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An OLD attitude towards a NEW gadget


            The other day, I asked my grandfather about the new mobile phone I had offered him two days earlier. He pulled it out of his pocket and started examining it for a long while as if he saw it for the first time, and then he said"

            "Listen to me sonny boy, this device is really magical. As you can see, it is thin, tiny and light, but it has a huge power. It is this same instrument which can make you contact someone living thousands of miles away from you in almost no time, can also make you ignore someone else sitting by your side for hours. It is magical, no? I don't actually understand what games have to do with a device designed basically for calls and messages. Is it for this reason they call it a smart phone?!Ē

            After those short bitter sarcastic words, my grandpa abruptly halted to give his mobile phone a second closer investigating look before he resumed,

            "Listen sonny! No doubt this device has made many peopleís life easier, we must admit it, but it has also made it complicated. As for me it is a mere device with only one function, to call and receive calls. For you, maybe, it is a TV set, a radio, a recorder, a camera, a computer, a calculator, an alarm clock and much more. That's the complicated side Iím talking about. I think this phone is smart enough only for lazy people. It makes them even more stupid. You must understand that it is not more than a machine, an appliance and a tool Ö in brief, a wireless telephone. I will not allow it to control me, to waste my time and health for nothing, to distract me, to dictate me how I should live and lead my life. Oh hell, No way!"

            He bitterly sighed again, and then he threw such a severe look at me before he continued,

            "I'd rather give it back to you, say thanks and start raising pigeons. I've already been here decades and decades before your android was invented, and before you and even your father were born. I didnít mean to spend all the trying long ages I have survived just to wait for this dumb little thing to make choices for me, to make my life look better and to keep me connected. No! I have never been in complete isolation, and I have lived to be ninety or so without this gadget, and I donít think I will need it for anything Ö well, thanks anyway boy! Game Over!"

            In fact there is some wisdom in my grandpa's words that I could keep, but I need also to keep my smart phone. I can't separate from it. I wish I were like my grandpa to be able to decide about my life, but Alas, I am addicted to this magical device.

            When I took the smart phone from him, I noticed that it was not even turned on.

M. Abdessalami

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