Progress, is a word meaning improvement that is often welcomed with open arms. However, how high is the price we pay for a convenient invention that soon becomes extremely dependable without our realization? Let’s take a look at mobile phones.
Invented some thirty-seven years ago, the mobile phone has rapidly progressed up until today, to be one of the most necessary items in our lives. Furthermore, it’s even considered as important as house keys! We may ask ourselves, why? Have you ever left your home without thinking of taking your keys with you? Not really. Now, it’s even your mobile phone that you cannot leave behind! Once we get used to having one, we simply cannot do without it because we experience that “unconnected” and “lost” feeling we were originally unaware of.
Not surprisingly, the demand for such a phone is incredible. In Malta, for example, two-thirds of the population owns a mobile phone. Moreover, if one member of a family has one, then it’s very likely that the rest of the family have one too. In addition, they each have different models according to their tastes. Ultimately, we also know that it is popular amongst all ages especially since it is so user-friendly and just the size of a large matchbox, weighing less than five hundred grams.
We carry it with us everywhere and love to feel that we are constantly in touch with the world. Likewise, we can use it for any situation, especially if dangerous since it can even save our lives with a mere phone call or message. Besides being used as a simple wireless communicating apparatus, it has been professionally designed to be capable of carrying out many tasks. We can now send and receive text messages to and from other mobile phones, take pictures and even read the news or the weather forecast. “Thank God for such a great invention!” is a phrase said by many owners of one.
Despite the advantages and praise, what would our reaction be if we learnt that mobile phones were considered harmful to our health, a big nuisance and ran up expensive bills? In a recent issue of the British Medical Journal, scientists published their discovery about these phones. “Such phones release microwave radiation that can cause cancer, memory problems and can affect blood pressure”, said Professor Jenkins at Cambridge University. “What’s more, children are the most vulnerable because they rely on it to keep themselves amused thus using the phone for long periods. So are those at high risk, who constantly carry it with them somewhere on their body”.
Besides being a serious health concern, it can also be a nuisance. Ever tried to relax whilst having a bath, a massage, or else tried to switch off from the real world for a short while? Then, suddenly, you are jerked back to reality by a computerized melodic sound and you find out it was an erroneous call. At that moment, you really feel like slamming the machine against a wall. And what about expenses? The more time we spend over the phone the more those bills seem to get uncontrollably high!
At the end of the day, after reading this example, we reflect and decide on how much we are prepared to accept progress, in whatever way, even if we are aware that it could prove to be a potential danger to our lives. Consequently, when considering the mobile phone, is it worth paying such a price in return for its pleasure and convenience?