The mobile industry, social responsibility and accountability

Radiation from mobile phones may or may not cause brain damage. Who knows, mobile phone may become like cigarette packs, come with a Government health warning, and quite possibly be banned from restaurants, offices etc.

Dream on. I think mobile phones actually pose a serious public health risk, not so much due to radiation, but due to the impact of the technology now within these devices on society.

First a phone is pretty valuable, particularly when it has a SIM so those of us lucky enough to have the latest Nokia , Motorola, Sony, Samsung or an Apple iPhone, have a good chance of being mugged if we dare to use it in a public place. It’s a nice phone and the mugger can use the SIM to call his mates anywhere on the planet.

Then there is gang culture. The newspapers are full of stories of “Happy Slapping” attacks on innocent people. Teenage gangs (and it’s usually teenagers who make the headlines) use the built-in video camera on the phone to film beatings and bullying. If the built-in camera didn’t exist, would gangs still prey on innocent people, just for kicks.

And my biggest bugbear is the undue stress commuters face every day because kids can listen to the tinny sound of their music collection via the built-in speakerphone.

Could the mobile phone industry be fuelling anti-social behaviour? Just think: someone out there must be thinking of a way to incorporate one of those zapper devices for personal protection into a mobile phone. Can you imagine the “fun” teenage gangs could have armed with a phone that doubles as a zapper/stun gun.

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Perhaps mobile phones have become a nuisance of the 21st century, but they have by no means contributed in any way to the mindless violence and trivial annoyances you've mentioned above.

People would be still beating up others for mindless kicks, had mobile phone's never even been invented. It is not the advent of such technology that has encouraged them to partake in the gruesome damage to another human being, but in fact their own moral standards.

These hooligans will attack people whether they can catch it on camera now, only since the appearance of such crazes as 'happy slapping' have these attacks become more widely recognised by the media, and in turn the general public.

As for the mugging issue, would you carry £500 cash in your hand on full display and expect not to be mugged? As unfortunately this is the value of many mid range phones on the market now days. People should realise the value of their possessions and be more careful in having such articles on display.

And finally, the annoying kids who see fit to have their ringtones blaring out on the tubes or buses can be incredibly tedious, but even myself as a youth can remember the boombox craze of the early 90's, so blaring out your own choice of torturous pop hits is hardly a new craze.

Perhaps mobile technology can be an annoyance to some, but remember of course the advantages it can bring us.

Or perhaps even the most beautiful of irony as someone is filmed getting mugged on the tube whilst blaring out their favourite tunes on their brand new iPhone...

We need 'manner modules' for these devices. A mobile that enforced basic social graces, such as "feet off seats", "hand over mouth", "hold door for elderly", voice tags that responded to proper pronunciation and grammar. Then again, the mobile isn't the root cause; the fabric of society has changed from a cosy, rugged Harris Tweed to a thin, shiny, nylon, statically charged 'man made' that's dissolving in the acidity of modern living.