Ohio Woman, 36, Charged For Calling 911 After Her Parents Cancelled Phone Plan
An Ohio woman, at the hilarious age of 36, found herself with a felony charge after repeatedly calling 911. Why? Because her parents cancelled her phone plan.
‘Phone addiction’ is a curse of modern technology. Often, it feels like another limb, and being without induces anger, sadness and even panic – even more so for younger generations, who haven’t had the chance to grow up without seeing the advent of smartphones. It’s just their reality.
However, this individual in her thirties, who ‘repeatedly’ called 911 when her parents shut off her phone, doesn’t have an excuse.
Seloni Khetarpal was arrested on Thursday, February 13, for ‘disrupting public services’, a fourth-degree felony after phoning the police emergency line twice, asking officers to be sent to her family’s Canton residence in Stark County, according to The Smoking Gun.
After being warned on her first call that 911 was reserved exclusively for emergencies, and that she should ‘only call for police assistance for legitimate purposes’, Ms Khetarpal – from Jackson Township – then phoned again an hour later, believing it to be a genuine issue.
The ‘belligerent’ woman was later arrested and booked into the Stark County jail, from which she was released on $2,500 bond (she’s due to appear at Massillon Municipal Court on February 23).
Ms Khetarpal, a real estate agent, has also reportedly modelled for ‘companies such as Abercrombie & Fitch & Miller Lite, where I would do my own makeup/hair for photo shoots’, as per her LinkedIn. She’s also attended the ‘prestigious Lubna Rafiq Academy in London, UK, where I specialized in Bridal makeup/hairstyling with a South Asian focus’.
The court filing didn’t confirm why her dad, a gastroenterologist, and mum, a pediatric dentist, cut off her phone plan.
There’s plenty of fruit to the theory that the modern world struggles with mobile phone addiction (or the fear of being without a phone, known as nomophobia). For example, a 2018 study by the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication found that some young people suffered from withdrawal symptoms when stripped of smartphone access.
However, the flippant use of the word ‘addiction’ may be dangerous, according to another 2018 study:
Addiction is a disorder with severe effects on physical and psychological health. A behaviour may have a similar presentation as addiction in terms of excessive use, impulse control problems, and negative consequences, but that does not mean that it should be considered an addiction.
We propose moving away from the addiction framework when studying technological behaviours and using other terms such as ‘problematic use’ to describe them.
One thing is for certain: Ms Khetarpal has a ‘problematic’ relationship with her phone.
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CreditsThe Smoking Gun and 2 others
The Smoking Gun
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Journal Of Behavioural Addictions