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Last Updated Wednesday July 19 2017 05:53 PM IST

Unregulated use of mobile phones can ring in anarchy

Dr Robin Mathew
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Technology is a two-edged sword and if not used prudently it could prove detrimental to the individual and society. There is a ban on the use of mobile phones in many organizations during work time. The basic tendency of Indians to defy the law is again a problem here. People always find a way to use the mobiles in banned places like educational institutions, hospitals, places of worship etc. The greatest threat is when people use mobile phones while driving.

Even though the TRAI has issued etiquette guidelines on the use of mobile phones, very few seem to be abiding by it. The Railway Act provisions a fine and a prison term for a person convicted for nuisance, depending on whether he is a first-time or a repeat offender. Similar rules should be imposed in other pubic vehicles and places.

Children and cell phones

The adverse effects of mobile phones on children are quite known. Children are exposed to pornography at a very young age. They get trapped in new perverted ideas, concepts, and relations. Defying every 'developmental task' they would get widely exposed to all types of avenues of sex, violence and crimes. This leads them to a saturation point, where there is nothing more to be explored at a young age. Early teenager’s access to Internet on mobile, social networking sites, etc could prove detrimental.

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Prudent use of phone

A licensing scheme could be thought of for purchase of mobile phone also. Instead of a 'printed card license,' this license could be an electronically generated numeric code and the code should contain the details of the models of the phone, specification, details of the person using it, etc. This code should be stored in the phone itself and must be made available for an inspection on demand.

Custom made phone for kids:

Moreover, for children below the age of 16, there should be strict restrictions on the kind of mobile phones being used. The phone should not have a dial pad, but a scroll pad; only limited phone numbers should be fed into the mobile. That could include the parents/guardians numbers, school authorities’ number and emergency numbers including numbers’ of ambulance, police, and fire services. Phone numbers should be entered from an external source like internet, by parents. There should be a call and location tracking system on the mobile and if the child leaves a specific area, a message should be sent to the parents’ numbers. Parents should be able to edit, add or delete numbers and modify the parental controls from the Internet.

Hold photographers accountable

Whenever someone takes a photo or video, the entire details of the phone, time, GPS location, person’s mobile number and other details should be fed into the video or picture so that whenever a photo or video is reported as obscene or offensive, the person who took the photo could be easily located. This helps police tackle the situation better.

Social media is not for everyone

The age restriction to become a member of Facebook is only 13 years, a very young age. But based on ConsumersReports.org, in May 2011, there were 7.5 million children under the age of 13, violating the site's terms of service.

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Internet service providers should impose a check on the age of children registering on Facebook and should send a report on the details to the concerned authorities.

Look at your baby’s face

Did you know it’s really important to look at your baby’s face? Feeding and diapering alone aren’t enough. A hug and a quick kiss aren’t enough. Babies need to be talked to, tickled, massaged, and played with. And they need your eye contact.

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By experiencing your facial expressions — your calm acceptance of them, your love and attention, even your occasional groggy irritation — they thrive and develop. This is how emotional attachment style is learned. A baby’s emotional template, or attachment style, is created by the baby’s earliest experiences with parents and caregivers. When a good secure attachment is formed by consistent interactions between baby and parents, the template for future emotional connections is more secure.

Screens and brain development

Babies and young children do not truly understand what they are seeing on a screen until they are approximately two years old; therefore the experience cannot enhance knowledge, understanding, or cognitive skills.

» When a screen is on, a baby is less likely to play on its own — exploring the physical world — which is how real learning takes place.

» When a screen is on, parents tend to talk to their child less, which is detrimental to a baby’s language learning. More screen time also means less eye contact and facial reading.

Sleep and screens

Pediatric sleep experts offer lots of indispensable advice for establishing good sleeping patterns in early life. (Some of these aren’t so bad for adults, either.) Keep the lights down, play calm music, keep activity and excitement before bedtime to a minimum. There should be a bedtime routine of sorts, which will prepare the baby (or you) physically and by classic conditioning to fall asleep. These are cues, and they really work. Screen use can cause sleep disturbances, in both children and adults. This seems to be true of all 'light-emitting' devices.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying or cyber harassment is a form of bullying or harassment using electronic forms of contact. Cyberbullying has become common, especially among teenagers. Harmful bullying behavior can include posting rumors about a person, threats, sexual remarks, disclose victims' personal information, or pejorative labels (hate speech).

Technology with its advancement and immense opportunities has made the life of people so comfortable and eased their sufferings and hard work. But every advancement that comes our way if not treated with great vigilance and prudence, could lead to total anarchy in society.

(The writer is a behavioral psychologist).

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