THE Board Chairman of Nokia Corporation, a multinational firm which for long years had topped the cellphone industry, addressed the company workers when the firm was sold for just $2 billion to US Microsoft Corporation although the company was worth tens of billions.
The former Nokia Chairman said, “We did not keep in touch with time, it did not wait for us and this is the consequence.”
At the mention of these words he cried and all those who were there shared his sorrow because of his words of wisdom. He said the Nokia Company did not keep abreast with the modern cell phone technology unlike Apple and Samsung which have become a dominant force all over the world.
These two cell phones companies have left behind all those who were unable to compete and keep pace with them in terms of the touch system technology, new applications and programs who now lament their bad luck.
Personally, I ask Allah the Almighty, to bestow mercy upon the Nokia phones — the phones which we had become so much accustomed to particularly the buttons to ‘send’ and ‘end’ the calls. This is in addition to the SMS and an application to forward clips although it was not common.
When we drove our cars we always looked to the road in front because we depended on the touch of the buttons and letters because we did not need to look at the screen.
We looked at each other in public places and at special meetings, during family gatherings and during official visits although we continued fiddling with our phones. Moreover, we talked to each other and complimented one another to pass time.
With our mobile phones in hand, we looked in front as we walked and looked at those who walked with us. We briefly lived a life of safe social cohesion.
Now with our smart phones which even a child, the elderly, the domestics, cleaners, waiters, etc can operate without any difficulty we no longer look either at people, road or traffic lights. To add insult to injury some of us are under the impression that we know the roads by heart. Now we frown, smile and make all sorts of actions with our hands and faces giving the impression that we are talking to ourselves although we know it is at the other end of the world we are trying to tell something to someone.
We seldom find people talking to each other either during meetings or in private or public places because we are busy with our phones, eyes glued to the screens. We smile and live for them and them alone as if we are obsessed.
When we go to a restaurant, a place of interest or a celebration, we are busy taking pictures and sending them to friends or relatives instead of enjoying a good meal, or a view or people around.
In brief, our lifestyle has become our captive. We are robbed of our happiness and pain — robbed by smart cell phones which at the same time have become a curse. So, will you blame us if we too cry with the former chairman of Nokia Corporation at the loss of our beautiful past and the luxury offered by our Nokia mobile phones?
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil