It is Wednesday and I have been dying to see X-Men: First Class all week. Wednesday is my CD (has to do with NYSC; story for another day) so I decide to use the opportunity to go see it at the O-Zone Cinemas in Yaba. At least, I would get free popcorn and drink abi? Anyways, I step into the E-Centre building and the sight I see does not surprise me. It has been the same all year. There is a guy loitering about at the entrance in his skinny jeans and checked shirt, talking to someone on his BlackBerry. (Read the skinny jeans post here). I get to the first floor and I see a guy taking a picture with his girlfriend. They are both rocking skinnies and have their BlackBerrys in their hands. I get to the second floor and I see a young attractive woman, probably in her 30s. She just picked her kids from school and brought them here for Ice Cream. She is holding them with one hand as she answers her call on her BlackBerry. I get to the third floor and I see a store attendant. He is probably bored from all the students from a particular institution of higher learning who have come to window shop so he decides to take a walk as he catches up with some of his friends on his BlackBerry. I am at the cinema floor now and I can see a pretty girl sitting down cross legged chatting on her BlackBerry Torch, waiting for her boyfriend to get her popcorn for her. Finally, I get into the theatre and the girl besides me brings out her BlackBerry Bold. She goes to her messenger and puts “Watching XMEN with the girls. No pings pls. *Smiley face* *Kiss* *Hug* *Huge Grin* *Smiley Face*” on her BBM status.
Yes, it happens. The BlackBerry craze has taken over the Nigerian Youth. Those that do not have one; want to get one. Those that already have one; want to change it. Even my 13-year-old cousin in JSS 2 has one. What is he using a smartphone for? (And they wonder why 1 million students failed SSCE). It is so bad that you see an old friend and after exchanging pleasantries, he asks, “abeg wetin be your pin?” The one that really pisses me off is having a conversation with a BlackBerry user. They just nod and say “hmm” when they are not listening to anything you are saying. The device has captured their hearts.
The BlackBerry mobile phones have been in existence since 1999. The best way to describe them is Cell Phone+ Media player meets PDA. Since then, the phone has evolved and making it one of the popular smart phones in the world. BlackBerry runs with its BlackBerry Enterprise Server or the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS). The latter is common because it was designed for the average consumer. The BIS enables the user to check emails, surf the web, use web applications, access social networking sites and use the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), which is the major thing that makes the phone unique.
The BlackBerry phone has become popular in Nigeria’s urban culture especially since the various networks have introduced affordable packages for users. Most users love the phone because they feel the BlackBerry Messenger makes contacting friends easier and they get to access their Facebook and Twitter accounts on the road. Most business-oriented people claim they use the device to receive their emails straight to their phone. Even though it seems that the love for the device is growing, some still claim they “hate” the device and have decided not to conform to “society’s demands” to get one. They argue that the device is being used as a status symbol and not owning a BlackBerry removes you from the “cool crowd”. They complain that it costs a lot to maintain and that even after you get it, you have to work your way up to the highest model. Others say, BlackBerry users are anti-social (which is true in some cases) and have a form of superiority complex.
Even with all these, the BlackBerry phone has become a huge part of Nigeria’s Urban Culture especially in Lagos and Abuja. I know a few of my friends who are saving their NYSC allowance to make the move from their old phone to a BlackBerry. Some are saving it so they can sell their old BlackBerry, add the saved money and get the latest BlackBerry phone.
Check these out:
Even the celebrities are not left out
While I could’t find pictures of our Nigerian celebrities holding their BlackBerrys, I was able to get proof from their Twitter timelines
So what do you think of this trend? Are you going to conform and get yourself one or will you just ignore the urge to change your phone. Whatever you do, be happy with the phone you have. Abi, no be to call and receive text?
I will be back with more Urban Culture trends; this babe keeps buzzing me on my BlackBerry.
Till my next post,
I remain your U. C Trend Monitor.
P. S: Drop your COMMENTS!!
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