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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Cells leave me imprisoned by info I don't need

By unknown | May 17, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

About two months ago I just got gatvolwith all the information overload I have to decipher and respond to almost every minute of my walking life.

About two months ago I just got gatvolwith all the information overload I have to decipher and respond to almost every minute of my walking life.

I decided to stop the madness and got off.

The decision coincided with my losing my cellphone for the umpteenth time in a single year.

So for two glorious months, I was outside the radar of all the people who just call me whenever they are bored or have nothing interesting to say.

But there were others - such as colleagues at the office or the woman who wakes up next to me every morning, close friends and my kids - whose patience I tested with my hermit-like existence.

But couldn't they understand that I wanted, and had wrestled my life back from the demons that go by the civilised name of technology?

Friend, Percy Mabaso down at Braam Park banking centre, threatened me with harm if I didn't, as he put it, reconnect with the world soon.

Limpopo-based Sol Molobi got so exasperated trying to reach me he even offered to buy me a phone when I met him perchance.

Good ol' Bobby Saul in Mafikeng lost all hope of rehabilitating me.

My nine-year-old daughter Amogelang - she who has decided to go for the double-barrel surname of Matshabe-Molefe - donated hers to me.

I lost it within a day and was back to my communication immobility.

What bliss.

The thing is, I functioned just as efficiently in the dark ages without a gadget ringing from my pocket just when I'm having a quiet moment in the loo.

When I started as a journalist - years ago when the birth of a democratic South Africa was just wishful thinking - we used bleepers.

Though somewhat intrusive as well, at least I was given the choice to speak to the caller or not.

The New York Times quoted experts saying the excessive use of cellphone and other communication gadgets becomes ritualistic physical behaviour, even addiction, absorbing the nervous energy, like chewing gum.

That's why I hate the chewing- gum brigade and why I'm always tired when I have the damn phone near me.

But then the newspaper claims never-ending communication behaviour is fuelled by powerful social motivators.

"Interaction with a device delivering data gives a feeling of validation, inclusion and desirability."

I don't have those insecurities.

On the contrary, people, even total strangers, are drawn to me like moths to a flame.

I'm a lady-slayer supreme, and according to a lady colleague who constantly answers my phone, I'm probably the only non-celebrity on earth who is being phone-stalked by women. Duh!

But due to popular national demand, I have the damn thing back.

It's an 072-something number, which Molobi teases me about no end. He says an 072 number is below my stature.

"It is for the second-economy masses."


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