Technology and its amazing changes in our lives

Does anyone know what happened to letter writing, telegraphs and fax mail, as means of long distance communication? Remember that time when the post office was the only place the whole town converged to communicate? What about the dependency on pagers for texting and a walkman for music?
Above, phones have taken over actual human interaction and can even be used to run a business from the comfort of one’s home. The New Times/ I. Ngoboka. And below, some farmers d....
Above, phones have taken over actual human interaction and can even be used to run a business from the comfort of one’s home. The New Times/ I. Ngoboka. And below, some farmers d....

Does anyone know what happened to letter writing, telegraphs and fax mail, as means of long distance communication? Remember that time when the post office was the only place the whole town converged to communicate? What about the dependency on pagers for texting and a walkman for music?

Technology has been experiencing rapid change in recent years; gadgets have gotten smaller, more powerful, and more efficient. They are everywhere and play increasingly greater roles in the lives of almost everyone. Rwandans have not been spared.

Augustine Majyambere, a resident of Nyabugogo and a book fan, no longer visits book shops and libraries.

“With Kindle, I can buy thousands of books at a lower cost online or simply download free versions, so there is no point in going to a library or a similar place anymore.” 

He adds that since the device is connected to the internet, he no longer finds it necessary to visit internet cafes either.

“At a subscription of only Rwf 18,000 a month, I can download any video or access any website any time, so why waste time walking to a café to spend Rwf100 every 15minutes,” he asks.

Philip Murenzi shares that he did his masters degree for a year online, using his iPad.

“I applied, paid fees and would receive and submit assignments using the same module.”

He says he only physically visited his university during graduation time.

Flavia Umwiza, an accountant based in Kanombe, says that during her wedding, a lot of money was invested in photography and video coverage.

“But after, no one came asking to have a look at the photo album or even a copy of the video, simply because almost everyone was clicking away with their gadgets during the wedding,” she notes.

“Besides, shortly after, we shared the soft copies of the photos and video on Facebook requested by those who apparently didn’t have gadgets,” she says.

She adds that those who didn’t have social network accounts picked them using memory sticks or simply asked their friends to share them via Bluetooth.

Umwiza again, whose husband is abroad for work, reveals that she doesn’t feel detached from him since they communicate daily through Skype.

“It’s difficult to believe that he is thousands of miles away, because this system enables a type of interaction that is almost equivalent to face to face interactions.”

She adds that whenever she is too occupied to stage that kind of interaction, she simply reaches him through Facebook or e-mail.

Jean Baptist Uwimana, a business man based in Kimironko, doesn’t have to be physically present at his cinema hall to monitor work.

“With the help of a ticketing gadget fitted with a tracking device, I can efficiently monitor all payments being made at the entrance while still enjoying the coziness of my living room sofas.”

He mentions that whenever he wants to pay taxes or bank some money, he still doesn’t have to be at the respective institutions physically.

“I visit individual websites using my computer, and get that done by just following the instructions.”

He adds that recently he got his Toyota car delivered straight from Japan after just a month of ordering and making payments online.

Some farmers and their suppliers now no longer have to worry over fertiliser supply or application arithmetic, following the introduction of a new mobile phone-based technology called M-farms.

 “It helps farmers apply the right amount of fertilisers required per hectare, unlike previously when dealers and farmers were just estimating measurements,” says Phillip Mugimba, an agro dealer based in Rwamagana, District Eastern Province.

He adds that agro-business dealers are also able to record all supplies bought from the distributor, as well as calculate the remaining stock.

For Patrick Mushambo, a student at ESSA Nyarugunga, Kigali, playing video games makes more sense than joining other peers out for a game.

“Games are an efficient stress release mode, especially after having a tough study time at school,” he says.

He adds that since most of his peers are more like bullies, it saves him from having direct confrontation with them.

One thing’s for sure, hate it or love it, technology and all the changes it has made in our lives, good or bad, is only going to get more complex. At this point, we can only feel lucky to still have actual human interactions. At least that is something we have control over – we just need to keep practicing it!

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