Mobile phone snobs

It was quite rude actually.  We were at the post office, when someone’s phone went Ti-ti-ting ting, Ti-ti-ting ting, Ti-ti-ting ting, ti.

 The four people in the queue turned to see where the default ring was coming from.  I could read the question in their faces.  What kind of phone does she have because the internet is littered with free ring tones?  Music fans even use their favourite tracks as ring tones.  The latest phones come with their own unique default rings.

I’m ashamed to say that I am also a cellphone snob because I was also surprised to hear Ti-ti-ting ting.  Apparently the kind of cell-phone you carry matters.  It’s like your set of wheels.  Who cares that you live in someone’s garage?  It’s the car that matters when you go to a gathering where there are friends and enemies.

 A friend of mine wants me to get the phone that has free e-mail, internet and text messages, not for show-off but good common sense.  I’m thinking about it because most people become irritated when they call to find out if I got their e-mail and I tell them that I will go on-line when I get home.  I don’t have broadband because I still associate it with a piece of clothing, a broad belt. 

One person at a wedding did not think it was a good idea.  “That phone is now a plaything for kids.”  She has two phones with e-mail and internet that she pays for.  Both cost an arm and a leg because they have names followed by a number.  I can’t think of any reason why they are so expensive.  It turned out that she is a university student so I don’t know which ‘kids’ she was talking about.

But I need a phone with free on-line browsing because I must double-check everything before I publish these posts.  It is the major reason why I send the commentary and cinema on Saturdays.  I’m definitely going to get the free e-mail and internet phone when it is time to upgrade my cellphone contract.

What amazes me is that school kids are the biggest phone snobs.  I don’t mean university students like the lady above.  I mean 11-13 year-olds.  Some years ago one of my nephews was horrified, “You still have this phone?”  It was an Alcatel, nice starter phone.  He was 12.  I told him to get a job and see what the taxman and banks will do to his pitiful wages.

That was my first ever phone.  No ring tones.  Just the good old ti-ti-ting ting, ti-ti-ting ting, ti-ti-ting ting, ti!  Millions of people around the world still use the T-Phone whose ring tone begins with T.  Apple has the i-Phone, why can’t we have the T-Phone?

Nonqaba waka Msimang is the author of Sweetness the novel.





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