Have you noticed how 99.9% of people seem to be engrossed with their smartphones these days?
Times were when people used to read books, or newspapers on their way to work on buses, trains or trams. That had a somewhat sensible and intellectual feel to it. Nowadays, books and newspapers have been superseded by cellphones and tablet computers.
I well remember the time when I bought my first cellphone many years ago. It was called the Sony Mars bar, as it was slightly bigger, and very much heavier than a Mars bar chocolate. And I also remember well the looks I got whenever I used it….people sneered at me, probably thinking I was some kind of a propped up poser! And now, everyone and his aunty has one of the things!
And it’s not a fad confined to western countries; people in deepest Africa, or villages on remotest India are all to be seen walking around with these electronic monstrosities glued to their heads.
As an engineer, I always try and minimise the use of my cellphone. The general public are not aware that the majority of the signal radiated from the cellphone goes straight into the user’s head, and the jury is presently out deciding if it is healthy or not. I can tell you, that as a radar engineer with more than 20 years experience of signal propagation statistics, it is very definitely not healthy, and people should always try and opt for the cellphone with the lowest SAR rating (SAR refers to the amount of signal that is emitted out of any cellphone), which at the moment is the only measure of this frightening problem. Who knows what damage long term use of cellphones is causing us.
And somehow, it feels as if it’s some kind of an infliction….people do not want to make eye contact with each other for some reason. First thing they do when they hop on a bus or train, is to sit down and bring out the cellphone. Then they either call someone, invariably to say they are on the train or bus, going to such and such a place, or they start to type a text message on the damn things. Unfortunately, it seems to be a necessary evil these days!
I’m not saying it’s wrong; it just feels so impersonal, impolite even.
Que sara, sara….