JournalismPakistan.com November 13, 2014
Do you agree that everyone has a mobile phone? Some have three, like little trophies aligned to make them feel important. And you also accept that scarcely anyone uses the landline anymore. It is there but you really do not use it like you used to at one time.
So, then, tell me this. Why are people reluctant to give their mobile numbers? You call anyone’s office and the secretary will invariably say, sorry, I am not authorized to give it.
Why not? What is so special about giving it? If he doesn’t want to answer he won’t pick up.
You call someone’s home on the landline and you are told he has gone out.
So can I have his mobile number?
Sorry, but Sir has ordered not to give it to anyone.
Really, then why does he have one?
I can understand this confidentiality thing working some years back when mobiles were alternates to landlines. Then you kept them for the exclusive few. Now they are the main source of communication. Since nearly everyone and his uncle has either more than one or a double SIM then what you can do is have one for the great unwashed and if you don’t want to pick it up then don’t but not giving it is no longer valid.
The irony is that we spend hours on the phone and can hardly live without it, largely making inane phone calls and sending even more inane messages and checking our mail as if we were running the world and then we get all gun-shy and apologetic about giving it out to anyone.
How am I supposed to call you if you don’t have a land line number and you won’t cough up your mobile contact.
What is so sacred about it? My friend has his ‘contact’ list divided into categories. Don’t pick up. Business type. No way, menace. Spam calls. Unknowns. Positives. Yechh.
I don’t know who the yechh lot are but as the phone rings one of these cautions come on screen and he can then take the call… or not take it.
Makes great sense to me.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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