Smartphones and increasingly convenient apps have made it very easy to connect with long-distance family and friends. However, texting or calling them regularly can worsen things.

Mobile phones have now become as routine a gadget like any other. A product that was once deemed as luxury good has become a basic necessity over the years. The good and bad about this gadget is often debated upon. The one good thing which everyone might agree upon is that it helps us connect with family and friends anytime. However, recent studies suggest it might not be the case.

An article published on the Business Insider consisted reports of a study conducted by CHARGit which showed that out of 2000 participants, 65% claimed to feel anxious when they are low on battery, and 42% felt vulnerable if the battery is zero.

Consistently talking to friends and family makes us more dependent on contacting them and this transfers our coping skills from the self to someone else. We have access to friends and family 24/7 which means that we can share our highs and lows whenever we want to. Being able to talk to our loved ones makes us feel accompanied and helps us to lighten the burden by sharing it. The problem comes in when we look for their support in order to fight our battles. All they can do over the phone reassure us which makes us feel better. And because we are in desperation, we find solace in their words, but we miss out on two things here. One, we still have a situation to sort, and two we lose the will to handle things on our own. The loss of the latter trait is deadly in the long run.

Everything, when done in excess, is harmful. The tendency to share our problems and the need to talk to the people we love in order to feel better soon becomes a habit. And as a result, we are in more need to talk to the people we love, and ultimately we have a greater urge to use the cell phone. Talking to our friends and family after a certain point becomes our only coping skill. It’s no surprise the aforementioned study showed so many participants feeling vulnerable and low.

However, by no means does this mean that we shouldn’t text or talk to our loved ones. After all, it is very necessary to talk when we are away from home. It’s no less than a boon to be able to share our problems and to have the support of our loved ones in times of need. But we are here to live life our own way, and we need to fight our battles and cope up with our struggles all on our own.


Feature Image Credits: Association Adviser

Karan Singhania
[email protected]


Mobile phones came and brought easy communication. Prices were high and it wasn’t everyday technology. Then came the phenomenon of texting alongside ‘message packs’ and life became much more easier. There was still an end to those 1000 messages in the monthly pack. But with the idea of cellular internet based options, came WhatsApp, WeChat, Nimbuzz, Hangouts, Hike, Facebook Messenger… and a gazillion other services. Result- all hell broke loose.

While one friend used WhatsApp, the other was on BBM, and the third on WeChat and the fourth wanted to Hangout. Well, one device had 5 applications just for texting. Weren’t the days of old fashioned SMS better? Allegedly, each app has something ‘new’ to offer. While one shows whether the person has ‘received’ a message, the other shows whether he has ‘seen’ it. The “last seen” feature on WhatsApp has been the breaking stone of several relationships. On the other hand, the ability to send light compressed photos has been a blessing for shopaholics who spread one object of desire like fire amidst friends.

WeChat, a young ‘solution’ to texting helps you discover WeChat users in your vicinity. I do not want random neighbours sending me fraaandshiping messages. As if the self-promotional WhatsApp broadcasts weren’t enough. Several Blackberry users stayed faithful to the brand simply because of BBM, a texting app elitist in nature because to use it you required a BB pin. But the world of fancy interfaces packed in cheap devices pushed Blackberry to make BBM a cross platform app. And now they say WhatsApp might be threatened because of the community like setting of BBM. Well, it sure is fighting competition with things such as the newly launched voice notes.

But isn’t having 5-6 apps simply for texting stretching it a bit too far? QWERTY often wishes the phone would lay silent for some time. Damn you mobile technology.


Picture source:  www.business2community.com


Think about the last time you read an important piece of information. More often than not, it comes from the status updates of your numerous friends on Facebook. When you put forward an opinion, a lot of it might have drawn inspiration from your favourite tweets on the same subject. Instead of flipping through the pages of your neatly organised notebook, you would rather zoom into the picture you saved of your college timetable on your phone. Information is now merely a click away, giving people from even the most remote corners of the world an opportunity to communicate easily and efficiently. However, a majority of us are now crippled by our continuous dependency on these virtual crutches.

In the light of the latest crackdown on social connectivity, consisting of the government restricting messaging to a meagre 5 per day due to the threat towards people from the North-East did not sit too well with a society that is completely in sync with the social networking era. Thus, what actually began as a somewhat reasonable ban to prevent rumours spreading on a wide scale is now being seen as another excuse by our country’s leaders to crack the whip on our freedom of expression, be it through the SMS or the more dangerous threat of control over sites like Facebook and Twitter. Agreed, a simple ban on texting will in no way stop malicious stories leaking into the public domain. However, what is also evident is the fact that the lack of proper texting facilities didn’t lead to the end of the world a good four months before December 21st, 2012. Life continued in the same fashion as it did when the rights of texting were more liberal. When the Telecom Authority of India had declared a ban of 100 SMSs a day, so many users received a reality check when they learnt of their addiction to a piece of electronic genius. However, just as we gradually got accustomed to this new regulation and our tired fingers were fortunate enough to be subjected to marginally less typing, the new ban for a short period of only 12 days is too insignificant a sacrifice being paid for the uproar it has caused.

With the messaging limit being later extended from 5 to 20, and finally the lift of the ban, social networking sites immediately saw the appearance of memes and statuses proclaiming happiness almost equal to a nation winning its first world cup. The excitement of being able to send 15 more messages a day seemed palpable as almost everyone had their phones out the next day, furiously typing as they stared into a mini screen that flickered with notifications received from their equally enthusiastic recipients. However, the comment that made me stop and re-evaluate how dependant we really have become to these social platforms was when someone casually remarked, “I don’t know about people with those outdated phones, but almost everyone has a Blackberry or a smart phone now. That keeps us connected through BBM, Whatsapp and Facebook. This ban on texts is just a minor glitch,” said one such addict with a beeping Blackberry in hand.

The number of times we refrain from using our electronic gadgets for practically everything can be counted off our fingers. When you start working on your super important project one day before the deadline, you thank the Google and Wikipedia gods for showering their blessings on you. Our internalisation of technology is evident from the use of phases like ‘I googled that information’ or ‘I saw that on her wall last week,’ while only a couple of decades ago, walls referred to those rectangular combinations of cement and plaster of Paris that form the outline of every structure. As for the future, this incessant need to be constantly linked to everyone around only seems to be growing as social media spreads its branches and reaches out to every single entity within and beyond its periphery. Social networking and technology provide us with an easier and more efficient lifestyle, but that doesn’t alter the reality that if our parasitic existence continues, we might just be witness to the dawn of a Matrix-inspired end to our civilisation.