That just about summarizes the great majority of how mobile phone technology serves the greater boring majority of a group of folks I like to call “Digital Immigrants”. It’s even more heart-rending for me to have to admit that more than 50% of the other group I refer to as “Digital Natives” are shamelessly guilty of this simplex approach to 21st century tech-life.
We are talking “Reigning in Life”, right? I mean, who wants to be a slave to activities? Nobody! Everyone wants to be in charge of the teensy sphere of activities that define their everyday life. Well, granted, it might not be teensy for most people, but permit me to sound optimistic here because you’re about to discover how your “electronic pet” could actually make your daunting, nerve-wrecking, monstrously-towering, bore-me-down, everyday routine tasks appear just “teensy”. So, let’s exhume your digital iniquities.
DIGITAL INIQUITY 1
There is an error which I have seen under the sun; two errors which make my bowels turn. That a neighbour will spend thousands of naira to purchase an expensive and savvy smart phone, knowing they will only actually exploit less than 10% of its features before they drop it to buy a “bigger” one, and yet, have the gut and mouthpiece to brag about owning a “big” phone. That is an illiterate way to splurge!
The reason there are a gazillion different phone models in the market from various mobile phone companies is that every phone is adapted to suit a certain kind or a combination of several kinds of lifestyles. The Nokia 5500 Sport is a sports and fitness phone. It can measure heart beat rate and even the amount of calories you’ve burned. There are newer entry models available like the Sagem Puma, Ericsson W7102, among others. Of special interest is the Nokia N79 Active. It’s got a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor, an arm band and updated Nokia Sports Tracker system which can track your mileage for you as you hike or run. Since this is the smallest Nokia phone to date, it’s the perfect phone to take with you when you work out. The Nokia N91 is a dedicated music phone. No memory cards, but 8GB internal memory. It’s brethren, equally as good or even better, include the HTC Sensation XL, Nokia Lumia 800, Motorola Razr, Sony Ericsson Mix Walkman, Blackberry Curve 9360, Apple iPhone 4S etc.
“Mobile phones are no more just for making calls like in the good old days, but they can do almost everything one can imagine. The mobile phone industry is one of the most innovative industries in the world. Everyday something new comes out. The cameras in mobile phones have also changed a lot during the last decade. It all started with VGA cameras and then the megapixel cameras.” Digital-Photography-College.com
Nokia’s C6, N8, and Sony Ericsson’s Xperia, among others are good for high definition (HD) video recording and outdoor photography, but even better is the new Nokia PureView 808. It is itching with a 41 Megapixels camera feature begging to be unleashed. I downloaded a whopping 9.2 Megabyte image that was taken with this phone on the 22nd Feb this year from nearly a kilometre away, and literally jumped off my seat! This image’s resolution was at 5368 pixels by 7152 pixels. If you don’t know what this means, be content to know that most low-end camera phones support VGA (Video Graphics Array) with resolution (quality of detail in image) of 640 by 480 pixels; while 2MP camera phones max out at 1600 by 1200 pixels resolution. I could also add that if this image is printed out to its actual size without zooming in or out to strain image quality, its size would be over twice the length and width of the popular A4. Even most projector cameras cannot match its engineering!
The entire Nokia E-Series phones are business phones. They’re loaded with a lot of Nokia services and upgraded browsing functionality, connectivity, and battery life lacking in most other phones. Some phones are a combination of these profiles. You should choose a phone with a profile that best meets your needs and lifestyle, and get the best value for your money. In the ante-penultimate paragraph, I’ll tell you of a tool to help you do this.
DIGITAL INIQUITY 2
This one makes me cringe! Picture a classroom scenario:
If you know exactly where your phone manual is, raise your hand. Alright! Almost everyone does. Either it’s at the bottom of a dusty shelf or on top of a hard-to-reach, musty wardrobe. And of course, it’s still wrapped-in as good as new inside the pack as it came, right? Okay! Now, if you’ve actually read your phone’s manual, keep your hands raised, else, drop your hands. …???… Hey what’s the matter? Where are all the hands?
