The gains and hazard of cell phone technology (2)
Studies have also revealed that constant contact with the gadget, to certain part of human body could lead to cancerous diseases and other dangerous ailment. A scenario that has compelled numerous people to wangle their tongues, many to grumble, few to be indifferent while some others excited and hopeful as was encapsulated in the preceding paragraphs.
However, the questions now begging for answers is who is right in these whole theatre of praises and condemnation and what indeed are the gains and hazards of Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) technology to global community?
The first and third category of people who believe that the technology is a welcome development further defend their position when they note that the benefits inherent in the new innovation are enormous as, according to them, one can communicate to his relation, friend, wife, husband and business associates in other continents of the world from the comfort of his living room without having to travel the long distance or wait for months before letter which used to be the commonest means of communicating in the recent past gets to the intended party in the distant country before he could fix a business meeting or exchange pleasantries in the case of a lover.
Buttressing their point further, they explain that the cell phones are also used to store data, take pictures and upload in the Internet for friends to view, read sacred books like the Bible, make new friends and chat with them in various social media platforms, etc.
They further say that the business opportunity it creates is enormous as many are engaged in the sale of cell phones, others in the manufacturing and assembling of their parts, some other in repairs and sale of airtime while numerous others are in the services and regulation sub sector.
The remaining two categories; however, contend that the calamity associated with cell phone technology is something to alarm the entire globe, developing and developed, white and black, male and female, educated and uneducated as well as the young and the old.
They argue that apart from the health implications of the use of this new technology, it also promotes criminality such as kidnapping, sexual harassment, corruption, and adulteration of innocent minds etc.
It is common knowledge, according to them, that some commercial sex workers are exploiting the existence of the social media platform to promote their trade by uploading their nude or half nude pictures on the Internet with contact numbers and prices of the sexual escapade attached for interested parties to contact them.
There are also reported cases of a female who had in the recent past fallen victim of ritual killing through friends met on facebook that is in addition to a few who were crushed by incoming vehicle due to their absent mindedness on the road following their over-attention to their cell phones, either pinging or chatting. There was the case of a Youth Corp member who was crushed in Lagos by an incoming truck because of his absent mindedness while he was chatting with his phone.
They also complain about what they describe as the ineptitude and nonchalance of Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) in protecting mobile phone subscribers from exploitation by telecom operators. They see these as another minus to the technology in developing countries such as Nigeria.
The group argue that it is common knowledge that young college students also perform poorly in examinations because they pay more attention to their phones than to their studies, ‘you see most of them playing with their cell phones either listening to music or chatting with friends while lecture is ongoing in classes,’ they say
At this juncture; however, it will be instructive to note that whichever divide one may find himself the argument is valid but the ultimate truth is that mankind will not restrain themselves from innovation and progress, simply because of the shortcomings inherent in it. As the Igbo say, “Warriors will not desert war front because of fear of death.” Therefore, the cell phone technology is a welcome development.
• Aleke is an Abuja based journalist. firstname.lastname@example.org, 08067366500