The era of mobile phones was a welcome relief since land phones were no longer functional and less accessible to most Zimbabweans.
These mobile phones took Zimbabweans by storm and although I do not have statistics on hand, every person I know whether they live in town or the rural areas, owns a mobile phone.
But this technology might be just as addictive as alcohol and drugs and could also wreak havoc with personal and work relationships.
I was at my brother’s home at New Forest Estate in the Goodhope area recently and when I walked into the lounge; his two children were hooked onto the mobile Internet.
My brother was glued to the television watching some soccer match. I had to announce my arrival verbally which startled them because they had not heard me drive in.
This scenario is so common and annoying as well. People no longer talk like they used to in the past. We used to have so many visitors at weekends, but this has changed because of the mobile communication.
“Before mobile phones and cellphones, people saw each other in person and called each other on the phone. Even with cordless phones there was still an element of publicity with a home phone. And parents usually set time limits on how much time one could talk on the phone at one time.
“Now, with cellphone plans offering unlimited calling and texting, there are no boundaries. Adults, teens and even young children walk around perpetually glued to their cellphone.
Many people send hundreds and even thousands of text messages. With Bluetooth technology, the cellphone user is constantly plugged in to the phone,” reads an article on Yahoo news.
Stories about mobile phones that have destroyed relationships are endless. One married man saved his girlfriend’s phone number using a male name Japhet.
One day the phone rang when the husband was taking a bath and that is when hell broke loose.
The wife wanted to know who this Japhet was, but the husband insisted it was a male friend who had called him.
A fight nearly ensued between the two when the husband grabbed the phone from her and smashed it against a bathroom wall.
The expensive Blueberry mobile phone was now broken into pieces. Most spouses may not agree with me when I say that a mobile phone is a very private gadget that should be answered only by the owner. This is because there is a 50% chance of coming across such secrets.
A colleague was once called by his girlfriend as he lay in bed with his wife. This happened around midnight when they were sleeping when this woman called.
“Iwe huya kuno mwana arikuchema zvisingaite (Please come over the baby is crying so much),” she said.
All hell broke loose. The woman was later to discover that the girlfriend had actually three children with this man and had it not been for the mobile phone, she would never have known about his secret family.
Women too have not been spared as they too have their little secrets which eventually explode on the mobile phone.
A spouse discovered a message on the mobile which read: “Let’s have more time together
. . . I love you so much.”
He took the number and called the sender. The person on the other end told him that this woman was single following a divorce. He added that he buys her expensive jewellery and takes her to lunch daily.
That was the end of their marriage. The wife is now at her parents’ home in Greendale while the spouse has taken custody of the children.
Constant texting is also very disturbing says the article on Yahoo news.
“It’s unnerving to hear the constant buzz or beep of an incoming text message. Constant texting makes the partner in the relationship feel a lack of privacy.
If she takes a shower or goes to the bathroom and finds six text messages during that brief period, it really amounts to an invasion of privacy.
If the partner gets angry about missed text messages when he gets no reply, this can drive the person being texted literally bonkers. And when the text messages just amount to ‘hi’, ‘where are u?’ what r u doing?’ constant texts of this kind become a form of stalking.
“Texting is time consuming. Texting takes attention away from matters at hand. And if said matters are driving, working or other important matters, texting becomes dangerous.
Most employers do not allow cellphone usage at work. And if the employer overlooks or doesn’t see the cellphone usage, continual texting will eventually sabotage a person’s performance and work record.
“Receiving texts and calls causes strain among employees and employers, which in turn causes resentment between partners in a relationship.
Very few people can think of that much to say to anyone, no matter how in love they may be. Endless calling and texting gets boring, tedious and really annoying. It will almost surely kill a relationship. “
Mobile phones, e-mails, texts, and the Internet which are great tools and helpful communication devices,” says Ezine Articles.Com.
“However, if you and your spouse are having dinner and you’re both more involved with texting other people rather than talking to each other, or if you’d rather spend hours on the computer chatting with someone else, playing games or doing anything that is keeping you from interacting with your husband or wife, then it’s time to step away from your communication device.
“Any extra time you have that you spend away from your spouse rather than with them is definitely going to help your marriage to fail.”