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Linking Young Minds Together
   Volume 3 | Issue 16 | April 24, 2011 |


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The 'Un-acknowledged' Addiction

Naziba Basher

Texting: A part of the cell phone hype. Photo Credit: Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

"Hello? Hey dost! Have you heard about what happened at campus today? IT WAS INSANE!" -- A typical start to a conversation between two young people on the phone. Talking about their day, what happened at school, what happened at home, what happened in the world -- are just a few topics discussed over the phone.

A question asked by almost all parents -- "Why are you ALWAYS on the phone?!" One can ignore the questions, but what would you say to your mother, if you went to her complaining of a headache or a stomach ache and she comes up with only one reason behind your ailments -- your addiction to the phone! But then again, why ARE we on the phone at least half the day? After having spent the day at university with friends, going on dates with your boyfriend or girlfriend, having spent hours on Facebook with hundreds of people, friends or strangers, we still treat our phone like a major necessity in life.

Some have even termed the cell phones as the new 'cigarettes,' seeing how people fiddle with them in elevators, whip them out every few minutes, take "cell phone breaks" while working and chat away while walking or even driving. Even the tricks that the mind plays are a part of our everyday lives, especially when the phone is not even ringing and we begin to hallucinate a vague ringing somewhere, thinking we're missing a call. You can almost imagine your brain saying, "Haha! Gotcha!"

After cigarettes and coffee, cell phones are probably the third most addictive 'substance' today that the young people are getting hooked to.

Experts say that it is becoming more difficult for many to curb their longing to hug it more tightly than most of their personal relationships. With its shiny surfaces, its sleek and satisfying touch, its mysteries and air of sophistication, the cell phone connects us to the world even as it disconnects us from people three feet away. In the past couple of years, the cell phone has challenged individuals, employers, manufacturers and therapists in ways its inventors in the late 1940s had never imagined.

At school, home or during work and sometimes even in the bathroom -- people spend their cell phone credits just to make sure that there is someone in the world who would be there to listen. As psychological as the matter can get, this problem is no less than an addiction. It might sound slightly exaggerated, but we have all witnessed it everywhere -- a man in a restaurant who talks on the phone through an entire meal, ignoring his kids around the table; the woman who yaks on the phone in the car, ignoring her husband; the teen who text-messages all the way home from school, avoiding contact with his peers.

A lot of people may be in denial of their phone addiction but there will be, undoubtedly, a firm 'no' if asked whether they can live without them. At the end of the day, there really is no clear understanding as to why the cell phone creates such hype in people's lives. The cause of gossip, the cause of heartbreak, the cause of laughter and the cause of confusion -- the phone plays tricks with our minds as we remain helpless in its powers. People take life changing decisions on the phone and we are perhaps, slowly becoming more oblivious to the whole 'face-to-face' concept.

Sometimes it makes you wonder whether the cell phone is really a gift to mankind or a mere curse, doesn't it? As much as I would love to logically explain the answer to that question, I cannot. Why? I have an important phone call to make. Maybe next time!

A man at the restaurant, talking on the cell phone and not with friends.
Photo : Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

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