A generation of unfriendly, aloof, detached people


Nyarai Moyo (28) the woman who was allegedly killed by her spouse Thembinkosi Gumbi, on New Year’s Eve after receiving a Whatsapp message accompanied images of male sexual organs, really made sad reading.

Saturday Dialogue with Ropafadzo Mapimhidze.

The State outline stated that Moyo suffered a fractured skull, lacerations on the forehead and injuries around her body due to the beating meted on her using a disused shock absorber.

The advent of Whatsapp and other social networks have no doubt brought misery and instability in some relationships.

Apart from linking up with friends and relatives, these social networks are entertaining as inspirational messages are forwarded for us to read, although I distaste the chain letters which I delete straight away.

Whatsapp, just like Facebook (FB), Skype and Twitter has brought the world much nearer to us than ever before.

People that had lost track of their loved ones through letters that did not reach their destination, especially overseas, have connected with them on these social networks.

Recently, I heard about a story of a man who literally ditched his wife of five years to join his lost love in England after they had lost contact for nearly 12 years.

He told his wife in no uncertain terms that the overseas woman was the girl of choice and that he would be a lot happier with her.

Apparently, letters he had written to her over the years had never reached her.

A local tabloid in Zimbabwe has carried so many stories of men and women who have parted ways following evidence of infidelity through these social networks especially Whatsapp.

This mode of communication has also gripped people living in rural areas who have resorted to buying smartphones.

It’s a craze that has, however, created a population that is aloof, unfriendly and detached.

Take a ride on a kombito the city and see how passengers sit quietly with headphones on or typing messages.

It is not strange to see someone smiling or just laughing aloud. That is what social network has done to us.

We have become so antisocial and withdrawn from people around us because we constantly check for messages even when engaged in a fruitful discussion.
An old friend who was visiting from Canada recently made a comment at me, when after sitting down in a chair in his hotel room, I pulled out my phone to check on a message that had “whistled” through.
“Why is everyone so engrossed in these social networks . . . this is just crazy . . .” he said with exasperation.
I had a brief discussion with him and when I went to my car, it took me nearly 20 minutes before I drove off as I tapped my phone relaying some messages.
Sounds crazy, but this is reality.
Visit any home in the city at the weekend and see what is happening.
People just don’t talk to each other anymore.
Husband will be watching soccer and constantly checking his phone for Whatsapp messages. Wife will perhaps be in the kitchen talking loudly to her husband who is not even concentrating on what she is saying.
Children, on the other end, are either on Internet or playing e-games on their mobile phones.
The beauty of this social network is that you can attach pictures to messages to people you haven’t seen for decades.
But this has, however, uncovered some things couples never knew about each other.
Old flames have resurfaced on social networks, something that could never have been possible before the onset of Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter and Skype.
While most of these Facebook friends remain just people from the past, some spouses get so offended.
It is very difficult to keep mobile phones away from people in close relationships like those in a marriage because there is always temptation to snoop or eavesdrop.
One couple fought when wife discovered that her spouse would be on his mobile phone texting to a US based ex-wife.
She also discovered that there were four other women locally that constantly exchanged messages via Whatsapp that were amorous and affectionate.
Another story is that of a man who would dash to the toilet and talk to his girlfriend.
One day wife demanded to know who this person was. A scuffle ensued. And what did hubby do?
He smashed his expensive iPhone against the bathroom wall.
Then we have infidelity that has been discovered through mobile phones that have been either sold or given away.
An associate of mine confided in me recently that he discovered that his sister in law was cheating on her brother after listening to some recorded message she had sent to her lover.
This associate had been given this smart phone by her sister in law when she acquired the latest version of one of the Samsung ranges of smart phones.
But it is fact that most people are not information technologically (IT) smart and hence expose this information unknowingly by either failing to erase or perhaps not knowing that such data can remain in certain folders of the phone.


  1. Ndauchira maoko,wanyora sisi wami,there is nothing neither to add nor subtract.Psychologists have more work to do than ever before,some people are traumatised,some sick counselling while some lose control like Gumbi,baba vanguwe kufira mujere straight away,vana dzatove nherera

  2. Ms ‘R’ you missed it big time. After giving us a sad intro you should then have dwelt on the cause of such sad situations, the dangers of having these so called ‘friends’, and how to avoid everyone stampeding onto your page on the social networks. The gist of your piece should have enlightened the unsophisticated user that not everyone who requests ‘friendship’ has good intentions and is of a moral standing that agrees with one’s. It has been noted that one can get these offending images and messages through a friend of a friend who the person does not even know, such is the nature of social network ‘friendship’. The unfortunate lady who lost her life through ‘social network induced violence’ could actually have been innocent. The husband could actually have been so ignorant of how these images and messages can just pop up on ones phone or computer as ‘shared’, or worse still from a bitter former boyfriend who knows the ex is married. People are just that ill mannered these days. I therefore request you dear lady to revisit this topic some other time and inform your readership, now that the exposure to social networks is taking a life threatening route.

