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Boon Or Bane?

Boon Or Bane?

By Parag Agarwal

Edited by Namrata Caleb, Senior Editor, The Indian Economist

The ‘mobile phone’ was a great invention made for the purpose of making communication between people sitting in two corners of the world easy. This invention caught on and has spread like fire to almost every household in the world. Teens today tend to be inclined towards using their phones at all times, be it at parties or at home or even in college. Mobiles were invented to be a boon for everyone, but is it actually, let’s find out…

Ill-effects of phones on the minds of teenagers today.

1) Paranoid ;

Various teens complain about being paranoid when at school or college and unable to check their phones. Their inability to check the messages received makes them feel helpless and vulnerable and they are unable to concentrate on anything around them including academics as well as their social encounters. They tend to get anxious and increasingly restless until they are finally able to grasp their phones and view everything. Not only messages or missed calls per se, but even without receiving any such incoming media/message, some teens just need to have their phones on their person at all times to avoid panicking and live a ‘normal’ life. Many teens also complain of imagining vibrations in their pockets and hearing phones ringing when actually they’re not.


2) Risky Pedestrian Behavior (Behavior in public) ;

When you go out on the road, you see that every 2 out of 3 teenagers is messaging or just using their phone while walking without any reason while on the road, while crossing the road, etc which is not only wrong but also highly dangerous to them and the people around. Cell phones have changed the way society as a whole communicates.  With the change in communication we have also seen a shift in the social norms and behaviors of adults and adolescents .  Teenagers are never more than a text message away from getting the latest gossip.  It is not uncommon to see children attached to their phones at the dinner table or even in church. Which is why it is very risky. Many cases have occurred wherein innumerable deaths have happened due to irresponsibility of people while using their phones. India 2011, 3 students of age 17 met with a road accident because they were on their phones while crossing the road and did not notice the speeding car. There have been various cases as such and almost all prove to be fatal. Also, when at social gatherings, teenagers are noticed to be on their phones all the time which is not only rude, but also highly disrespectful to people willing to speak to them.

3) Cyber bullying ;

As we all already know, hackers exist everywhere in the world and there is nothing more a hacker likes than a new challenge. Hackers spend a lot of their everyday time trying to figure out new ways to cause some kind of a trouble. Cyber bullying uses cell phones to targets innocent people with hostile or improper messages according to various studies conducted. Since teenagers are rather impressionable, they tend to fall prey to such crimes more commonly and often end up meeting strangers who they started speaking to online or somewhere else and get kidnapped or face the trauma of sexual abuse as seen in the past.

 4) Effects on Health ; According to the Food and Drug Administration, cell phones present a minimal health risk for users, including children. However, a 2009 study conducted by Fredrik Soderqvist, a doctoral student at Orebro University in Sweden, indicates that cell phones affect the biology of the brain. Young people participating in the study who used cell phones also reported a lower sense of well-being than study participants who did not use cell phones. In a 2008 study conducted by Gaby Badre, MD, PhD, from Sahlgren’s Academy in Sweden, young subjects who used their cell phones extensively experienced more sleep disruption, restlessness and fatigue than subjects who were limited in using their cell phones, according to the Science Daily website.

Parag Agarwal is a 17 years old, doing the IB Diploma Program from SVKM International School. His hobbies are reading, writing. He maintains a blog, which he writes at He plays squash and soccer at times. He is not a party person and prefers staying at home and reading a book.

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