Tools in a user’s hands…

Over the past two weeks I have been using public transport, taxis in
particular. Quite a number of things I observed, and as I get the words to
translate all I saw. No doubt I will share.

Lets talk mobile phones – some people call them handheld devices, popularly
known as cellphones. First thing most people do after hopping into a taxi is
choose a seat, make themselves comfortable, count the taxi fare and then all
types of cellphones are brought out. In the morning while vision is clear,
you will be able to identify those with phone in hand by them facing down.

The mobile phone are mostly used as a music device and some will be tuned
into their favourite radio station. These can be seen by tapping their
fingers and at most their heads will be bobbing up and down, sometimes when
it gets to the most exciting part heads will be going left and right! They
all have one thing in common; clicking on the keypads profusely, everyone is
chatting. Either with someone they know or someone they have never met but
in today’s standards considered a friend or a follower. You see, not only
leaders have followers.

A couple jumped into the taxi. Everything was hunky-dory until the lady
received a call. From the time she answered the phone, her thumb moved to
the red button ready to disconnect the call at any time. Her voice not at
ease but she confirmed she was in a taxi and disconnected. She received
another call, this time around it sounded like the caller wanted to know how
far she was. Her partner made a remark, it seemed it was something she could
not respond to. From then on he looked out the window and she looked the
other direction. Lucky for her, she found something exciting on her side. Mr
Trend Setter in colorful Ray Bens, head clean-shaven, a Blackberry in his
hands, as he typed. He would crack a smile from time to time. The lady
would peep into his phone and it seemed she would read whatever brother man
was reading and typing. She didn’t do this once; it must have been an
interesting chat.

During the ride, we came across a car accident. I didn’t see anyone with a
book and a pen. The driver of the other car was taking pictures from her
phone. She first took pictures of her dented car. Later moved and took shots
of the other car that bumped into her. She walked to the front and took
another picture of the license plate. One last close up snap of the license
disc on the wind-screen. They then exchanged details, everyone was typing on
their phone. My journey continued and thus was my taxi ride to work during
Jo’burg’s morning rush.

Six O’clock in the evening, time for me to catch a ride back home. A bit
dark and once everyone was comfortable, they did whatever helped them (to
beat the traffic!),survive the road and arrive not having noticed really
which lane was the taxi driver, driving on. This time around, I can not see
heads facing down. All I see is the glow in the dark, a bluish kind of glow,
then you know a cellphone is on. And a conversation has begun. From far, you
can hear a familiar beat but not so clear because it is coming through the
headphones. As these things happen, I decide to view one of the newspapers
website for the day’s update. That does not take long so I decide to type
this piece via my phone. The person sitting next to me keeps looking over my
invisible divide, trying to read my scribble, as if to say: “I should have
used my phone for that”. Instead of going on facebook to type “lol, kwaaa or

I agree, based on the user. A tool can be useful or the opposite.


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