Before the Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp era, there were no smartphones. Only “dumb” phones did exist. The phone owner then was “smarter” than the handset he/she owned. Forget about the thousands of phone applications that smartphones come with. “Dumb” phones were not blessed with the ability to order for you food, tell you when your next appointment to the dentist is slated for or even what your crush is doing. It was only a matter of communication.
The phones were not only dumb but heavy as well. The first ones to make their way to Uganda were as light as a brick both in size and weight. We even had to devise means of carrying them around. If you wanted to know if one owned a phone, you only had to check their waistline for a phone jacket. That was what “swag” meant then. Carry a brick around in a phone jacket clung to your belt. If people did not recognize that, all you had to do was wait for a phone call. That would let the whole world know about your unknown treasure. The absence of thousands of applications was covered up with thousands of polyphonic ringtones to notify you of a call or message.
The dumb phones did not do much other than calling and texting. Which is what I intend to celebrate today. Those two functions that are near extinction. Before the Facebook era, one looked up to a phone call. Of course phone calls still do exist but the enthusiasm is dying out. Whilst we asked for a phone number before, we now ask for a Whatsapp number. Because it is not only trendy but we have been made to believe it is cheaper to communicate via Whatsapp and various social networks.
Initially, when a phone went unanswered, the missed call would be returned in a similar currency. If one had insufficient airtime, they were courteous enough to at least “beep” the person on the other side. But because Whatsapp and the likes do exist today, a missed call is returned in text format. If you happen to still own a “dumb” which cannot access the internet then your call is never returned at all. If you do not call back, whatever you intended to pass on is thrown to the wind.
Before, there was an emotional weight attached to communication. Leave alone the smiley laced messages which can hoodwink you into believing the person you’re Whatsapp-ing with is on the same page with you, a phone call gave an insight into what lay on the other side. A hearty laugh from the other side gave one a reassurance. A scathing phone call vividly told you the receiver how livid the person on the other side was. Emotions can still be expressed on social media but believe me you, they do not carry the same weight.[related_posts]
On the other hand, texting has evolved thanks to the texting function in many social networking sites and apps. Smileys have been thrown into the fray. So have voice add-ons and videos as well as images. However, I’m only glad that traditional texting’s originality has been maintained and used alongside the new social media sites. For instance, the dissemination of national examination results has been simplified courtesy of texting. All one does is send their details to a number that then releases the results to you. Fantastic I should say.
Before Whatsapp, twitter and Facebook, we did communicate effectively so while you get taken by storm do not forget to communicate effectively. Revise your phone etiquette.