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I remember it like it was just yesterday when I was writing a love letter to my girlfriend at school. I would spend nights looking through the dictionary for long and difficult words to use; the ones that would make her know that she wasn’t dealing with a nonentity, but a brilliant chap.
Ghana Post was the champion business partner and it was all joy hearing the post-boy was back from the post office; letters go drop. I remember the letters containing money, photos or pictures as we would call it now, post cards, birthday cards, success cards, and valentine cards. Let me also say that it was disheartening not getting letters in school, especially on special occasions like valentine, examination period among others.
I was in the final year of my secondary school education when mobile phone surfaced on our local skyline. A very big waist-fastened walky-talky was the game changer. Hitherto its arrival, people were using fixed telephone lines at homes and offices so one could not make any telephone call when stationed outside the premise of the device. The arrival of the plunk, as it was called changed the communication model: do it anytime, any day, anywhere as long as you have service connectivity.
The woes of LOVE LETTER had started. Girl rappers and vibers had gotten a new way of spoiling the girls, but not only that, real business also had gotten another energy vehicle to move faster. Business Communication had taken a new turn; CEOs and other business players could transact business at unofficial or odd business hours via mobile phones and close deals at night; long before day.
Not only did the letter box system suffer haemorrhage, facsimile document delivery system also started bleeding slowly to death because the E-Mail system was slowly but gradually infecting the young minds. It was prideful going to the internet café to check your mail, as we used to say then. Internet cafes without scanners would not see some of us doing business with them because they could not help us send love pictures to our girlfriends and boyfriends.
Before we would wake up one day, the whole system was jammed with smart phones, the kinds embryos in the womb are even able to use. No more sending of love letters, pictures and cards. All one needs now is a smart phone; a fully equipped multimedia device for photography and videography works, scanning and editing works, faxing and mailing works, spying and spoofing works among others.
It is amazing how the postman had lost his job and relevance in less than a decade of the mass proliferation of mobile telephony. Post offices, especially the ones in the hinterlands have become animal farms or private business centres for others. Private courier firms have officially usurped the business power of Ghana post. Transport operators are now parcel deliverers to communities all over Ghana; sad day it is for Ghana post indeed. But where are the workers of Ghana Post gone to? Are they redundant or what? Somebody should help me out.
Back to my historical account. I am taking off from our present day realities. Love proposal, acceptance or decline are all via social media. Cards are electronically generated and sent so the business of card sellers is also down. Do not laugh at the postal service decline as if it is the only victim of the technological advancement paradigm. Financial institutions are hard hit than you could think. Major financial transactions are done via mobile telephony systems or hubs and the earlier these institutions reason up to collaborate properly, the better for them. Anyway, have you heard of cryptocurrency and do you know what it is? Banks are also on life support and if care is not taken, majority of them would be forced out of operations just like photographers were, due to technological advancement.
The wise have laid it down for us to forever understand that “the only constant element of life is change” so as the drum beat is changing, the dance steps also should be changing along so everything would be in tandem. Life, in all its facets is changing at an astronomical speed and the only thing we can do to remain in business is to embrace, adapt and adopt the new and positive trends emerging in our fields of business. One cannot survive this era without proper research and innovation.
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By Emmanuel Opiatus Tsedey