Ghanaians and Phone Ethics, So
Far, So Poor
By Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, Ghanadot
Feature, Jan 20, Ghanadot - One of the famous channels by which effective and efficient
communication can be made is through the use
telephones.. The desire for family
members to stay in touch with one
another, for lovers to keep the
flames burning, for friends to
remain in contact and also for corporate and government
organizations and business entities to maintain continuous
flow of information, have necessitated the need to stay
connected to one network or the other.
In Ghana as well as in other African countries, staying
close to family and siblings has been facilitated by this
useful medium thereby strengthening and deepening the
African spirit of togetherness.
Many thanks go to the out-gone Kufour-led administration
under whose tenure Ghanaians have
inherited a memorable legacy by creating a conducive
environment for the telecommunications industry to operate.
This major achievement has drastically changed the
lifestyles of the people of Africa's most hospitable nation
and as a result caused real improvement in social and
economic activities of the populace.
With the phenomenal growth in the country's
telecommunications industry, has also set in some observed
anti-social behaviours exhibited by some phone users,
especially customers of the various mobile service networks.
This set of people
can be very loquacious during the course
of a telephone conversation and in every sense break every
rule of "telephone ethics."
actually become such a nuisance to society that their
actions are no longer tolerated by others.
A very common phenomenon of this social malady involves
making unnecessary noise while in the middle of a phone
conversation. They talk themselves dumb, not mindful of the
effect their action is having on their immediate surrounding
and one is tempted to think that the phone equipment has
become a public address system.
Some even go to the extent of gesticulating and
demonstrating energetically while passers-by cannot but help
themselves to such watch the
spectacle created by the caller. The observer becomes
to note the wrong users of
the GSM phones such as
those with the head tilted to an obtuse angle, one
hand holding the phone and the other being waved
haphazardly, while the foot
floor. These are the sight to
Driving while on the phone is also
on the ascendancy. In Ghana, There
is no law yet that prohibits people from receiving or making
calls while driving. As a result
of this reckless attitude, the enthusiastic effort of the
National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) to reduce the high
carnages on our roads to a minimum level is being
People refuse to put their phones on
vibrating mode or mute them entirely when
they are at places that require such mode of usage.
Well, some really take delight in advertising their ringing
tones, with some tones never pleasing to the ear. A good
lady friend ended her relationship abruptly with her fiancÚ
due to his refusal to buy her a
Making or receiving two short calls in public among
strangers is fine but extensive cell phone or long cell
phone talks which disturb other people is an evasion of
privacy. It is inconsiderate, annoying and discourteous.
Moreover, every phone call is important and
should be private. In fact,
most Ghanaians are not really security conscious when on
the phone in
public. I monitored a young lady's conversation in a vehicle,
which pointed to the fact that she was going to the Ghana
Commercial Bank, Circle branch, to cash some huge sum of
money to buy provisions for her shop in Dansoman, a suburb
of Accra. You can imagine what could have happened if a thief or criminal decides to follow
guess is as good as mine.
Banks should also be vigilant due to the way customers'
transact within the banking hall.
Messages could be relayed by
phone to another person outside the bank, to
expose bank customers to robbers.
This should be
checked by controlling phone use within the banking
Worse, students at our instructions of
higher learning don't know any better. Some students are fond of receiving phone calls during
lecture periods. Most often they disrupt
lectures, although notices pasted on the walls forbid such behaviours.
It has also been observed
that the selfish interest of some students make them to
intentionally play the ring tones on their phones,
especially, for those lecturers that they considered to be
boring and uninteresting, sometimes resulting in some of
these lecturers boycotting the class.
very pathetic to note
that those who are believed to be the leaders of the nation
in the future cannot conduct themselves in a pectable
So deep is the phone menace that it is
found at gatherings such as seminars,
conferences, inaugural lectures and even
places of worship.
Media houses, notably radio and television occasionally
allow participation in their programmes from the public in
order to discuss issues especially those of national
interests through interactive telephone calls.
More often or not, presenters of such programmes are being
disturbed by people labeled as "flashers". What they do is
to place a momentary call which can not be picked because
they will quickly disconnect it so that it can not be picked
at the other end of the call. These flashers have caused
some presenters to restrict participation in their programs
to the use of SMS only which in most cases cannot convey the
message of the participants like a live phone interaction
would have done.
The flashers are not only a nuisance to live presentations
but they could also be a torn in the flesh of business and
service organizations as well.
There is another popular misconception among the youth,
particularly the ladies, where they abuse the "call me
back" service –an automated SMS and a value added service,
which proffers free of charge by service providers, to
assist individual subscribers to reach out to others when
they do not have enough airtime to make calls or send SMS.
The "call me back" comes in different templates depending on
the service provider(s) but generally they express
This value added service has been grossly abused, it is
being sent at just anytime and any moment. There was a
report of a lady accountant clerk who sent a "call me back"
to her boss. It was an emergency to her boss who immediately
called her just to be told that she would not come to work,
she nearly lost her job because of this uncouth act.
If care is not taken, the mobile phone will turn to be a bad
product due to the way it is being used by most African
countries, especially my beloved country, Ghana.