Batswana, like every one else all over the world, have been bitten by the technology bug, and life grounds to an instant halt without access to technology.
Computers and cellphones are almost as essential to everyday live as food and water. Without them, one can simply not operate. Remember the big cell phones that were initially considered to be a sign of wealth and prestige, and were the preserve of the chosen few?
When they first came, cell phones were usually carried in pouches that were attached to the waist. Thus the Setswana name ‘mogala wa letheka’.
Urban folks carried them with prestige much to the amazement and envy of their rural counter parts. Even if they wanted cell phones, rural folks could not use them anyway because network coverage was not as spread out as it is today.
We come from far, from walkie-talkies to disk man, and lately MP3 players and iPods.
In today’s corporate environment, many cannot work without Internet. Youth and adults alike are smitten by social networking sites like twitter and Facebook, and hours of working time are wasted as workers and students chat with their friends from all over the world.
Internet can now even be accessed through cell phones.
Since opening a Facebook account, I have added and sometimes rejected thousands of friends some of whom I have never even met. I have been able to speak, meet and continue to keep in touch by chatting with my family, some that I had never met before and who live thousands of miles away.
Recently, when going through a bad time and after sharing my thoughts on the site, I received some words of encouragement from friends as well as an aunt who lives in Namibia.
Like every good thing, this latest trend also comes with its cons. Social networking sites also provide fertile ground for men and women to meet, chat and even hook up. Many will agree that they have flirted, proposed and even fallen in love through Facebook, Twitter and Tagged.
Therefore, it is safe to say social networking sites promote promiscuity.
One of the men interviewed by this paper revealed how he once met online a university student from the tiny kingdom of Lesotho and after a couple of weeks chatting and getting to know each other on the net, the young lady agreed to visit him in Gaborone, accompanied by two female friends, who then hooked up with the guy’s friends.
“These social sites definitely play a part in promoting promiscuity. Those chicks came here all the way from another country though we had never met; we could have been criminals and robbed or harmed them or both. And as if that was not enough, a few weeks later the same lady visited a friend of mine in Francistown. I wonder what they told their families when they came here?” says the twenty something year-old man, who says he has lost count, the number of women he has bedded after befriending them on various social sites and did not wish to reveal his identity.
A friend of mine recently got tongue lashed by his partner, accusing him of infidelity, after she read posts like “I miss you darling” on his Facebook wall, put up by another lady friend. Though the guy maintains his was just an innocent comment from a friend, many relationships have and continue to suffer due to partners spending too much time getting acquainted and making new friends on the Internet.