Mobile Phone Illiteracy
Side flip out display, Android 2.1, HSDPA EDGE/GPRS Class 12, HSUPA, eCompass/aGPS + EDR, Display: 2.8” QVGA TFT, Audio: FM Radio Receive, MP3, WMA, Video: Capture/Playback/Streaming, MPEG4, Camera: 3 MP, Digital Zoom, Fixed focus
I’m taking applications from freelance journalists for a global project I’m working on. They won’t get paid because they work for free.
They will stand in street corners in their countries, go to pubs, train stations, places of worship, hospitals, cricket, soccer, and rugby stadiums, shopping malls, fresh produce markets, hair salons, fisheries, lumber yards, Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park etc. and ask the following questions.
1. What is the thing in italics in the first paragraph?
2. Is it a human being, object of destruction or none of the above?
3. Can the person interviewed write HSDPA and other acronyms in full?
4. Can the person interviewed explain the acronyms in their own language (user-friendly)?
5. Does the person interviewed think that we need an extra hour to the 24 hours we currently have, to learn what the thing in italics means?
Please note: My cellphone provider called me. It’s time to upgrade my contract. There were very upbeat. The new phones have more cool features. I declined. The phone I have been using for two years has 32 applications. I use only four especially the calculator, trying to figure out why I’m always broke. I told them to bear with me. I will call them once I understand what the 28 other applications are all about.
Nonqaba waka Msimang is the author of Sweetness the novel.