April 26, 2018 | ° F

Cellphones: The New Cigarettes?

Today, nearly everyone has a cellphone. In many cases, not only do we have cellphones, we are addicted to them. We are constantly sending text messages, checking our email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, Tumblr — you get the idea. There is always something to do on our cellphones, and even if there’s not, we find something. It’s habitual.

If you’re bored in class, whip out your cell phone and text your friend. If you’re at a lame hangout, break out the phone and browse Facebook. If you’re at a bar and trying to avoid someone, pretend to take a phone call and walk the other way. Cellphones have become a crutch, a comfort piece to our personal being. But for better or worse, cellphones are becoming banned in an increasing amount of places.

For safety reasons, cellphones have been restricted while driving — a sensible rule. Students are reprimanded for and forbidden from using cellphones during class at all levels of education. In places like doctors’ offices and public transportation hubs, cellphone use is also highly discouraged. Of course, there is some sort of logic behind all of the cellphone restrictions, but what limits lie ahead?

Have you ever seen someone walk and text? If you’re a cellphone addict, you likely haven’t. You probably haven’t seen anyone walk and text because you’re too busy burying your head in your own cellphone to notice what is going on — and that’s the point. If you’re using your cellphone while walking, you most likely do not realize who or what is behind you, next to you or ahead of you. I bet you’ve even walked into a few people or poles, too. Using your cellphone and walking can serve as a hazard for yourself and your surroundings. You know what else can serve as a hazard for yourself and your surroundings? Cigarettes.

Here is my realization: cellphones are the new cigarettes. Smoking has been banned in many different places because it is a health hazard and ultimately obtrusive to others. Now, maybe you’re thinking that cellphones and cigarettes are completely different. You’re right, they are. However, the premises of their restrictions are relatively similar.

The usage of both cellphones and cigarettes can be harmful and bothersome to users and bystanders alike. Cigarettes can cause cancer while cellphones can cause accidents of all sorts — they’re both potentially harmful for you. Adding to the similarities, both are more or less addictions and both items give our hands something to do. It doesn’t seem out of reach for cell-phones to have a similar fate as that of cigarettes. What’s next? Will you have to be a certain age in order to purchase and use a cellphone?

Emily Gabriele

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