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Cellular Phones in Jamaica

Updated on February 25, 2015
Source: Dwight Phoenix
Source: Dwight Phoenix

Like anywhere else in the world, technology is becoming the conventional plague. Jamaica is also subjected to this type of revolution. Like an inaudible wave, our coasts have been dubiously assailed by the ideal of technology as a necessity in all walks of life. A man goes through days of depression because he doesn’t have cable. Our society has undergone avid evolutional transgressions throughout the years because of the fruits of technology. Cellular phones are one of these key contraptions, grounds for the rift throughout an agrarian society; even the bushmaster could be flaunting a S4 nowadays!

Allow me to first develop a chronological construct of popular cellular phones in our society:

  • The Nokia series- Now I remember this phone quite well. In fact my mother had one of these for a while. It was very durable and appeared to be the smallest phone we’ve ever seen i.e. after the previous generations of humongous phones fridge-like. In my eyes this was the phone that started a prolonged chain reaction of hand held media frenzy. Everyone wanted one and most of all it came with video games! It was the best thing in the world. You’d probably even think that the next best would be a laser gun attached to a phone. This was just the beginning of a new phase where people learnt how to go everywhere with their phone; the incubation of viral addiction!
  • Razor- If we thought that those Nokia phones were causing a frenzy, we were in for a big surprise. The razor phones; or so we called them due to their sharp thin looking appearances. They were either slide ups or flip up phones. An entire new level of cellular crazy descended upon the entire nation of Jamaica; especially the youth. It was the first time that many young people were going to school with phones. It was the most seductive fad that ever existed in the island. If you never had one you stuck out like a gravy stain on a white piece of paper. Well I was big and odious gravy stain because I never had anything called a phone in my entire life. This wave of phones spiked an entire new type of lifestyle for people everywhere things were more fast paced and people were more cautious because of the then emerging new crimes (phone theft).
  • Blackberries (curve)- The blackberry series! Now I’m sure that people everywhere in the world would agree with me that this was a very popular phone. An eternal rift drove its way through the heart of every Jamaican. Every simple life task would have to include this high tech, compact contraption, nestling safely in your hands. Weather it was driving a taxi, going to the bathroom or actually digging a yam farm, believe me everyone found a way to survive with their phone on them. I mean after all we were now talking about hand held computer modeled phones with decent internet services and the new emerging frenzy of social media’s, easy to access. Nobody seemed to be able to stay a decent hour from their phones. Especially the black berry curve just the name alone sounded too cool. There was only two classes on Jamaica then; those who had a blackberry curve and those who didn’t.
  • I-phones- Now where talking crazy! This unveiled the true beginnings of a flurry of smart phones. There was a constant social eruption whenever somebody could manage to get their hands on one of these. And what wows me was that for even the poor who lived from paycheck to pay check, found themselves lost in the battle of phones; splurging nonsensically on the new I-phones series. I think that maybe somehow it lifted their mental sense of impoverished oppression and maybe made them to believe that they were like anyone else of an affluent status. On the other hand though, how do they eat after spending that $40,000 JMD needed for the month! That’s right you heard me that was the lowest price for one of these magnificent phones in Jamaica. But remember that i said JMD (Jamaican dollars). $1 USD- $115 JMD. So do the math.
  • S Phone series: The S phone series was subsequent to the I-phone. They both emerged quite about the same time. This was where there appeared to be an ongoing battle of the phones. Many series of high tech phones were now being built so there always seemed to be a constant competition for the best. By this time the nation had already gotten use to these smart phones and had now learnt how to unwind their frenzy. And in anyway everyone now knew what it felt like to slide your fingers across a screen; initially it almost felt like living in a James bond sequel.
  • Present- We’re still lost in this conundrum of phone battles between the S-series, Androids, I-phones and the surging tablets (A demarcation between Phones and a laptops); all coexisting in a mashed era of surging technological fads.

When did you get your first phone?

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The first Nokia phone to our Island


Debates about the technological thrill (Benefits and disbenifts)


  • Education: Phones do act as a source of quick information retrieval. It makes doing your homework or writing up a quick document for work a whole lot easier.
  • Security: Phones also has added to the level of security we presently have. We now have GPS trackers capable of telling where anyone person is. Even the available social medias act as means of security from time to time. If you were in any trouble you could just send a quick text to your friends on Watsapp.
  • Recreation: Yep this is about one of the best features for me. Phones can be used to play high graphics video games a wealth of tunes and a list of other almost insignificant things. You have to wonder if anyone remembers that phones are used for calling someone.


  • Security: the very same thing that a phone can offer is the same thing that it can take away; you security. It’s not necessarily a good thing that everybody always knows where you are, especially since we’ve had a spike of robberies in Jamaica due to phones. It just doesn’t look good.
  • Addiction: This is sad phenomena. A lot of persons seem to fall prey to phone addiction. The very thought of losing your phone is a nightmare. Persons tend to feel a level of discomfort whenever they’re separated from their phones for a while. I remember a Jamaican show called the Susan Show where a group of persons came on to discuss their phone addictions. Again this just does not look good.
  • False sense of need: Everyone or most persons believe that they need a phone to survive in this world. Now I may be wrong, but wasn’t there a time that we didn’t have a phone in our lives?


Try understanding what's being said and tell me what you think


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