Saturday, June 25, 2016

176. On mobile phones

Next month, I am going to my hometown in Assam and I am looking for someone who can snatch my mobile phone and throw it in the river Brahmaputra. Since I am flying to Guwahati, I can't think of any other river where it can be deposited. 

I find mobile phones a riddle that is difficult to solve. If it rings, you feel annoyed. If it does not ring, you feel lost. Either way, it is so depressing. It has such a bad habit of ringing at wrong times- you may be driving, eating, sleeping, holidaying, vacationing, ailing, dying - it just does not care. If you don't take the call, it keeps haunting you. If it is a known number, you may be feeling guilty about not responding. If it is  not a known number, you keep wondering who may have been trying to contact you. If it is your boss, you are worried, he may be thinking that you are avoiding him. In fact, when your boss calls, you risk taking the call and discuss with him complex problems of office at length while driving. It is better to die than to annoy your boss. 

I find many people daydreaming about their mobile phones ringing all the time. In the midst of a very pleasant discussion, they would suddenly shout, " I think, my phone is ringing". They keep checking their phone every 10 seconds to see if there is a missed call. They always have a feeling that their phone is vibrating in their pocket. Things have become much worse after arrival of smart phones. Now, you keep checking your mail and whatsapp messages on your mobile phone. Smart phone has taken away whatever smartness we were left with. 

I fail to understand how mobile phones could achieve in a few years what landline phones could not achieve over generations. Landline phone never had the same kind of sway over us. It used to lie in a corner in a very disciplined manner, occasionally letting us know that it was ringing. It allowed us our distinct existence. Things are so different with mobile phones. We seem to be doing fine without heart and lungs, but we just can't survive without mobile phones. If something happens to our mobile phone or if its battery gets drained out, we feel irritated, restless and sick as if light has gone out of our lives.

Mobile phones have become much more important to us than our family members. On family outings, each member of the family can be seen simultaneously talking over his or her mobile. It seems that they have come together only to experience the joy of talking to others while they are together. 

One of my friends recently suggested that I should have two sims- one for the family and friends, and the other for the rest of the world. I felt like smothering him. 

I am too attached to my phone to throw it away. I need someone to physically snatch it from me and throw it in the river Brahmaputra. Since it is a vast and deep river with strong current, there is little possibility of my trying to jump into it and retrieve my tormentor.


Sai Charan said...

Dear Onkarji,

I can understand and relate to all the emotions which you expressed reference the use and existence of mobile phones. I believe it is important for us to keep the mobile device under our control rather than letting it dictate or control us.

I changed my lifestyle two years ago and started using my mobile phone only for communicating important topics. So, it is silent for the rest of the time. If I happen to miss a call, I don't panic or worry, I check it whenever it suits me and I call back only if I feel it's necessary.

I speak on phone not more than two times a week and the rest of the times, my phone is on silent. People were taken by surprise initially but over a period of time, they got used to my personal preference.

My life has turned busy and I do no have sufficient time to use whatsapp and other social networking apps, I do check them but very rarely.

Well, that's my experience with mobile phones.


Ankita said...

seriously, phone shave become an extension of oneself. I did not know that you are from Assam, i thought you r from UP or MP