Dionne discussed in his essay, Tough Call on Cellphones (n. d. ), the issue on the use of cellphones while driving. He said that the matter has everything and anybody can argue on any aspect of it such as risk vs. security, individual right vs. the common good and the role that the government has to play in the face of the controversy. He added that unlike abortion, cellphone matters need not deal with difficult religious and moral issues thus, liberals and conservatives can peaceably debate on it and even take unexpected sides.
Being a self-confessed user of cellphone while driving, Dionne stated that discussing the issue gave him the opportunity to face his personal contradictions–despite knowing the dangers of using his cellphone on the road and the difficulty of focusing both on dialing numbers and driving, he still can’t prevent himself from using it, instead, he even loves the habit. Among his reasons are the comfort of being able to talk to a friend while in the middle of traffic and the time it saves him in confirming his appointments.
He admitted however the trouble his habit brings. No matter how much we like our cellphones, we cannot for an instant pretend that that they are not a distraction—even if we would all insist that we are oh, so careful in using them (Dionne, n. pag. ). Unlike Dionne who tried to justify his use of the steering wheel and his cellphone simultaneously, Paul Mulshine showed a different side in his essay, End the Hands-Off Policy on Cellphone Users (n. d. ) as he narrated his experience as a third person being pestered by drivers who fail to observe proper driving because they are busy “yapping” on their cellphones.
Aside from this, he also argued that the use of cellphone should not be equated with eating and turning on the radio because practice would dictate that these actvities are done only when the other hand is free and at a time of one’s choosing. Normally, these activities can also be easily stopped to concentrate on hitting the brakes or using the blinkers whereas when someone is talking on the phone, rarely does one cut the conversation to use the signal light or take a full time to push the brakes.
Drivers on cellphones would normally go on and make their turn without signal causing menace on the road and to other drivers. “With the roads getting crowded by the day, we dont need another distraction (Mulshine, n. pag. ). Mulshine pointed that if only drivers would concentrate on their driving rather than on their cellphones and picking their nose, then maybe there would be a fewer number of people who would fail to signal, put on their blinkers or speed off despite pedestrians crossing and cars leaving parking lots.
In opposition to those conservatives, who protested the cellphone ban in New York and New Jersey for being against the principles of liberty, he cited the John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty”. The classic work contains this priciple, “the individual is not accountable to society for his actions, in so far as these concern the interests of no person but himself (Mulshine, n. pag. ). According to Mulshine, there should be a stress on the word “but” in the phrase because it would spell a whole lot of difference. The word “but” only dictates that individual rights should not prevail over the common good.
The principles of liberty will only take effect if the rights of other people are not affected. The issue on the use of cellphones on the road are not covered by any libertarian precept hence, the ban on the use of cellphones while driving should be upheld and supported. (Mulshine, n. pag. ) While the two authors discussed on one hand the pros and cons of the use of cellphones while driving, Kathleen O’ Brien provides an analysis of the way people use cellphones then and now in her essay, All I wanted was to call the Pizzeria (n. d. ).
According to O’ Brien, cellphones were only used then as a status symbol. It was bought mainly to show to other people that the owner had money to burn and not actually to be able to make calls. But as technology progressed, cellphones have become available to a larger number of people and their functionality are continuously increasing. If before showing off was the main reason, now bragging is just among the reasons of owning a cellphone. People have come to discover the many things that can be done with cellphones, making them a necessity instead of a mere luxury.
Their increasing functionality has made them indispensable for a lot of people, but for O’ Brien who has not fully explored and enjoyed the technology that is connected with them, the added features that come with them, such as the sending and receiving voice mails and e-mails make communication more difficult and keeping up with technology more burdensome. “Right now, im in a race against time, trying to acquire enough knowledge about this phone’s inner workings before history repeats itself… (O’ Brien, n. ag. ).
O’ Brien also reminded her readers to take time, as she does, to absorb the convenience technology offers and not be drowned by it “… technology may march on but we humans need to stop now and then to catch our breath (O’ Brien, n. pag. ). The use of cellphones and the technology that come with it have rapidly evolved as O’ Brien discussed in her essay and if one fails to keep up, he will be left out, ignoramus of the modern equipment that run the world. However, we should also be careful in its use.
In the face of all the modernities that this world has to offer, I agree with O’ Brien that there is a need to catch our breath at times to keep up. If we get swayed fast enough by the lure of functionality and convenience, we should try to grab on to something and see whether these functionality and convenience are really doing us all good or not. The use of cellphones and all its features is not a bad thing, actually, it is a good thing, if only we use it in the right perspective and at a proper time.
The reason why we are having problems with cellphones is because this world has become so competitive that people try to juggle everything simultaneously for fear of being left out but the thing is forgetting, as Mulshine said, that we are only humans blessed with two hands, not deities. Let us also bear in mind the libertarian ideology that the common good should prevail over our individual rights. The world is already chaotic and let us not add menace by being irresponsible drivers and cellphone users. Let us all be responsible for our actions and think how this will affect other people, reduce traffic congestion and accidents.