Can you hear the panic in the voice emitting this exclamation? This was me yesterday. And I have to admit that my first thoughts centered on how to get my phone back to where I was at any cost. But as I realized how unrealistic it would be to backtrack and retrieve this “necessity,” I started to review what exactly I was going to need my phone for on that particular day. As it turned out, the answer was not a single thing. When I was completely honest with myself, I didn’t “need” that phone at all. I made it through the day, that night and some of the next day without my electronic sidekick and the world didn’t end. I may have missed a text or a phone call, but they were nothing that couldn’t wait.
So this has led me to start thinking. Do we really need all of the gadgets we have become addicted to? Are they really good for us? Are they a necessary evil? Or are they mostly for fun? If exploring this line of thinking along with me is something you’d like to pursue, the library has these to offer as food for thought:
Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family by Devra Davis – Scary, right? Ms. Davis was the founding director of the toxicology and environmental studies board at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. In this chilling book, she cites the research done on the effects of cell phone radiation on the brain, especially children’s developing brains, and exposes the regulatory process that does not allow health experts to participate in cell phone policy decision making. This book is a far cry from scientific extremism though; it is fairly presented and once presented with the facts, you are allowed to draw your own conclusions.
24/7: How Cell Phones and the Internet Change the Way We Live, Work, and Play by Jarice Hanson – Yes, we can be in contact with everyone all the time: friends, family, and work. But should we be? This book also examines the ways users of different generations integrate technology into their lives, as well as the way that these gadgets affect our psyche, the way we perceive ourselves and others.
The Cellphone: The History and Technology of the Gadget That Changed the World by Guy Klemens – Everything you ever wanted to know and more about mobile telephone devices, from those shoebox sized monsters of the 1980’s to the do-it-all gadgets of today with dimensions no bigger than a credit card.
You Can Hear Me Now: How Microloans and Cell Phones Are Connecting the World’s Poor to the Global Economy by Nicholas P. Sullivan – A more positive look at the exponential rise in the use of cell phones, this is the story of how microloans were used in Bangladesh to help those in poverty stricken areas start cell phone leasing businesses. This effective business model has been replicated in other underdeveloped areas with equal success.
And one from the fiction world (or is it?):
Cell by Stephen King – A simultaneous pulse transmitted through every cell phone in the world turns all who listened into killing machines. Makes you stop and think about how much you really need that phone…