“There are worst sins than burning books; one of them is not reading them.” Joseph Brodsky
Do you see why folks can’t figure out why when they receive a file via Bluetooth, they can’t find it in their phone without enlisting a “search team”? This is also why most people don’t know the difference between phone/internal/main memory and card/external/auxiliary memory. These same people don’t understand why their phone screams “Memory full. Delete some data.”, whenever they want to receive a new song or picture. For some, their Bluetooth is always on. Others’ pet peeve is that their time is never correct, therefore call and message times are always logged wrongly. Some don’t realize why it’s necessary to switch off their phone from time to time. Most people just have to put up with certain awkward behaviour from their phone, as if it were a rebellious teenager all simply because they don’t know that a simple setting can fix such behaviour. Most people don’t know the meaning of SAR rating of a phone.
Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) is the rate at which your body absorbs dangerous electromagnetic rays, which cause skin problems, from your phone. The higher the rating for a phone, the unhealthier the phone is for your use. Some phone models have much higher ratings than others. Unlicensed phone companies do not print it on the manual for you to see because they’re unable to meet the standards set by the country they operate in. And we readily buy and use these phones, sometimes, on a second hand deal. How would you know all this if you don’t read the manual? Folks, when it comes to electronics, especially phones, the manual is the bible. If you’re not reading it, be sure you’ll end up in electronic hell. Ouch! Sorry if that hurts, but when a dentist is pulling out your rotten tooth, you might swear and curse him, but when he’s done, you’d thank him profusely. Abi no be so?
DIGITAL INIQUITY 3
Enter the mother of digital sins. How did you get here? Simple! The law gave birth to sin, and the sting of sin is death. It’s a Catch-22 scenario. One thing naturally leads to another.
“Your most powerful weapon is not the one you don’t have to fire. It’s the one you only have to fire once.” Tony Spark, Spark Technologies – Iron Man [Movie]
What would you think of a fellow who bought a guard dog and purposefully bridled it not to bark? I would say such person falls under a category of people the bible accuses in 2 Timothy 3:5 as “—having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” In the light of that, would you actually acquire a high-tech smart phone and subject it to the mere functionalities of a 2-bit beeper? You get my point now, don’t you?
Observe this: About 50% of all mobile phone owners in Naija only make and receive calls with their phones, some 30% of the whole include texting and photography, 15% listen to music and browse the internet including the earlier regular functions, a meagre 5% extend their mobile phone functions to time management and planning, organizing and scheduling meetings and appointments; managing tasks and to-dos, logging friends’ and family members’ birthday dates and anniversaries, maintaining a comprehensive contacts database, customer mailing lists, and contact groups; and installing and actually using other software applications that further extend the functionality of their phones beyond ordinary built-in functions. This 5% are the group of people who don’t gripe about productivity problems!
Anyone can be productive with a mobile phone. As a student, I had all my lecture time tables saved into my phone calendar, and had them recur up to the month the semester will end. I was thus in constant reminder and never missed a lecture just because I forgot. I did same for exam time tables once they were out. Helpfully, each time my reminder—which I customized with a ringtone of choice—goes off, it would seem like an incoming call, and so I’d use it as an excuse to get away from certain company I didn’t want to be with. I plan my daily activities with my phone, and so a glance at my home screen reveals what tasks are undone. I generally end the day more fulfilled having achieved as much as I set out to.
If you have a smart phone, don’t let it get mad at you before you delve into its world. If it could talk, it would tell you that it wants you to get to know it, appreciate it, and get it to do what it can do. Since it can’t, here I am doing the talking.
If you don’t have a smart phone already, getting one will be a great investment in your productivity. But don’t rush it. You’ve got to get the right stuff for you. Many years back I discovered and bookmarked a most indispensable website for phone enthusiasts. This site catalogues the specifications, availability status, comparisons, test results, user reviews, and pictures of all known phones. At the bottommost corner of the left navigation column is a link called Phone Finder. Clicking this link takes you to a form where you can select the features you want your would-be phone to have. Submit the form and you’ll get an array of phones ranging from Samsung, Nokia, Blackberry or ZTE, all the way to Ericsson, Tecno, HTC, even Panasonic that satisfy your selection. Select your phone of choice and everything you need to know about the phone is splashed on screen. This also helps you to know what the phone should contain when you buy it so that if the retailers remove the memory card or other essential accessories, or replace it with an inferior one, you wouldn’t be conned.
I hope you find this info of great relevance. I’ll leave you with an advice, which is actually a tagline I used for a mobile phone application business I ran in my campus days:
Put more into your mobile, and get more out of it!