Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Monday, 6 August 2012

Today's handsets and those of yesteryear

My friend Kim used to mock me for not knowing what is 'in' and what is definitely 'out' and extinct in my choice of mobile phone models. I would sit among his friends in Dar es Salaam and reach to answer my archaic mobile handset and he later would tell me that his friends had suggested I probably had been away from Dar es Salaam for too long and was acutely in need of guidance on technologically correct handsets.

Perhaps I have spiced up the narration a little, but it is undeniable that in the past I kept holding on to my handset until some compelling reason literally forced me to buy a later version. Sometimes it would seem I would stay with a phone long after the manufacturer had discontinued its production.
As long as I could make and receive calls, I continued to fathom the strange looks I received in Dar es Salaam each time I reveled my handset to Dar's discerning subscribers.
As the number of mobile phone users gradually grew - they reached 14 million in 2009 and are expected to reach 36 million by 2015 - so did my contact list and, correspondingly, my phone preferences had to change. The phones I preferred could not handle the numbers and I opted for increased memory and a slightly higher price tag.
Yesteryear's handsets.
In the meantime, prices for what once were considered 'high end' handsets began to fall and cost of purchase was not a considerable impediment to those who owned phones for the sole purpose of receiving and making calls.

With these new affordable 'smart phones' a whole new paradigm of uses for telephones became possible with the accompanying applications on the handsets. The upshot is an increased range of uses for the handset including a compass, guitar tuner, a GPS tracker, just to name a few. The benefits are enormous, limited only by the user's imagination. I once parked my car in the middle of a farm just before it got dark and wandered off to carry out some errand well after dark. Without a torch, I lost well over an hour trying to locate the car on a moonless night. I can see how easy it would have been to locate the car with a GPS-enabled phone.
Today's handsets.
The downside, as with too much of anything, is information overload. With the ability to constantly receive email updates, the traditional 9 to 5 workday has been transformed into a 24-hour work cycle. And for those who want to conceal their whereabouts from their partners for no good reason, these handsets make it impossible to lie that you are on the farm in Butiama while you are actually partying your heart out with a live band in Kinshasa.

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