Sun | Sep 26, 2021

Kelly's World | The 'mother' of all shutdowns

Published:Wednesday | May 3, 2017 | 12:00 AM

As if we needed further proof that the world is waaaay too dependent on technology, we need look no further than last Wednesday.

Some time in the afternoon (Jamaica time) cell phone users, well specifically smartphones with data plans (flashlight/banger phone users were really unbothered) realised they couldn't access WhatsApp.

For the uninitiated, WhatsApp is perhaps the most popular messaging app in the world.

You know how panicked people get when the entire electricity grid goes down? Well, the panic was magnified times 10 when

WhatsApp took a break.

Look yah nuh man, I haven't seen Jamaicans this nervous since the last solar eclipse or when evangelist Harold Camping told us God a come.

People were completely befuddled by the breakdown in the system. They now had zero idea how to communicate with people, both local and abroad.

Ahm, here's an idea. How about you use the cell phone the way it was originally intended, aka by making a call!

Yes, little-known fact that cell phones were once used to make calls, as in people actually used to speak to each other using those very devices.

Now, however, it's all about texting, surfing the web (pretty sure that's not the terminology anymore), networking (which really means fassing) on social media and listening to music.

The most people do with regard to calls these days is check their voicemail or voice notes sent on, you guessed it, WhatsApp.

Communication, at least of the verbal kind, has pretty much gone the way of the dinosaurs and the big back TV; it just doesn't exist anymore.

And you see my peeps, therein lies the problem. People today, especially the younger ones, will never understand how people from 'back in the day' lived without all these electronic gadgets.

They cannot begin to fathom that people actually talked about life, philosophy, and all that stuff they find boring.

It was in family gatherings that mothers (and fathers) imparted wisdom to their sons and daughters. Same with the grandmas and grandpas. It was a grand exchange of knowledge and ideals.




Today, with the pace of the world faster than ever (and getting faster), God bless what time mothers and fathers have to really sit and 'hold a reason' with their children.

There is plenty of "hi" and "bye" as either child or parent is rushing off to some school or work activity.

Now, don't get me wrong, I too was inconvenienced by the WhatsApp weirdness. And I suspect there were more than a few people making proposals and when the responses weren't coming back, probably wondered if they had messed up.

Trust me, it wasn't smooth sailing. But was it the utter chaos that some people made it out to be? Ahm no.

You know, I've often wondered what the world would be like if all technology stopped like in the movie The Book of Eli.

It might sound like the Dark Ages, but I don't think it would be the end of the world. At least, we would have to talk to people using our voices again.

Imagine that! Actually conversations face to face? That would be the mother of all comebacks.

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