Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mobile phones are personal

... as personal as a personal diary. Or if possible more personal than one.
Only a person who uses it for personal purposes truly understands the personal nature of the personal mobile phone.

I hope the message has been properly rubbed in. The truth is that many of us do not appreciate that another's handset is not for us to explore.

A couple of months ago, a boy who sat next to me at a wedding, a total stranger, held out his hand for my handset: "Can I see it?". Too surprised to say a word, I handed it to him. He turned it this way and that, quickly figured out how to unlock it, and started hunting for games. Gosh. It was awkward, to say the least. The moment you unlock my phone you are hit with a number of reminders and notifications and such luxuries that I need to survive. I would not want my vulnerabilities so displayed in the open. No one would. Not to speak of the state secrets I carry within the gadget. He was clearly used to playing games in great many types of devices and knew exactly how to locate them. Luckily for me, his grandmother noticed him fiddling with it and told him to return it.

I remember being curious about handsets when they first hit the market. At the time, people used them only for making / receiving calls (true to the name 'phones'). It was okay to be curious about a new handset and probably look at one. As soon as SMS-ing became a craze, looking at others' new handsets meant running into messages you should not be seeing.

Little boys these days have learnt to play games in their parents' high-end devices, and have discovered that every new handset contains a better and more thrilling game than in the previous model. They know more about mobiles (as they used to, once upon a time, about cars) than their parents do (they sure know how to embarrass us in public with those model numbers and mobile jargon) and believe it their right to borrow from adults and play, showing off their game-finding skills to their peers.

I do not know how long I can hold on to this belief that little five-year-olds should not borrow their parents' phones or anyone else' phones to play, even when they become six-year-olds or ten-year-olds.

For the time being, I declare that mobile handsets are the owners' personal property and it is as unique as the person's Unique Identity, and borrowing it even 'just to see it' is not recommended.

Of course, all this opinion may change in a few months...weeks...days? I have seen my son eye my phone when I leave it unattended on the table...

6 comments:

  1. haha.. I wouldn't trust kids these days.. they are no longer the li'l innocent ones ;)

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  2. Yes, you're right, today kids know more than their parents. My six yo son would handle my touch phone brilliantly. He would connect to the net and open the google map to search his school, the town and other things.

    I trust him and never think he'd misuse that. He's also a game freak, he'd often open a the android market link. Even browse some free games. As Android software are installed from the site, he'd click the install link. And then open the net of the cell phone. After a few minutes the software automatically comes to the handset. Lo, he's busy playing the game.

    Kids really learn faster. I'd not give my phone to any adult because i can't trust them and their ability to handle high-end phone. They would certainly go to the message folder and chaff for a while. This disgusts.

    Com'n trust your son, after all he's your son. My 3 yo daughter asks me to handle my phone, when i decline she would pick up her mom's phone. Kids!

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  3. lol...these kids are smart :)

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  4. Absolutely right! Kids have become more smarter that, you give them any mobile/any set, they will get into the deapth in no time! Yeah, their intentions are captivated by the games in it.. It is fine to some extent, as far it stays there ;) :P

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  5. My BlackBerry is the one device I don't let anyone touch. It's even more sacrosanct than my laptop. There's a reason they call them "personal", and you've illustrated that ideally here!

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  6. Well, all nice, but I was shocked out of my wits when my 7 year old cousin took my phone, opened Opera and asked: "Chetta, ithilu silma nadikalde photo engana kaanunne??" ("Brother, how do you see cinema actresses photos on this?")

    Thank God he didn't know how to type English properly (yet). Wonder how he learned this. Not a good sign.

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