I received so much feedback from last weeks story titled Mobile phones destroying family life. One reader, Joel Chifamba, from Harare said: Right now I am so angry with you, I could cry!
Below is the full text of the message:
I really dont understand why a cellphone should be a very private gadget. I actually think that it is this kind of thinking that allows suspicions to fester in marital relationships because I cant see why I cant answer my wifes phone if it rings next to me while she is in the toilet.
Same applies to her. There are many spouses enjoying open relationships and who have nothing to hide from each other, and that is how I would want to enjoy my relationship with my wife.
But, of course, I will not be dashing to her phone whenever it rings only cognisant of the fact that I do not want to waste the calling partys airtime credit on a hello and please hold on, which is also irritating.
And as for the chance of coming across the secrets, I dont think I should regret coming across such things. I would rather know and deal with it than stay in the dark and be cuckolded while the rest of the world laughs at me.
I think this issue of PRIVATE is being taken too far in marriage. Space, yes, and I should not be eavesdropping whenever she is on the phone.
But how much space should be given in a marriage?
Why should spouses walk away and head for the toilet whenever the phone rings so that they can have a private conversation?
And yes, the toilet is the only place I accord my wife her unquestioned and uninterrupted privacy for obvious reasons.
Let me stop here, lest I become toxic.
Anyway, personally I get irritated by people who send me these Please call me back messages.
More than half the time they would have failed to correctly punch in the intended number and I end up talking to someone anobvunza kuti muri kuda kutaura naani (who do you want to speak to?)
I have since stopped responding to these, even from some people I know who want me to call them back so that they can just say Hi and Ndeipi?
Going back to privacy with mobile phones, I say they are not private, and I sticking to it. And you will never change my opinion on this one. Right now I am so angry with you I could cry!
Have a great day.
Another Harare resident had this to say:
I do not normally contribute to media items on various subjects. However, your article on the use of cellphones got me. I think you had a wonderful subject on that issue, but I am not sure if the remedies you proffered would help resolve these matters.
I believe certain things will always work against us as long as we remain unChristian. If a man or woman is not a born-again Christian, the cell phone will always stumble them.
It is not about when and how to use the gadgets. It is about the condition of the heart of the person involved. I thank God that there are still people walking the face of the earth who have nothing to hide from their phones or any other gadget.
Someone called Zvidza expressed satisfaction about the article as it made good weekend reading.
Your article referred above made interesting reading. I enjoyed myself all the way, as I read it. I fell victim of some the issues you raised. For instances, these hi, where are you messages. They are innocent, but they are not taken lightly. I got a hiding from my spouse.
Ropa, how private is my cell-phone when I have a spouse? How private is private?
We have some people that have snooped into their spouses mobile and intimidated any person on the list of saved numbers that seemed suspicious.
My friend once received nasty calls from a woman who worked for some telephone company in the Kopje area who apparently could monitor incoming and outgoing calls from her office.
This woman had also called some of this mans relatives accusing them of being prostitutes. The woman was so insecure that when I confronted her at her workplace just to find out why she was abusing people like that.
My intention was to make a formal complaint with her boss, but she pleaded with me not to. She actually went down and knelt on the floor clapping her hands seeking forgiveness.
The couple unfortunately parted ways soon afterwards as the man could not forgive her for using unprintable words to insult his elder sister. She called the mans sister a stupid prostitute.
Mobile phones have no doubt transformed the way we communicate and it is sad, however, to note that no one writes letters anymore.
I was at Borrowdale Post Office sometime in October last year last when I saw three elderly white women posting their letters (Christmas cards) which were destined for Europe.
I was so fascinated by that because the only mails I receive every month at my home are the utility bills from Zesa and Harare City Council.
Mobile phones have come to stay because communication is instant and a lot cheaper. We all know how letters used to take long to reach their destination and also parcels that were being tampered with in transit to their destination.
Letter writing has been replaced by electric mail.
I totally agree with Chifamba about the call me back messages that are so irritating.
Some person in Chivhu disturbed my sleep after receiving a call me back message.
The message came from a former domestic worker who wanted to me to re employ her. I looked at the time and it was just after midnight.