browsed the internet or looked up directions. The survey failed to mention how many of these people actually used the device for making calls!
Today, cellphones have morphed from brick sized gadgets of the 1980s to captivatingly svelte beauties. There are too many things that these gizmos let you do these days – organise your life, take pictures, play music, watch TV, offer games, check the stock market, turn into flashlights, create your presentation and even wake you up without that cup of coffee!

These ‘Weapons of mass Destruction’ are like psychological props – like pets, these make their owners feel truly wanted. I see people walking around like mindless zombies everywhere from airports to malls, holding the thing close to their ears, whispering empty nothings. If their fingers are itching for something to do, they pick up their cell phones and caress them, much like a baby seeking out its soggy thumb.

Pressing buttons randomly they check their e-mail, invoke the weather man or text someone just for fun. The way these things are shaping to be our lifelong companions, one day flip phones may also double up as stress busters, nutcrackers or even aids for a holistic massage. These gadgets have other real uses today. For instance it is common practice to call and bore someone when they are stuck in traffic. There are also subscriptions that let you schedule interruptions in the middle of a meeting. It could be your cousin in ‘dire need’, if you wish to be excused immediately. I hear my cell phone ringing- Sorry, need to take this call…

Kritika Malhotra