RT Cunningham

Cell Phone Addiction in the Philippines is a Real Problem

Both my wife and I have cell phones. We probably look at cell phone apps for less than two hours a day combined. This is why a cell phone addiction confuses me.

Regardless, there are a lot of cell phone addicts running around my neighborhood at night. Perhaps it’s because they have no life or simply no place to sleep.

Cell Phone Addiction in the Extreme

I can’t tell you the exact cause of any cell phone addiction. I think most of the neighborhood derelicts are addicted to YouTube more than Facebook.

A week or so ago, after one of our many brownouts, my DSL WiFi router refused to work. I had to do a hard reset by pushing and holding the reset button on the bottom of it. That fixed things, of course, and reset the router to the default WiFi password.

I’ve had a DSL WiFi router since the end of 2014 and I’ve changed the WiFi password more times than I can remember. This time, I didn’t. Pure laziness on my part.

A couple of nights ago, I turned off the router and heard a bunch of people running outside. I didn’t think anything of it. Last night, I could hear people talking but couldn’t see them. That meant they were sitting in front of my front fence, invisible from inside the compound.

It was around 2 am and I couldn’t sleep. Out of curiosity, I got up and logged into the router to see how many clients were connected. It was more than 10, but I didn’t count them. There shouldn’t have been more than three – my laptop, my cell phone and my daughter-in-law’s cell phone.

I changed the password and heard the people leaving (again). I won’t be hearing them again. They were using a cell phone app to figure out my default WiFi password. This article is one of many that explains how to do it.

Victims of Cell Phone Addiction

The people running around at night are called istambay, which translates from Tagalog as unemployed, lazy, inactive (using Google Translate). Some are teenagers but some are older adults (in their 30s). I’ve met some of them. They don’t have jobs but they have cell phones.

They’re not the only victims of cell phone addiction. I have nieces and nephews, living in this compound, who are just as addicted. I’ve seen them spend hours on YouTube, Facebook and Facebook Messenger in the area under the carport in front of my house. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t find any kind of app (or game) that will hold my interest for very long at all.

If cell phone addiction is this bad in my little area of the Philippines, it makes me wonder how bad it is in the country overall. I’m sure cell phone zombies will overrun the country eventually.


February 21, 2018
Cell Phones

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