mid-day editorial: Make the right call about cell phones

Even by current standards where we seem to have become inured to the most horrifying news, an account in this paper about a young man stabbing his roommate to death, first shocks, then horrifies and finally should act as an eye-opener on several counts. The report says that a Malwani youth and his roommate had a fight over the use of a phone charger. In a trice, one of the men stabbed his roommate in the chest. The man who was attacked died. Both men are in their early 20s and were labourers.

While it is true that this incident involves a specific demographic, it has lessons for all. First, it is a huge and dangerous pointer to the slaves of technology, especially the cell phone, that we have become. The cellphone is now an extension of our arms and our souls.

From car crashes caused by driving while speaking on the phone, to mishaps caused in a quest for a selfie, the cellphone has become a weapon of mass destruction. It is inane though to blame solely the device and instead it is time for a change of behaviour.

The second, of course, is the little regard that we seem to have for human life. Trifles like road rage, fights over a television remote, being told that you cannot go to a movie or a dance, have either led people to murder or even suicide. It is time we prioritise human life above all, and the message needs to be constantly reinforced right from an early stage.

Finally, of course, is the blasé attitude to such incidents, which are now happening so frequently that our sense of shock, anger and even indignation is being eroded.

We have become comfortable and ‘extreme’ is moving closer to the new normal. Recognise these new paradigms and make an effort to change them. Our value system and the way we use the tech boom needs a shift.

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