STRAIGHT & 2 BEERS: Smartphones make us dumb

Whoever named the gadget in your hand a smartphone was either too lazy to think or misleading.

A phone is an instrument you talk into to transmit voice to someone elsewhere. What we mistake for a phone has morphed into a timepiece, alarm clock, digital camera, music and video player, navigator, and much more.

The smartphone has taken over our lives in unimaginable ways. Few people can get through the day without their smartphone in their hand. Like Pavlov’s dog, their ears prick when it pings and they can’t resist the temptation to, for the hundredth time, check what’s on their screen.

I call these smartphones spyware equipment because many a criminal has been linked to a crime when the police traced their calls to the area of commission. They can also be used to track your movement by the police or a jealous partner.
Smartphones are also relationship wreckers because some spouses spend more time on screen than attending to their loved ones.

Last weekend, a tussle over a smartphone shook the foundation of a celebrity couple’s love affair. Hot amapiano producer and artist, Maphorisa was arrested after his girlfriend, actress and DJ Thuli Phongolo, laid a charge of assault against him.
“He became aggressive and started to punch me on my chest. He held me and took me to the balcony, and grabbed me aggressively by my neck,” Thuli on how Maphorisa allegedly hit her with his elbow on the balcony while they were fighting for her phone, which he had taken from her.

Maphorisa was released on R4 000 bail and Phongolo has since withdrawn the charges. This means the public charges will never be tested in court but this has not stopped the fans from taking sides.

While our society frowns on the pandemic of gender-based violence and Maphorisa should have known better, Thuli has also taken flak for withdrawing the charges. Maphorisa may have ducked the cancel culture bullet this time, but he must take a serious look at himself.

Grabbing her phone against her will is a no-no. Our phones contain explosive secrets, such as side chicks, nudes and more. Thuli, who has since deleted her social media posts after being trolled by Maphorisa’s fans, must also think twice about her actions.
Laying a charge with the police, then withdrawing it is a waste of the state’s time and resources and it weakens the real struggle against GBV.

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