We Need Digital Detox

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Cell phones are so convenient that they’re an inconvenience- Haruki Murakami

By: Bilal Ahmad Dar

Technology, as we know, has transformed our life. It has made things easy for us. It has lessened the humdrum of our day to day life through its entertaining tools and gadgets. Because of technological and communication revolution, modern man has become a kind of post-human (a person or entity that exists in a state beyond being human). Technology has transformed us and has enhanced our abilities and capacities. With the help of modern technological tools, we can do any complex and difficult work but this technology has also flipsides attached to it and it has made the life of modern man both easy going and complex at the same time. It has made us dependents in many ways and independent in other ways also.

Cell phone is one of the dearly entertaining gifts given to us by the technological world and it has multiple uses including communication, entertainment, and education. We can talk to people who live in the remote corners of the globe, such is the charisma of cell phones. But we have become very much addicted to it and its associated applications. We have made it the essential and necessary element of our life. We consider our life incomplete without cell phones. These cell phones have made us psychological handicaps. They have colonized and subjugated the psyche and psychology of the people.

Modern man has completely made his life dependent on cell phones and it seems that the technological advancement has nearly colonized the psyche of the modern man and is proving very detrimental for our mental health. But we do not realize it because of its entertaining feature.

The inseparability of the modern man and cell phone has compelled the modern psychological linguists to coin cell phone addiction related neologisms. ‘Nomophobia and Ringxiety’ are two neologisms related to this addiction which have made us the victims of a new kind of phobia called ‘Nomophobia’.  It is defined as the fear of not having a mobile phone with you.

Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter etc, are those alluring applications that have seeped into the psyche of modern man who now remains unnecessarily busy with these social media apps which have dominated him to a large extent. These apps have conquered the entire time table that sometimes causes psychological disorders due to extensive and prolonged periods of time spent on screen.

Likewise, Ringxiety (Phantom vibration syndrome) is a neologism. In linguistic terminology, it is portmanteau word. It has been made by blending ‘Ring’ and anxiety. Hence ‘Ringxiety. It is defined as the anxiety of the modern man because of cell phone ring or notification.  This is the fact these days. We, time and again, feel that our cell phone is ringing, when actually it is not. It is actually our cell phone addiction that makes us feel so.  Both ‘Nomophobia and Ringxiety’ are basically the psychological impacts of heightened use of cell phones.

We should limit the use of cell phones in order to save ourselves from becoming the social misfits. So far we are only the victims of ‘Nomophobia and Ringxiety’. Let’s de-addict ourselves from these cell phones by busying ourselves with less harmful things and more lucrative activities like reading books and by playing games in the playing field.

It is well said that by Dough Pappas that ‘Cell phones are not a sign of power; they are a sign of subservience.’

The writer is a Research Scholar, Department of English, AMU. He can be mailed at: [email protected]

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