The careless use of cell phones otherwise referred to as GSM in Nigeria by customers has endangered many people health. LINUS ALEKE writes that there is a need to take precautionary measures to avoid health challenges.
THERE is no doubting the fact that the only permanent thing in life is change; however, mankind is known to be resistant to change as is evident in the violent crisis that often heralds any major change in the way things are done in the annals of human existence. The countless economic, political, cultural, military and industrial revolution of the ages bears eloquent testimony to the aforesaid. Meanwhile, the latest change that mankind has to grapple with is the digital revolution which has come to stay. There are several positive things about the new media but there are also monumental negative consequences associated with it. The digital revolution is one of the numerous products of human thinking, technology, innovation and ingenuity which are aimed at improving the socio-economic life, revive, reposition and remodel the antiquated ways mankind is used to getting things done. Digital revolution as it is fondly referred to in certain quarters is multi-faceted. For instance, there are terrestrial broadcasting (radio and television), wrist-watches, recorders, microphones, musical equipments, automobile, military hardware, and above all mobile phones which is the emphasis here. However this clever way of getting things done by man is generating fresh and serious controversies from people of all races, religion, socio-cultural and political affiliations. While some opined that the new technology, particularly cell phones, is a good development has helped in putting the world into their palms, a phrase to describe the word globalisation. This is in addition to assisting mankind to get certain things done faster than usual such as mathematical calculation, through the use of cell phone’s inbuilt calculator, checking of time with phones instead of the usual wrist watches is also becoming a standard practice, taking pictures, sending massages, and reading online books, through e-library among others. Some others contend that the hazard associated with the use of cell phones far outweighs the benefits inherent in the use of the digital gadgets. But to a number of others, the technology creates good platform for social interactions, which of course knows no boundary. They equally added that the business opportunity it creates to global citizens is awesome and second to none in the chronicle of human existence. Another shade of opinion also posits that the social platform created through the use of internet and mobile phone has led many kids astray as they are exposed to pornographic and other violent movies which negatively affect their behaviour and childhood formation. It also leads them astray and causes health challenges, which is occasioned by the use of the earphone. To this end therefore, it will be save to observe that the array of opinions on this matter could best be described as different strokes for different folks. Studies have also revealed that constant contact of the gadget with certain parts of human body could lead to cancerous diseases and other dangerous ailment. But the question is: who is right in the argument? The first and third category of people who opined that the technology is a welcomed development further defended their position when they noted that the benefits inherent in the new innovation are enormous. According to them, one can communicate with his relations, friends, wife, husband and business associates in other continent of the world from the comfort of his living room without having to travel the long distance or wait for months before a letter which use to be the commonest means of communicating in the recent past get to the intended party in the distant country before he could fix a business meeting or exchange pleasantries in the case of lover. Buttressing their point further, they explained that the cell phone is also used to store data, take pictures and upload in the internet for friends to view, read sacred books like bible, make new friends and chat with them in various social media platform, etc. They further explained that the business opportunity it creates is enormous as many are engaged in the sales of cell phone, others in the manufacturing and assembling of its part, some other in repair and sale of airtime while numerous others in the services and regulation sub sector. The remaining two categories, however, contend that the calamity associated with cell phone technology is something is quite alarming. They argued that apart from the health implication of the use of this new technology, it also promotes criminality such as kidnapping, sexual harassment, corruption, and adulteration of innocent minds etc. It is common knowledge according to them that some commercial sex workers are exploiting the existence of the social media platform to promote their illicit trade by uploading their nude or half nude pictures on the internet with contact numbers and prices of the sexual escapade attached for interested customers to contact them. There are also reported cases of ladies who had in the recent past fallen victims of ritual killings through friends they meet on facebook, that is in addition to few who were crushed by incoming vehicle due to their absent mindedness to the road following their indulgence on cell phones, either pinging or chatting. The case of an unfortunate Youth Corp member who was crushed in Lagos Nigeria by incoming truck because of his absent mindedness while chatting with his phone is a case in point. They also included the ineptitude and nonchalance of Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) in protecting mobile phone subscribers in Nigeria from undue exploitation by telecom operators as another minus to the technology in developing countries like Nigeria. The group further contend that it is common knowledge that young college students also perform poorly in exams because they pay more attention to their phones and social media than studies, ‘you see most of them playing with their cell phones either listening to music or chatting with friends while lecture is ongoing in classes.’ They argued. It is however advised that parents, school authorities, relevant institutions and stakeholders have a role to play in terms of awareness campaign a safer way of using the GSM cell phones.