      • I enjoyed the article but also agree with McAaron especially on the last sentence…”the exposure to social networks is taking a life threatening route”. Thank God Kitsi’s dont get on social networks.

  3. Husbands have always ignored their wives, even before the telephone was invented. Children have generally never willingly spent time with their parents because of the seriously large generation gap, and people cheated well before the creators of facebook and whatsapp were even born. Please don’t blame social networks for openly showing us the kind of peole we have always been, and the flaws in our society.

    And I hate how the article is simply making men look bad as if they are the only infidels in society.

  4. I want to know what you were doing in the hotera; I am sure when u read the message that had just whistled in 20mins is an exaggeration, u definitely left after 2hrs.

  5. The only way that my 18 year daughter communicates effectively is via Whatsapp or other options. Sit with her and she is on the mobile texting away, to whom one can only guess but these youngsters have a great deal to say to one another. So, it does stimulate and stymie. Any form of communication is better than none, at the end of the day.

  6. Zvimwe zvese magona the document is quite readable but muhotera umooo pakaipa..we are in the same cult

  7. Avoid such friends by blocking or unfriend if its a group or page unlike. If you donot do that it means you are addicted to those images. Before accepting a friend check profile

    Prevention is better than cure lets avoid such friends by blocking or un friending

  8. Alex weir get yo senses right and stop abusing Zimbabweans! Who are you to say Zimbabweans are selfish? What does selfishness of Zimbabweans have to do with this article? Let’s stop please irritating one another others we can too tell you if u are a Briton or whatever you are racists. Nxaaaa!

  9. i think at tymz women get carried away. the good about whatsapp and other social netweks is that u can block who u dont want to chat with. imagine your partner chattin with an ex and exchanging nasty pictures.

  10. again there is reason to realise that the worldwideweb and its toppings like the whatsapp are in fact helpful for promoting peace and tranquility in communities. you can no longer find too many ‘big mouth’ idlers since everyone is preoccupied at various discovery opportunities. citizens are better able to manage and control their private lives without having to physically present themselves at public gatherings where interpretations differ widely and more often than not generate neoliterate conflict at times fights break out over idle nothings.
    being aloof detached or unfriendly becomes a factor of minuscule measure.

  11. The point here is not about receiving unwanted data. So blocking or unfriending someone is contextually irrelevant here! People keep data on their fones b’cause they want to use that data for personal consumption and or sharing with ‘friends’. Then when wify or huby stumbles on that data by error or by design is when trouble begins otherwise its business as usual. Its no crime saying to your spouse ‘Shamwari ndionerewo mashura aiswawo pafone or papage yangu’ If genuine that defuses the anger and dissipates any inkling suspicions. Trouble starts when you keep quiet about it, impliedly you are flowing with the current and therefore part of the ‘dirty’ game if we can call it that. While I may not condone any violent reactions arising from such fortunate or unfortunate discoveries, I urge couples not to retain any potentially provocating data on their fones regardless of the source.

  12. A spouse can actually make whattsapp sex with their iilicit partner right in your lounge in front of you. Coward suitors have found a way of approaching women. Send a dirty whatts app message and look out for a response. Lack of an adverse response means you have a chance. Like someone commented its not necessarily baad bcoz it brings out who we really are.

  13. I cry for the lost potential, the love lost, dreams unrealized, undreamt even. I cry for the diaspora, heroes, in our own right, kusina Mai hakuendwe. I cry for the young girls who’s innocence has been soiled by dollar power, dollars that have seen many a hand, greasy, dusty, slimy, corrupt, innocent no more. I cry Zimbabwe, a forlorn light at the end of the dark tunnel. I cry because after twenty years in America, I don’t know wtf or where is home or who is there, really how are they and do they care?
    The invisible, voiceless in Zimbabwe cry. No one hears. So who am I to cry? Who hears me? Really? Unity, Unity, Unity, and more Unity YES! Like yesterday. Love one another. Love yourself first.

  14. I don’t think social media makes people unfriendly or detached. Social media actually allows people to connect and interact, but what has happened is that explicit content has been allowed to be part and parcel of social media and peoples inhibitions have also fallen away on this social media platforms.

    For people in relationships this creates a lot of insecurity because of the abuse by spouses in some cases of the social platforms and also not having a way to monitor or keep up with what is happening in your partners life because of the social media platforms creates a lot of insecurity or mistrust.

    People want to connect and interact with people who can make their fantasies come alive and social media provides that space…

  15. Social media is part and parcel of the technological wave which has swept over the 21 st century. The business community has embraced technology as well as invested in the development of new tech so as to maximize (on their profits. Not only has technology brought about misery and instability in relationships, it has also brought about poverty,rampant moral decay and destroyed the moral fabric of many societies in developing countries, especially the internet ,which has made the world more of a global village while in actual fact it is not. Mabasa, Michato, tsika zvese zvopera kumedzwa neiyo yavanoti tekinoroji, vazukuru muchakura nguva yakaoma

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