Can you do without your mobile phone?

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 February, 2011, 12:00am

What would you do if you accidentally left your mobile phone at home? I think most people would return to get it. The mobile phone has become a central part of our lives, and many people feel restless without one.

British researchers have a name for this: 'nomophobia' (where 'mo' is short for mobile phone). In a British Post Office survey, 53 per cent of people said they would feel nervous if their mobile phone battery ran out or if they lost their handset.

Keeping in contact with family and friends was the main reason people said they needed their mobile phones. Fifty-five per cent felt worried if they couldn't contact them.

But today's mobiles have many other uses: listening to music, watching movies, playing games and surfing the internet - with more to come in future. Let's enjoy the technology and learn to use it properly.

Chan Chun-wai

From the Editor

Thank you for your thought-provoking letter, Chun-wai. Technology is obviously amazing. Its constant development means lives are saved by medical advances, communication is faster, travel is no longer something only the very rich and famous can do ... the list of benefits goes on and on.

The downside, though, is that we can become too dependent on technology. For example, many teenagers today struggle to write by hand, because they're so used to using a computer. They also have trouble remembering things like phone numbers, addresses and birthdays, because they're so used to storing them in their phones.

Technology - and mobile phones in particular - are also responsible for making us less responsible. We no longer have to turn up on time at events, because we can just call to say we're running late.

While technology is undoubtedly a blessing, it's important to remember what natural skills we have, and to embrace them.

Karly, Deputy Editor