March 5, 2024

There seems to be a new addiction that is afflicting many citizens of our beautiful archipelago of delicious coconuts and smiling carabaos — mobile phone addiction. According to a news report, Filipinos spend most of their day glued to their mobile phones compared to their peers in Asia based on a study by a telecommunications firm that surveyed 8,000 mobile users from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and our country to understand how people use mobile phones to improve their daily life, social interactions and careers.
As this near-sighted Ibaloy writer mentioned in previous columns, our cellphones are just tools which we could either use to benefit or disrupt our lives.
In this age of e-commerce, it’s quite obvious that having mobile devices are advantageous in doing business. During times of emergencies, cellphones are literally lifesavers as these can be used for calling immediate assistance.
As a sociable people, cellphones have allowed Pinoys to keep in touch with loved ones wherever they are. Mobile devices are also great entertainment tools especially to kill boredom, to while away the time, or block out self-serving messages from politicians.
However, as in all “addictions”, there are not-so-good outcomes in becoming too dependent on mobile phones especially in terms of human interactions. A good example is in restaurants or other eating places where you can observe families or friends where instead of talking with one another, they are just looking at their gadgets most of the time. This is usually true, nowadays, in many social gatherings where instead of socializing, you can find many lost in their gadgets keeping up with social media.
Again, let me emphasize that mobile phones are just tools or double-edged swords, that we can either use for our benefit or not. Honestly, I would rather have a mobile phone than not have one since it has benefited me and my family in ways mentioned earlier and more. I do make it a point though that during eating time with my family, I request that our cellphones are turned off if possible. I have not always been successful, of course. Though it is easier said than done, it behooves us not to be addicted or too dependent on our mobile devices to the point that our face-to-face interactions are gravely affected. Just saying.
Anyway, an advance Merry Christmas to all and may we truly achieve peace on Earth and goodwill to men (and women)!
May Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.