I do, and I make no apologies for that! I have owned a blackberry for a most 3 years now and I have sincerely never sent a broadcast. I think broadcast messages are a typical example of an abuse of information. A virile propaganda tool which contrary to opinion does more harm than good.
Just yesterday on my way to work, my wife sent me a broadcast message which read
“Plz Plz Plz Fwd Msgs,….a Baby Needs AB+ Blood Immediately. Contact Shamikh:0505810771.
Don’t delete ….ur small SMS will save a Baby’s life”.
As with other broadcast messages my reaction was pls pls stop sending me broadcast messages. In response, she retorted that she might just be saving someones life. Conversely though, it sounded rather illogical to me that someone needing blood for kid, will go as far as soliciting help from members of the public. How are they sure of the quality of blood they are getting? Can they deal with the magnitude of response they might get? Is it ethically right to seek blood by advertising? Etc.
So, I wondered why do people really send broadcast messages. Is it because People are generally kind hearted and willing to help. Early this year there was a case of an young girl and subsequently a boy who was kidnapped. It sent shock down the entire populace leading to the prayers, curses on the perpetuators, claims and counterclaims that they have been found etc. All off course via broadcast. The children were gracefully found and people extolled their collective victory based on their “cooperation”, “concern” and “kindness”. But then, are people genuinely concerned, kind hearted and really do want to help selflessly. The easiest way to know is to put this to a test.
An average blackberry user has about 100 contacts. Therefore by sending a general broadcast, you are automatically reaching 100people. A phone book would averagely have about 300 contacts, about 3 times the size of a BB contact. So, logically sending text messages to all your contacts will get to more people than by broadcast on your BB. But off course people will not send text messages to all the contacts on their phone book, even if it has more chances of saving lives, because each message will cost say N10 or N300 collectively. But a broadcast is free and so people can just send. The key factor for broadcast therefore is that it is free and people just want to tag along. Not necessarily because they are kind or selfless even though they are genuinely concerned.
In that sense, I view broadcast as a nuisance and infringement on one’s privacy. It’s like a spam on an email inbox. Spams are unsolicited emails, no matter how good the intentions of the sender is. Thats why it is typically blocked or sent to spam. Based on that I hate broadcast and chastise senders.
By the way, I got that same broadcast sent to me by my wife from another friend. But there was a key difference. The numbers were 0805810771. As expected she soon found out it was a hoax cos the numbers did not connect. As she failed to realize they were not even up to 11 digits which is a typical Naija GSM number. The numbers even marks a stark contrast from the one in my wife’s broadcast above.
Realizing her goof, she quickly apologized, by sending yet another broadcast.