That day, defying her mother’s prying eyes and scrolling Facebook, Mousumi saw a post – ‘Has it ever occurred to your brilliant mind, how technology took a sudden leap in the last decade alone? . . .’ “Really”, she thought, “not only sudden, but with a great pace also.” Then, suddenly, the mobile is snatched away from her, abd it front was standing, who else, than her mother! Well, what happened next is another story.
From the day homo sapiens invented fire and gradually tasted the usefulness of wheels and other things, their inquisitiveness increased exponentially. Fast forward a million years and the modern world saw several technological advancements in various fields, starting from agriculture, aviation, education to entertainment, space science, engineering and medicine. One can fly from India to UK in 12 hours only, one can have surreal experiences while watching a movie in VR technology. Who would have thought that one can travel in both land and water in a single vehicle? Well, hovercraft is the answer. Then there comes the renewable rocket in the form of Falcon 9 by SpaceX and also battery-operated powerful sedans, abandoning the conventional use of fossil fuels. In the spectacle industry, there are modern innovations of polarised glasses, polycarbonate glasses and ever newer Trivex, Aspheric, Photochromic and High-index plastic ones. Fifty years ago one would have to wait half an hour to let the picture tube heat up significantly so as to watch television, whereas today it has come to the level of LCD, LED and even UHD and curved TVs. There are many such instances like this but this much will suffice for now. Rome was not built in a day, and certainly not all these technologies. Hard toiling, enormous amount of money, intelligence, time and other sacrifices are behind them.
But what might be the greatest technological advancement of the last decade alone? Yes, your intuition is right. It’s this small instrument called ‘Mobile Phone’ or ‘Smart phone’, as we call it now. From the black and white phones some years back, today we have upgraded ourselves to phones that can give performance nothing short of a computer. Though its primary job is voice calling, one can do multitasking in it. Old school cellphones could only call and text, while these not only can call, text and do Instant Messaging, they give access to email, photo and video sharing, video-calling and video-conferencing. From reading ebooks, reconnecting with old friends and making new friends via social media to designing beautiful presentations, keep track of appointments and contacts, a smartphone is truly a small personal assistant. News and videos from all over the world reach us in seconds. One can paint, take photographs, and even publish books on one’s own with the help of this little device. Earlier people would have boasted about owning a Nokia with a brand new VGA camera attached with it. Today there are smartphones which can challenge the very existence of digital cameras, the latter having less modifications and functions than that of the earlier. Presently the cut-throat competition in the mobile and accessories market is so intense that every year hundreds of newer models come to amaze the customers, with the ability to perform things exclusive to them. There was a time when one might have needed an entire bag to carry around several things for business and work. Today the smartphone alone will serve the same purpose. One can easily search for directions with the help of GPS compass, read a sales flier before a meeting starts or transmit an ad sale to office from via a mobile hotspot. Buying things online via e-shopping portals, watching latest movies, listening to latest music released today only – all these are matters of minutes. The curriculum vitae of smartphones are growing day by day with more features adding to it.
In this generation of information technology, privacy is at stake for everyone. Phone passwords, PINs, pattern locks can be cracked very easily. So is there nothing that can keep our biodata safe? Yes, and the answer came in the form of fingerprint scanning and face recognition technology, which are unique for every individual. But who can say, maybe, all these can also be compromised someday in near future and we will remain the living proof of some security features even greater, even more interesting. The twenty first-century saw an explosion of mobile apps. Beyond the tons of games and productivity apps available, health and fitness apps track the miles one have run and even the current heart rate. Internet radio and podcasting apps put us in touch with whole new worlds of audio. Compass apps, levelling apps and flashlights provide handheld utilities. Seeing the uprising of mobile technologies, government of every country also launched public portal apps helping common people know about government schemes, policies and announcements. Not only that, banking sectors have also introduced their respective applications and websites helping customers in online transactions, account management etc., and to put away cash problems, lengthy queues, rude behaviour of banking officers into a bin of trashes. Now a days, mobile phone technology has reached such great height that DRDO recently tested missiles with the help of phones.
But, as they say – “Each coin has two sides” – smartphones are not an exception. A double-edged sword cuts both ways and these little devices are nothing short of it. Mobile phone addiction is a very common terminology now. It is also a huge example of time wastage, the time that once gone, never ever comes back. In daily household, little children and more horrifically, even their parents are most of the time glued to their smartphones playing games, chatting unnecessarily and doing other things. And with the arrival of cheap internet services, the misuse of child pornography, illegal dealings, having fraud businesses and creating fake identities are at an all time high. Social critics often say that the only smart thing present in today’s man is only the smartphone. Hercule Poirot would have said that these devices “damage his little grey cells”.
All said, one cannot deny the usefulness of mobile phones at present. Modern man cannot imagine a single day without them. Yes, there is some negativity in it, but what thing doesn’t have those? It is the innate nature and curiosity of man to explore every possibilities of any matter, and exploring means, with certainty, checking every available good and bad aspects of it. Hence, it is advisable to use the mobile phones cautiously and not delve deep into the hostile part of it.
Author Bio : Debartha Roy,Benaras Hindu University, Editor’s Choice Winner of the International Essay Competition , Month of September.Win e-certificate and 10$ gift coupon.