Friday, 4 September 2015

Re: Help! Cellphones Are Taking Over the World! by Niyi Ajiboye


(In support of Diana's beautiful piece) HERE About seven billion people populated this earth. There are about 6.8 billion phones (don't forget that a typical Nigerian household of 4 might have about 15 active cellphones. Even toddlers, the moment they're able to say "heyo" their next birthday gift is an expensive iPhone which they might drop in golden morn the following morning). Majority of these users are already addicted to cellphones. A few days ago at a phone repairs shop, a woman was complaining loudly of how she'd been in hell since her phone "fell in water". When asked how it happened, she unabashedly confessed that she picked a call while in the shower. Just at a Wedding Reception last Saturday, a well appointed gentleman suddenly stood up and took some incongruous dance steps when it was not even item 7 yet. A woman burst into tears thinking the man had gone coo coo, "ó ma she o, okunrin daada bayi!" Someone suggested that his mother's orogún had cast a spell on him while another authoritatively claimed ants had infiltrated his sòkòtò. But a few of us (also core addicts) knew better - his phone was missing. Cellphones have become indispensable, fastly throwing some traditional traders out of business. Of serious concern are electronic stores, newspaper houses and vendors. Fulani herdsmen no longer need to listen to BBC Hausa on transistor radios in the pasture. Even now, you can watch NTA and AIT on some Chinco phones...and if u can do a cheat code subscription or a cheap clean one, Channel TV, Sky News, and Al Jazeera are there for you to watch live. If you're jobless like me (not necessarily lazy, I've done my bit) you're particularly a candidate for addiction. Can't remember when I last touched either my laptop or desktop computers.
They've become unnecessarily cumbersome. I attended an important meeting in a friend's office recently. The time unfortunately coincided with a match between two very big European Football teams (can't even remember their names). 10 of us were in the meeting, 9 were diehard supporters of either team. The meeting was forgotten, we were now in Onikan stadium and you won't even hear if a helicopter landed on the roof. Appeal to start the meeting fell on deaf, eager ears. What to do? I surreptitiously brought out my android phone and reduced the volume of the TV to an acceptable decibel. Confusion. Fierce scramble for the remote control. Back to Tejuosho again. I reduced the volume, someone snatched the control from our host and increased it. Reduced. Increased! I switched off the TV. Host snatched control back and switched on. I switched off. On. Off... Then someone wisely held NEPA responsible for low voltage. Relief. We hurried through the meeting so they could either go home or the Club to watch the rest of the game. I ostentatiously brought out my phone, pointed it at the TV and announced, "Let the noise resume!" And it resumed! Magic!!! The Pastor said "Turn to your neighbour and say, 'You are welcome'; 'You will be blessed tonight'". I turned to my neighbour to relay the Pastor's message, and expected to receive same when my neighbour pleaded to use my phone to call his wife! I wondered aloud why he didn't use his but he has ran "out of credit". I told him I left mine at home. He was flabbergasted, and with a supercilious look of a temperamental camel, he retorted, "How could you?" Yes, how could I indeed? I was actually trying to detoxify myself from the chronic addiction to cellphone. So, I left it at home. But, come to think of it, how could I wrench myself out of the grip the cellphone has on me? Ungrateful me! Is it not the same phone that saved me from been stranded at Ikeja the other day? The only road I know is Awolowo Road, and I was going to Ajiboye Road. My driver had never been to Lagos. Yes, Google Map delivered me safely to the door step! I check my Blood Pressure (though never accurate but gives me the idea) Heart Pulse, and Stress Level everyday (Poor hospital, their revenue has dwindled)? Now I want to become independent of the same cellphone! How do I now know the number of steps I've taken and the kilometers covered, and the amount of calories burned during my daily work out? How would I have known that Dr Hitomi Kaori, calling me with a Japanese number for a business proposal was a notorious international fraudster; how would I have scanned some documents in my village and mailed them to my friend in the U.S. if I'd actually completed my detox rehab? I forget so easily nowadays, but my phone reminds me today was my grand daughter's birthday. I'm having a rethink: as long as I do not drop my cellphone in water, make or answer calls while eating, driving, or in church, allow it to interfere with my sleep, quiet period, and devotional, and it's not so developed by Samsung and their co-conspirators to start giving me orders or dos and don'ts, I think I'll just stick to my cellphone. Forgive me if I've danced more than the celebrant, the topic is just too tantalizing to pass by. And of course, this is a contribution, not a comment.
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