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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."  They have 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 pounds the floor.  These are the sight to behold.

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 frustrated.

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 multipurpose phone!

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 her Your 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 hall.

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 ongoing 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.


It is 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 manner.

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 situational moments.

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.








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Ghanaians and Phone Ethics, So Far, So Poor

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

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