Cell phones are as good as they are bad

These cell phones that have decided to reign over our lives have done as much harm as good. I always tend to wonder how we survived before the cell phones. People never part with their cell phones.

These cell phones that have decided to reign over our lives have done as much harm as good. I always tend to wonder how we survived before the cell phones.

People never part with their cell phones. One day I was running late to work and I was in a matatu, yes, a twegerane.

There was this loud man talking on his very obviously cheap mobile phone. As is always the case, he was answering to the most annoying question that people usually ask, “Uri he?” (Where are you?)

So he said that he had just arrived at the mortuary (which was another province away from where we were) and that unfortunately the deceased’s body was missing. The other passengers did not take lightly someone wishing them bad luck early in the morning.

Is it just me or everyone tends to lie on cell phones especially when required to tell exactly the place you are at? One always tends to ask for five minutes to arrive where you are needed even though you very well know that you might take an hour or not even show up.

There are many pros and cons of using a mobile phone but we have to agree that they have sorted us out in crisis. Now as I read BBC News on Wednesday, Kenyan police reportedly told BBC that a man bit a python which had wrapped him in its killer coils and dragged him up a tree during a fierce three-hour struggle.

The victim told police that he managed to reach his mobile phone from his pocket to raise the alarm when the python momentarily eased its grip after hauling him up the tree. Nothing beats the convenience of owning a cell phone.

Knowing that you can make a call from anywhere, at any time and knowing that others can reach you no matter what, is wonderful.

We are all guilty of using cell phones in off limits areas. A new Dutch study on mobile phone signals finds that using a cell phone in restricted areas, such as hospitals, can be dangerous.

In the study, published in the online journal Critical Care, researchers measured the impact of electromagnetic interference (EMI) from cell phone use on hospital equipment such as ventilators and pacemakers.

Signals that were equal in strength to those given off by second and third generation mobile phones significantly interfered with medical devices. 

Hazardous incidents included the sudden switching off or restarting of machines which could mean disruption of a patient’s feeding tube, ventilator, pacemaker or dialysis machine and most events occurred when mobile phones were within 3 cm of critical care equipment.

Award winning cancer expert and top neurosurgeon, Dr. Vini Khurana, created quite a buzz with his statements about cell phones being three times more deadly than smoking (cigarettes) or being exposed to asbestos.

Dr. Khurana not only said that cell phones double the risk of brain cancer after 10 years but also went on to say that governments and mobile phone industries should take immediate steps to reduce exposure to radiation.

Teenagers have a different view though. Edwin Ntambara says that the idea that his father can call him any minute of the day does not impress him at all.

Edwin is 19 and he hates it when he has to switch off his phone at night whenever he is in a “noisy place” just to avoid his father calling and having to explain how they have introduced taxis playing loud music in Kigali.

He can’t risk losing the very phone his father bought him so he prefers switching it off instead of losing it.

Contact: karuthum@gmail.com

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