According to a newspaper report, 19.5 million text messages were sent by CYTA subscribers on New Yearís Eve and over the early hours of the morning (until the network became overloaded and CYTA stopped counting)- twice as many as last year- with a peak of 494 messages being sent per second at six minutes after ten.
So Cypriots, in between the partying and the drinking and the singing, spent the first minutes of the new year pressing little buttons on their cellphones.Iím not surprised.
Everybody nowadays seems to have a mobile phone- business people, teenage kids, old people alike have discovered the wonders of mobile telephony.
Personally, I refused to get myself a mobile telephone for many years. Now I cannot live without it. This is because the people I know only ever call me on my mobile phone which means I must have my mobile phone with me at all times, in case they need to reach me on my mobile phone for something important, such as asking me why I never answer my mobile phone.
Unfortunately, many times a week, the battery of my mobile phone is dead. The rest of the time it is, of course, dying, unless I put it on the charger at home, which I must do in case the battery dies before someone can call me up to ask me why I never answer my mobile phone- the answer is ďBecause I left it on the charger at homeĒ.
Sadly once you get a mobile phone you lose that sense of freedom. People used to call you back if you didnít answer your telephone; now they expect you to call them back. If you donít, then they wonít call back, probably ever again.
So now I have my mobile phone always with me. Sometimes it rings when I am on the road, but I donít answer it ever since my father had to pay a hefty fine for using his while driving. I suppose I could get hands-free or use the speaker on my phone, but Iíd feel like a lunatic talking to thin air.
Some years ago, before Cypriots got high-tech, I was in England with my family and, walking down the street, we noticed several people talking apparently to themselves, gesturing wildly and shouting. We thought they were mad. Then we realised they were probably on hands-free. Although perhaps some of them may have been mad.
Nowadays nearly every Cypriot has a cellphone which is capable of taking and distributing photographs of half naked schoolteachers and now we all know what hands-free is and how to use it.
As for me, I am beginning to feel like a Luddite. My cellphone does not take photographs, and I do not know how to send and receive ringtones. It is however water resistant, which means that it doesnít short-circuit for several seconds after I walk into the sea or a swimming pool with it in my pocket (this has been known to happen).
Actually, my only requirements when buying my telephone were (a) does it make phone calls? (b) does it receive phone calls? and, most importantly, (c) does it come in a nice blue colour? And as long as the answer to each of those questions remains Ďyesí, I will stick with my Spartan little phone rather than buy a new one. After all, I am getting quite attached to it now.
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