Using Mobile Devices For Social Action

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Traffic caused by accident on 3rd mainland bridge
It was a bright Sunday morning. There was no traffic on the popular 3rd mainland bridge that I had to cross to get to Victoria Island that morning. Traffic on both sides of the bridge was free and flowing. In a few minutes, I was on the island, had concluded my assignment, and was heading back via the same route I had come.

Shortly after the Adekunle exit of the bridge, I came across an accident scene – one of those huge garbage disposal trucks had flattened out a Mercedes Benz saloon car. People were still trapped in the car and rescue efforts were well under way. The various agencies were already on ground – LASTMA, the Police, and others.

As you can imagine, traffic piled up fast. Quickly, I pulled out my phone, found a vantage position, took a quick picture of the building traffic and uploaded it to Twitter with a brief advice that alternative routes be taken.

In a few moments, that tweet had been re-tweeted to thousands of people courtesy of followers, including Gidi_Traffic, a twitter handle that updates followers with traffic situations in and around Lagos. If you move around a lot in Lagos, and have a Twitter account, you should be following that handle.

For lots of people, countless hours of sitting in traffic was avoided.

Mobile – Mightier Than The Gun

That is an example of how mobile devices have become instruments for social action. Mobile devices were instrumental in the Egyptian and Libyan political uprisings, as well as elsewhere.

Centuries ago, it was the pen that was mightier than the sword. well, both the pen and the sword are history. Say hello to mobile, the new heavyweight champion.

Mobile is mightier than the gun.

Mobile For Security, Health And More?

Can we use mobile to enhance our security in any way? A Twitter handle that people can tweet a security situation to – give house number, street name and area (maybe even add a picture or video), and request for assistance?

How about an SMS shortcode that anyone can text such information to? It is better than voice in the sense that you can do it silently and thus avoid drawing attention to yourself.

In what ways can we deploy this ubiquitous technology for health delivery, among others?

Comments please!


  1. Since 16 Nov 2010, @Trafficbutter has been committed to tweeting & facilitating the sharing of Lagos Traffic updates. They more or less started this thing. You could also follow them for real-time traffic updates in and around Lagos. They also have handles for Port-Harcourt @trafficbutterPH and for Abuja @trafficbutterAB

  2. I do tell people that no matter the amount that is placed on mobile phone is not expensive it depend on the functions that is inbuilt into the device which many owner are ignorant about.

    I have had causes to escape traffic grid lock because of such saving BBM broadcast. I follow so many great people on facebook and twitter who share some of their knowledge about life and living. We are still under utilizing our mobile phone I doubt if there are individual can actively use their mobile to 70% capacity

  3. Say hello to mobile, the new heavyweight champion.

    Mobile is mightier than the gun.

    Amen to that..

  4. @Kunle

    …it depend on the functions that is inbuilt into the device which many owner are ignorant about.

    It depend on the apps. The APPs..

  5. Well over here at school, we use it to alert ourselves,if one person is at school, and the lecturer comes in, mentions start flying and its pushed to peoples phones and soon everyone’s at school. I really love technology…
    The mobile is becoming too powerful, i can forget a note at home and not be worried but i dare not leave my phone st home.. My 2 cents

  6. #SECURITY well said! on thursday,via my #stopterrorist update on twitter, i warn of an imminent #bokoharam attack in some AOR states.If only my brother in christ uses twitter and follows trends in #nigeria perhaps he may be alive today.He died 2030hrs same thursday.
    If only our #police knows that the MOBILE is now much powerful than roadblocks,stop&search,collecting egunje on the road from helpless road users.They would have opened a twitter account,a facebook page,foursquare, even 2go.They should .have set up a listening post online.Then and only then would they have known that we have defeated terrorism via social mobility.What they CANNOT do with their guns.
    Thank you sir-very timely

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