Ever remember the time you dialed a number round and round or waited for the operator to connect your call? As much as technology has advanced there is one thing that has been left far behind, patience. Actually two things, patience and trust. When we placed a call or dialed the number we waited nicely for the other person to receive, answer, listen, converse and then hang up. If there was no answer, there was trust that he or she must be fine, busy or out of the office or home. Nowadays, well it is totally different. we do not wait for the call to be answered, we the caller hang up more than often quickly. We then drop off emergency messages and wait impatiently for a response, if we do not get one, we get suspicious. We go overboard to seek out the person, sometimes even show up at their home or workplace. Yes, we get paranoid.
Kenyans are talking and chatting more than ever via their mobile phones. This technological revolution has opened up the channels of communication and confusion. Communication to reach out and talk or listen, catch up, share and celebrate or give bad news as quickly as possible. Confusion to create affairs, divorces, break friendships, lose clients or simply misbehave.
The number of mobile phones in Kenya went from 1 to 10 million between 2002 and 2006, the usage burst when mobile money transfer, M-PESA was introduced in 2007. This innovative way of sending and receiving money completely changed the idea of having a mobile phone. So far there have been over 6 billion transactions in 2016 and other countries worldwide are looking at how to adopt or use this similar technology that changed Kenya and its people.
According to the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), at the end of the quarter, mobile penetration stood at 88.1 % with 37.8million subscribers up from 36.1million in the previous quarter. Apart from an increase in internet and data, the voice calling also went up by 18.2 %. Thus more Kenyans have resorted to talking versus texting. There are several advantages of talking over texting. When you call someone they can hear your mood and possibly feel your emotions, especially in a dating scene. When you text, mostly the messages may not carry the same weight of feeling, even though there are plenty of supporting emoticons. A phone call is more sincere and you can sound enthusiastic versus giving a thumbs up in a text and not really meaning it. The room for mistakes is less because when you say something you will get an immediate answer and if there is a misunderstanding, the conversation can be resolved better, instead of long messages that make matters worse.
A phone call still is personal and respectful, in our busy times today even if we live in the same city or neighbourhood we have lost the culture to make time and call someone and wish them a happy birthday. Even though calls are cheaper through mediums like WhatsApp, we would rather send a fancy message (copy and pasted) than give a personal touch by calling. There is after all no time to tell someone how much they mean to you. The idea of mass messaging is quite lame.
The culture of communication varies, however some things should remain paramount. Always say personal things over a phone call no matter how awkward or difficult. Better yet do it in person, never rely on a text message, the room for misunderstanding is just too large. Texting may have silly defects like misspelling or poor grammar. You may not speak the perfect language too, but imagine talking in your comfortable choice of language to whomsoever it maybe and actually getting through to each other. The fun is not there in texting.
The spreading of bad news is also easy and can be misconstrued if is shared on a text. It may look like an efficient way to do it, but it can create rumors and issues.
Every age group also have their timings to make calls and perhaps depending on professions too this can vary. The simple etiquette is to remember that you know your person and you can always be polite to keep timings decent, unless of course you both have the liberty to call whenever. This of course applies in a dating situation or for married couples.
Communication is always key, making your point, being heard and also listening to the other person and attempting to see their point of view always works out for the better if not best.