This has reference to the article on mobile phones (Open Page, July 18). I bought my first mobile phone in 1998 — when incoming calls were also charged — and people used to be in awe of those who owned a cellphone. I decided to renounce it some years ago for personal reasons and even now people wonder how I survive without a mobile phone. I happily remain unconnected from unwanted disturbances. My world remains the same even without a mobile phone. Mobile phone is a vital part of the information age. Despite the negative factors, for the majority it is impossible to live without it.
Almost everyone owns a cellphone today. Possessing one is no longer a luxury. It has become a necessity. Corporate bosses use it as a management tool. They even provide cellphones at the company's cost to their employees. Parents gift mobile phones to their children. The purpose is to enable them to contact them during emergencies.
But cellphones are also prone to misuse. They help in clandestine communication. Youngsters put them to wrong use. What starts as curiosity ends up becoming serious. Cellphones with cameras encourage mischief-mongers to indulge in unethical practices. They disturb the peaceful conduct of meetings and seminars. Cellphones have shown mixed results. They should be brought under some control like licensing.
Like the two sides of a coin, mobile phones are a boon and a bane. Treat it as a gift of nature and use it to your advantage.
No doubt, mobile phones have revolutionised communication. My phone came in handy while I was travelling in a non-English speaking country, giving me instant translation. If people are educated about its usage, the mobile phone is definitely a boon.
Whether it is a car, contraceptive or razor — it being a boon or bane depends on the use or abuse it is put to. A young girl was killed on the spot when she was run down by a train while crossing the tracks, talking on the cellphone.
Many people, not just teenagers, bid farewell to courtesy and good manners once they get hold of a cellphone. In churches, temples, lecture halls and restaurants, mobile phones are all over the place. Certainly, a nuisance in boorish hands; a blessing and an advantage in cultured hands.
P.R. Krishna Narayanan,