'How monotonous could living be with only one object in daily life' sounds like a hypothetical question. But that is precisely the case when men and women remain obsessed with a handset. Swayed by the global wave of the new technology, Bangladeshis are yet to overcome their overenthusiasm for mobile phones with internet connectivity.
An unforeseen consequence of being so trendy is the possession of gadgets by children. Guardians have almost invariably failed to prevent children and juveniles from becoming captive to this 'lifeless' machine.
Such use of smartphone is reducing Bangladeshi youth's strength to write, slowing down their delivery during examinations. This is the findings of a recent research by a team of the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST). It shows if students keep them engaged in cellular devices for hours, they lose almost 50 per cent of their 'pinch strength', the force collectively exerted by the index finger and the thumb.
Seventy one students between 19 and 22 years were covered in the research led by professor of Industrial and Production Engineering department at the SUST, Mohammad Iqbal Hossain, who was assisted by two engineering students, Aditya Raihan Aquib and Wasim Hossain.
A US research has already concluded that smartphone overuse enlarges the median nerve, causes pain in the thumb, and decreases pinch strength and hand functions.
The SUST research has found that the students' pinch strength comes down after every 30 minutes of touching screen relentlessly, reaching the lowest level after 90 minutes. The lead researcher said this research, the first of its kind in Bangladesh, has confirmed that excessive use of this digital device reduces the strength of fingers that are used most for writing. "Habits like gaming leave negative effects on ability of youngsters to write on paper, especially during pressure time of examinations," he added.
Last year, China imposed restriction on online video game to stop children below 18 years of age from playing online game for more than 90 minutes on weekdays. The drastic measure came amid growing concerns over gaming addiction among China's young population.
Addiction to use of smartphone among many of the Bangladeshi children may arise as a serious social crisis since living in virtual realities they are effectively wasting opportunity to experience and learn from people and environment around them. How will they lead society in absence of communications with living beings?
Their seniors, inclusive of parents, are not exception either in keeping themselves busy often failing to enjoy the moments of life while taking photo or doing video with smartphone for uploading on the social media. Their children have followed suit, proving them to be more tech-savvy and keeping their eyes fixed on the screen with higher concentration.
On the flipside, it is widely ignored that a handset with mobile data opens the window of unlimited resources of knowledge. Furthermore, people's social media engagement has broken the culture of respecting cult but is yet to find new role models for transforming their society into a harmonious one from restlessness.
Hatred has eclipsed civility and humility has been overshadowed by a wholesale shamelessness while making arguments in front of the global citizens. A machine that has captured the world in it should have offered fairness but has instead made citizens vulnerable to repulsive acts of others.
Still, smart people in some countries are trying to reconcile their lifestyle and policy to new realities, maintaining that technology is meant for people, not the other way round. A consumer of this digital technology, Bangladesh needs to be ready for addressing its fallouts before it accepts the destiny for misusing it.
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