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Correspondence: Are we too dependent on the cell phone?
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Correspondence: Are we too dependent on the cell phone?

The cell phone may hold with it the power to unite the world, but there is a darker side to mobile communications, writes Kyle Reneau, a 17-year-old from Belize.

Commonwealth Correspondent

Cell phones are an integral part of our lives today. Most of us cannot live without our cell phone. It is the first thing we see in the morning and the last thing we see at night.

But do we really understand how much we rely on them and how much they affect our lives? Yes they make our lives easy, but at what cost to our health and our overall ability to function as a society?

The positive effects of having a cell phone in this modern era are wide and far-reaching. Sending an e-mail, making a call, listening to music and even finding your current location can all be done using nothing but a cell phone.

The convenience of this little gadget is what makes it the world’s fastest growing technological device, going from a luxury in the 1980s to a must-have in the 21st century.

According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, 74 per cent of all Americans have used their cell phones in some sort of emergency, from small predicaments to even reporting a car crash. This only adds to the cell phone’s massive appeal.

Every year hundreds of cell phones are marketed and retailed to consumers who buy them like they are candy, not knowing that, just like candy, it can affect your health.

Studies have shown that the electromagnetic microwaves emitted from cell phones drastically reduce our ability to concentrate, calculate and coordinate complex activities, such as driving a car or problem solving.

These same studies have publicized that children who use cell phones and whose mothers used cell phones during pregnancy had an 80 percent chance of developing behavioral problems such as ADD, ADHD, emotional symptoms and problems interacting with peers.

Even more appalling, the National Cancer Institute of America has demonstrated a link between brain cancer and the radiation emitted from some cell phones. As cell phones become more popular more and more heath risks will be known.

This same device which has the power to unite the entire world has the power to also destroy the very thing which it was intended to build and let flourish.

We get so caught up in texting, calling and communicating with those that are far away we neglect the ones that are right in front of us. Many teens and young adults grow distant from those that love them because they are consumed with creating and maintaining cyber friendships.

Breaking up with someone is now done through a text message and no longer in person. We are constantly texting and calling others resulting in an under appreciation of the value of face to face communication.

Our ‘short hand texting’ creates ‘short hand speaking’. We no longer speak in full sentences but shorten virtually every word we say. No longer is something funny, now it is ‘LOL’.

Yes cell phones are a major convenience. Yes cell phones help us to keep in touch with those we love. And yes cell phones are a great addition to our lives. But we have become dependent on them to the point that we feel that we cannot live without them.

Mesmerized by these magical devices we neglect to see the big picture. Cell phones are ruining our society by destroying families and breaking apart relationships we took years to build, not to mention the adverse effects on our health.

Like everything in this world, cell phones are good but too much of one thing is bad, so rethink how often you use your cell phone and think about the damage you might be causing to society when you buy a new one.

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