Upwardly Mobile: How Has the Connected African Changed?
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From industries to individuals, no one can deny the fact that everything has begun to shift and significantly so. Especially in Africa, we are beyond the definition of simple growth, there’s a revolution going on. We are no longer growing slowly like other developed economies did, we are leapfrogging slow processes and existing limitations. Because of Africa’s massive youthful population, most of us have simply switched on the innovation and entrepreneurship button; we have simply become upwardly mobile.
Yes, upwardly mobile and unlike my friends Femi and Wale assumed while we were sharing ideas for my YouTbe videos, it is not because mobile technology has become a big deal in Africa. In fact a lot has been written about the mobile revolution in Africa, but upwardly mobile is because there is a movement; and we are it.
We are upwardly mobile because Africa’s youthful population which constitutes about 50% are constantly leveraging digital, social and mobile technology to move above their current social or economic status.
So in a simple snippet, how has digital, mobile and social media changed us?
1. From African problems to African opportunities
The massive youthful population of Africa have
started praying for more problems; we now see them as opportunities.
2. Intelligence is now one click away
Our doctors, lawyers, politicians and strangers
can no longer lie to us. Google is one click away;
by that we know something about everyone and everything.
3. Our memories are now outsourced to phones
When last did you remember anyone’s phone number
or birthdays? There are so many apps for that!
3. We multitask, We are distracted
We used to multitask before the web, but with smartphones —
multitasking is now both easier and more damaging.
More than ever, we consume and are a generation is more
bombarded with information, videos, podcasts while we multi-task.
Focusing is now a lot of work
4. Politicians just wish social media was never invented
One by One, African leaders have a more connected and informed citizen to deal with; Easy to govern, difficult to rule; impossible to enslave.
5. Private life? – we no longer have one
Privacy is dead, and social media holds the smoking gun
– Pete Cashmore, Mashable CEO
Somehow dumb action and activities stored and shared
on smartphones have led to a rise in a number of leaked nude pictures, documents, drunk tweets and Facebook rants about your employer lots of digital drama.
Public Relations managers have a new kind of headache.
6. Brands moving from self-centred to customer focused
The era when businesses talk a lot about themselves is gone.
it is now more about customers; we own the feedback;
we own the perception; we own the brand.
7. From rookie to superstars
Faster and in more numbers than any generation;
social and digital media has given huge leverage
and opportunities to people who can work hard enough,
People with limited access to cash, education and credibility are turning into superstars – in record time!
8. We carry everything with us; in the cloud
After killing audio cassettes, Sony Walkman, Video casettes and their players; we are already threatening the future of DVD and thier player. We simple are not in control of our music an data. The Cloud is one great way we can move around the world with it.
9. We are more socially connected across the world
While new media technology has a way of removing us from direct human-to-human interactions, it also has a way to helped us staying grounded to the people connected to us.
10. Banking – no longer where we go, it’s what we do
From the global success of MPESA in Kenya to the astronomical rise in the number of mobile payment processing platform. Africa is simply benefitting more.
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