The giant leap in technology worldwide is driving the globe to its edge. Save for the fact that this world we live in is round or oval, if it were other linear shapes, the speed of technological innovations around us would have crashed us.
It’s hard not to love technology, the innovators behind new forms of technology have found themselves dollar billionaires without having inherited anything from their forefathers.
That is what technology does, more so if its Communication Technology. We were born in an era when yellow telephone booths were the means of communications. Then came the mobiles phones, where you could make calls and send text messages. I remember the first text message I sent when the I got my mobile phone was costing 5 Kenya Shillings per SMS! 5 shillings for 140 characters!!!! Very expensive. 5 shillings could get you a huge Mandazi on the University TAC Shops in 2005!!!Ugali was and is still 6 shillings. Ugali-Sukuma wiki in the Mess at University of Nairobi was going for 12 bob. Ugali-Sukuma was the average lunch budget for us who were subsisting on loans from the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB)
So you had to decide whether you want to have lunch or forfeit the money and buy airtime to reply to a text message from roommates who texted you to inform you that his girlfriend was visiting that afternoon, so you are advised to stay away. You couldn’t call, as the moment the person the other side picked up the call and said “Hello” you lost 50 shillings, even if it lasted 3 seconds….50 shillings was a whole day’s budget. And so, friends used to FLASH friends, hopping they don’t pick the call. If they ever picked, you get agitated” For Heaven’s sake, why did you have to pick my phone call? Nowadays you miss a call from them friends, and they ask you “So why are you not picking my phone calls.”
And so like Jews, we prayed for a messiah in form of technology to save us from the exorbitant costs of calls and SMS’s that telephone companies were charging. Then came WhatsAPP, a smartphone based application where people could send and receive text messages for free! The love for whatsapp has, like diamonds, been forever! You could see when the person you sent a message was last seen typing! The CEO of Telkom Kenya(Orange, which owned 70% of Telkom Kenya since the 39 billion acquisition in 2007, has sold its stake to Helios) complained in September 2016 that these internet based technology companies (Whatsapp and Facebook) were eating all their profits. Nobody was amused by the CEO’s miseries because when it was a monopoly, it used to eat us also. It was their time to be eaten. And so Telkom Kenya, like Anglosaxons lords of the early 20th century Boston couldn’t stop the new found wealth of the Irish peasants fleeing the Irish famine in Ireland, couldn’t stop these billion dollar Tech Companies. It’s a fact that all the current Telecos hate these social media giants. Save for Safaricom, all others have made loses to the point of running away from Kenya.
I used to think that if you love something you love it unconditionally. That was until I started hating WhatsApp and its friends. “ Moses added you to the group “Moses for MCA 2017”……John created the group “SINGH JUMA wedding COMMITTEE”…..You were added to the group “GETTING MARRIED SOON” ….Jane added you to the group “FRIDAY NIGHTS” …..You were added to the group “JULY MOMS” Peter created a group “ WHO IS MOVING OUT I MOVE IN”….. The landlord created added you to the group “NYUMBA KUMI SECRETARIAT”…. Etc, etc, etc….not forgetting the mandatory alumni groups of Nurseries, Primary Schools, High Schools, Universities ….even units in the University….” you know the likes of ADVANCED MACROECONOMICS CLASS” …..Jeez, these random groups are tad bit very annoying! You don’t even know whether I eat grass or grasshoppers, and you go ahead and add me to “ VEGETARIANS ONLY” group, I swear next time I will eat you to prove that I eat meat (No pun intended). And please, if you are not able to finance your wedding, don’t rush to make rash decisions and fix your wedding next week and bombard us with online meetings, without our consents, unless of course you agree to share your spouse!!! What have you been smoking since you look like you stopped smoking weed? These random group admin who fix you in their groups without your consent will go to hell.
Someone creates a group without seeking your consent and adds you there. From thereon you will have no peace. Messages will be coming swift and fast, day and night. Its hard to EXIT without being branded as full of contempt for group members. Then you will always hear Admin say “Marishok ( group member) lost his fridge in electrical surge last night, let us stand with him”….can we remember to give some contributions to Jane whose husband lost his aunt’s mother-in law. I propose we contribute each 2000 shillings minimum….
A joke will circulate from one group in the morning and will be forwarded and fly around to all your groups until the evening. Nothing original there. As for me now, please, I have reached the limits of group membership. Add me to another group and I will blow you up with hot chili pepper. WhatsApp should have maximum number of groups a person may join. This technology is driving us mad.
I don’t mind technology creating newly acquired billions of shilling and dollars, but technological advancement in communication should leave me in peace, OR ELSE.
Do have a watsup free day, won’t you?
My name is Newtone, I am good, old friend to Patience (The owner of this blog) and I am happy that she gave me a chance to air my thoughts. This is my first ever blog post, so be nice 🙂