Whether the cell phone is a boon or a bane (Open Page, July 18) depends on the user's discretion. But, of late, it has become more of a bane. Students waste time forwarding silly jokes to their friends, thanks to free SMS offers. Camera phones are widely misused. The mobile phone has become a handy tool for criminals. Its reckless use while driving poses a serious threat.

More than once I have received a message saying I am the lucky beneficiary of great bonanzas from hitherto unheard of foreign banks and institutions. In classrooms and conference halls, people use their mobile phones with impunity. Most of them do not even bother to put them on the silent mode and seem to believe that it is their fundamental duty to accept a call as soon as it announces its arrival.

G. Gopinathan Nair,

Thiruvananthapuram

Mobile phones entered our lives about a decade ago as a surprise guest. Now, they have become a menace for many. Imagine the plight of travellers on trains and buses when they are forced to hear someone sharing his personal matters loudly over the cell phone. Did we not get on with our lives when the cell phone was not there?

B. Subrahmanyam,

Guntur

The advent of cell phones has affected the student community the most. Their use is on the rise in schools. They are no doubt a boon as they keep parents and children stay connected. But in most cases, children are not mature enough to use the instrument for the intended purpose.

Kerala has, through its Department of Public Instructions, set up empowered committees in schools to check the use of mobile phones by students. The example is worth emulating.

E. Rajakumar Arulanandham,

Palayamkottai

The mobile phone is perhaps the most useful communication device. But people use it mostly for unnecessary purposes. Youngsters kill English in the name of SMS and are losing their listening skills.

During my college days, I used to talk to my mother after the classes. After I got a cell phone, I found that the time I talked to her was reduced. I paid all attention to the mobile phone, replying to messages or playing pre-loaded games.

J. Bharath,

Thanjavur

The article “Hello, are you silent, loud or vibrating?” (July 18) is right when it says that mobile phones have replaced Barbie dolls and toy cars. Even video games have been replaced by mobile phone games. Children use the trendy cell phone language. When my 10-year-old brother saw my father laughing silently with his body shaking, he said: “Baba is on vibration mode!”

Aalia Khan,

New Delhi

Although the cell phone is banned in colleges, I do not find a single student without one. When students have no qualms about breaking the law at such a young age, one wonders what to expect from them later. As a student, I regret that valuable time is being wasted in prolonged messaging and chatting with friends. The cell phone disturbs the serene atmosphere in places of worship. The least people can do is switch off their phones there.

R. Chaitra,

Bangalore

The advantages of mobile phones outweigh the disadvantages. One can remain in touch even when one is on the move. The findings on the harmful waves from mobile phones are yet to be proved. Converting the cell phone into a boon or a bane is in the hands of the user.

K.S. Thampi,

Chennai

From a window, two persons looked out. One saw the mud and the other a meadow. In the case of mobile phones, let us laud its use and suggest ways to minimise the harm. But one thing is for certain — we cannot live without one in hand.

K. Jegadeesh,

Erode

With a mobile in hand, we are never alone. At the end of the day, we end up knowing a little bit of everyone we meet not through direct conversation but through what they speak aloud on the phone.

V.G. Navya,

Hyderabad

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