Ten years back, Nepal was not what it is now. Things have changed a lot since then, from the mindset of the people to the lifestyle they pursue.

The memory of stealing the mobile phone from my father’s pocket to play a game called ‘Snake Xenzia’ is still fresh, as if it happened just yesterday. I was 10 or even less when the phone was first introduced in our home. I was taken aback by the way it functioned. It felt nothing less than a miracle at that time when my voice reached the person living in Kathmandu through the phone. It surprised me how from one corner of the world we could communicate with people living in another corner.

Smart phones were not common then, and not everyone could afford them. To communicate, we dialed the phone number on the small Nokia phone set as today’s applications did not exist then. Today, ways of communicating have been extended with the development of various apps, like Messenger, Instagram, Viber, WhatsApp and many more that are available on the apps store.

However, the medium of communication is still the same – the mobile phone. Laptops and other gadgets are not as popular as the mobile phone, and there is hardly any person now who doesn’t carry one.

I was 14 when my father replaced the old Nokia phone with a brand new Samsung phone, which had the features of screen-touch and a camera, too. A person possessing a screen-touch phone was regarded as an important person at that time. It was not long back.

In case anyone below 15 is reading this, I’m revealing that the mobile phones had no cameras earlier. You may find it fictional, but it is the truth.

It’s surprising how a 4-yearold kid swipes a mobile phone these days. Kids are given a mobile phone so that they don’t disturb their parents at work. It is not just with my family or yours, but this is the trend with families all around the world.

Parents claim that their children are getting smarter with the use of phones and digital gadgets. Somehow, their statement holds true as they are quick at adapting to the ever-changing technology.

But the mobile phone is hampering their overall health at the same time.

When I was a kid, the use of the mobile phone would hardly be for half an hour, and to use it, I had to deceive my parents.

The exact opposite is the case today. Kids are gifted with a mobile phone, which is the reason why they are not seen playing games outside. The harmful rays emitted by digital gadgets are not good for the eyes and overall health. Every parent should keep watch of their kids and help them use the gadget wisely.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 05, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.