When I was about 10 years old, someone posed this riddle to me.
A man is walking around in a closed room. He is continuously talking and gesticulating. It is known that he was not crazy, then how do you explain this behaviour?
I was stumped! I didn’t know.
The answer was, the man was in a telephone booth and was in the middle of a call. A person like me who didn’t have a phone connection till the age of 28 could never have imagined the answer.
I asked the same riddle to my son when he was all of five and gave the answer in a jiffy!
With phone becoming mobile, it’s almost become an extension of one’s person. We can’t imagine our lives without these magical gadgets. They help us keep in touch. We remain connected thru rain and sunshine, thru thick and thin. With the ubiquitous phone, as they said in an advertisement, Now the geography has become history.
The phones have really transformed our lives. However, in some ways, they have also spoiled us.
Nowadays, I see a lot of people behaving like the man in the story. They are all around us. Everywhere we look we see people talking on the phone. With the modern Bluetooth technology, these people really look crazy talking to the thin air. It’s almost as if we are now addicted to the phone.
This addiction starts right in the childhood. I am always very surprised to find tiny tots staying in the same building talking with each other on phone and exchanging home work. And this never seems to stop. It continues into school and college for sharing notes and gossip and then to work life, taking away productive time.
Is every phone call we make necessary? Many times we call someone because it’s easy to call. We seek answers to many questions over the phone that we could have answered ourselves and would have done it if we didn’t have the phone. In some ways, this ease of connection has taken away our willingness and ability to think.
Do we need to say all those things on the phone and now? I think many times, we talk too much on phone and waste the valuable time that we could have put to better use.
We tend to think of telephonic conversations as a substitute to face to face meetings. Nothing beats meeting someone in person, not telephones, not even video conferences. As the Cadbury ad during the Diwali said, Don’t just call your loved ones. Go and meet them!
What do you think about phones? Boon or bane?