Abu Dhabi Weather

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mobile Phones

Without saying too much, about it, this is a country that runs on access to mobile phones. I'm not really saying much new that I haven't already said, but Japan has nothing on this place. I thought my students in Japan were mobile dependent, but here every student has at least on mobile phone. Most have several. Blackberry is a popular brand. One student had the others in his class laugh at him because he didn't know that there was a fruit called a blackberry. I'm surprised that there was only one. Upon seeing that one student had three phones, I asked him why. his response was that the Blackberry was good for messaging, the Nokia good for calling, and the i-phone good for playing.

The students are constantly accepting calls or messaging during class. I was strict about it at first, but I like to give them the benefit of the doubt. If I ask it tends to be an important call from the student's father or a call from the hospital about a sick cousin. While I realize that most of the time it's not true, I don't want to risk it. When confronted, students will say that it is part of their culture. (a little known fact: the dessert nomads used mobile phones for constant communication)

Even in going to the doctor, you need a mobile phone. The first question the staff ask is, "What's your mobile number?" It's like a national i.d. number and will be used to find your case history in the database.

To be fair, there are reasons for the students having more than one phone. A student who I asked said he had one phone that his employer provided, but it was monitored so he couldn't use it for personal use. I'm sure that mobile phone use has increased worldwide. I need to check my Twitter account and ask some Facebook friends first to be sure.

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