Mobile Phone Usage and Awareness of Health Related Issues among the Male Science Students

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Cell phones are considered to be one of the most speedily emerging technologies in the human race (Rebello, 2010). By the end of the year 2010, there was a drastic increase in subscription of cell phones in developing countries reaching five billion worldwide which outnumbered the subscription in developed countries (Kelly, 2009; Rebello, 2010). According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, there are about 929.37 million mobile phone subscribers in India making it the world's second-largest cell phone using developing country in the month of May, 2012 (TRAI, 2012). Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson etc. are the popular mobile phone brands in Indian market luring their customers by introducing latest mobile phones at regular intervals (Singla, 2010).

There has been quite an enormous amount of popularity of cellular phones in younger generation within a short span of time (Hakoama & Hakoyama, 2011). Youth is more inclined towards using mobile phones for activities other than communication than older generation (Mackay & Weidlich, 2007) because in adolescent stage, people are more susceptible to changing fashion trends and style, building them more Tech savvy which creates certain behavioral disorders. On the contrary, administrators and teachers frequently consider the use of cell phones by students at schools, restraining them from their education and this arises as hurdles in their education (Johnson & Kritsonis, 2007). Moreover, mobile phones have aided in smoothening the progress of social release of youngsters from parental authority (Ling, 2004). But, their parents often have more sense of security when their children travel independently outside their home along with their phones (Baron, 2010).

The improved popularity of cellular phones is now alluring various research sectors' attention towards them (Hakoama & Hakoyama, 2011). The cell phone culture, changes in behavioral patterns (Campbell & Park, 2008; Bakke, 2010; Ling, 2004), and health risks from the hazardous radiations coming from the cell phones (Anna et al., 2006) are the major reasons behind this interest. Cell phones are no more considered to be an accessory and have become a basic requirement of our lives and people are dedicating a major part of their daily routine to these mobile phones. According to Psychiatrists, mobile phone obsession is now a foremost major non-drug addiction of this century (Ahmed & Qazi, 2011). The fame of the cell phones is followed by an alarm towards the detrimental effects of cell phone radiations (Makker et al., 2008). Fatigue, headache, decreased concentration and local irritation and burning are the major effects of excessive usage of cell phones, as stated by various researches (Sandstrom et al., 2001). Because ear is the first organ dealing with the cell phones, there is a elevated energy deposition in the ear as compared to other organs and its effect on hearing are debated (Ozturan et al., 2002). Along with the severe effects on general health, there was some research conducted which depicted reduction in male fertility potential (Agarwal et al., 2008).

The objective of this study was to understand the usage pattern of mobile phones nowadays by the male science students and to check whether they are aware of the fact that the various risk factors associated to their health are these cellular phones only.

METHODOLOGY

A descriptive survey design was used to extract answers to the questionnaires administrated to 10th, 11th and 12th standard male science students who have joined the private coaching classes for the preparation of pre-medical and pre-engineering entrance tests with prior approval of the Coaching classes' owners and their teachers in Kanpur city, Uttar Pradesh, a state in India. Characteristic profile (Age, educational status, area and family income) and health risks associated with mobile phone usage were the two main criterions on which study of mobile phone usage among the students was conducted. …