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?