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Nkosinathi Mokoena
 
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New technology making us to look like lunatics...

10 September 2012, 10:19

Few weeks ago, I found myself in a state where by I couldn't respond to a definite question that was postured to me by a nine year old. My aunt daughter is nine year old and most people will know that she is in that questioning phase. She has questions about everything. It is even hard to watch television with her because she will ask questions that you don't want to answers. For instance, the other day she asked me that “What is sex?” immediately I advanced to Mutism moment.


Today I want to speak about one the questions she posed to me about my cellphone. She asked me if I could live without my mobile phone for a month and again I reached the mute moment. When I look at it is actually a very controversial question to many. I realized that we are hastily becoming dependent on the new technology and it’s rapidly becoming our way of life. For instance, how many adults/teenagers have you seen texting while their walking today? I am not against blackberry or iPhones users so don`t get me wrong. I have so many social networks in my mobile phone and it scares me that I am using all of them at once.


The other day I went into a taxi and I immediately put on my head seats on, sit next to some stranger and I started chatting with someone who’s 1000KM away. I realized later that I didn`t even say “Hi” to the person I was sitting next to.


 I miss the old days where you went in to a taxi you greet [everyone] and listen to some dialogue that don`t concern you, laugh etc. The other day I was sitting with my cousin`s, none of us was making a conversation with one another because we were talking [chatting] with people who are miles away from us. Apparently, it has become so important to talk to people who are far compared to people who are near you nowadays. I am scared for what we are heading or turning out to be. For some odd reasons, I don`t think I will survive a day without my mobile phones [by the way, I now have two of them, I don`t know why].


The question I want to pose to you is ‘Can you cope without you social networks or your cellphone for a month?’ it has come to my attention that we cannot even cope with them because their multi-tasking and sometimes that waste time AND REQUIRES A LOT OF ATTENTION. We spend evening’s texting to friends, family, strangers and love ones but the reality is that we waste more time on these social networks. These social networks are taking over our lives. I am scared of what the future will look like. I think they should make a new board in the roads saying, drive slow, people are texting. Some are driving while their texting. What is going on here?

According to the statistics, “Social networking accounted for nearly 1 in every 5 minutes spent online globally in October 2011, ranking as the most engaging online activity worldwide. Social networking sites now reach 82 percent of the world’s Internet population age 15 and older that accessed the Internet from a home or work computer, representing 1.2 billion users around the globe.” (http://www.comscore.com/it_is_a_social_world).


According to April survey from Pew Research (2012)  "mobile owners become fond of just-in-time access to others and as their expectations about getting real-time information rise, they depend on the cellphone's technical reliability. Any problems that snag, stall or stop users from connecting to the material and people they seek is at least a hassle to them and sometimes is even more disturbing than that in this networked world."

And there you have it. The more necessary, the more evil. Am I right?  

In conclusion, I want t you to ask yourself few questions. Can cope with your social networking and real life? Can you find the balance between the two? Can you cope without these social networks or without your mobile phone for that matter?

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