By Sankalp Kumar:
Next time you’re in a public place, take a look around you, and count how many people are using their phones. I can tell you now that it is probably more than half, whether you’re on public transport, in a cafÃ© or simply walking down the street.
I’m not saying that I am not an example of this, but it always amazes me how people can spend so much time on their phones without actually talking to anyone in particular. With the constant upgrade of technology, we can now do practically anything on a device which can fit in the palm of our hands. But has it gone too far? Do we spend too much time on our mobiles and not enough time talking to people ‘in real life’?
For example, I recently visited London and travelled on the tube while I was there. Apart from the people asleep, almost everybody else was on their phones, and because of the nature of the tube, it is difficult not to see exactly what they are all doing. Of course, being underground it is difficult to get any signal, which rules out texting or using the internet, but there is still plenty you can use your phones for. People were playing games, reading articles and listening to music, and I am sure that as soon as they emerged from the train station they would start texting or calling or checking their emails. There is a constant connection to everyone in the world, as long as you have a mobile phone in your hand.
Recently, my smart phone broke and had to be sent off to the warehouse for repair for a week or so. In the meantime, I had to use a really old, basic phone just to keep me in touch with my family and friends. All I could do on this phone was send text messages, make calls and play one game. And I loved it. I loved being free from the internet, and I really didn’t mind not having constant updates about what my friends were doing or what the latest celebrity story was. It was quite refreshing and it allowed me to spend more time taking in my surroundings — I could enjoy my time in London more, for example, and I could watch the people around me and really see what was going on.
However, I knew that as soon as I got my smart phone back, I would be one of those people once again, obsessed with finding out what everyone is doing and wasting my time playing games or checking social network sites. Perhaps I should just go back to using the basic phone and forget I ever got my smart phone back.