ED’S LET­TER

Sex Pests and SMSS

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

Shock­ing as this may sound, I can re­mem­ber a time when my cell­phone was not per­ma­nently at­tached to my hand. Not the time the guy tried to force it mo­men­tar­ily out of my hand us­ing hair tug­ging, bad lan­guage and the threat of vi­o­lence and a hand­gun. Nice try, buddy. But a time when, in fact, the cell­phone did not ex­ist. Yup – pre­his­tory.

I was sud­denly struck by the ways the cell­phone had al­tered my very be­ing. There is all the ob­vi­ous stuff: how I now ap­par­ently think com­pletely dif­fer­ently, with lots of re­search hav­ing been done and books pub­lished to this ef­fect. Con­se­quently, it’s a sur­prise to me that I am able to con­cen­trate long enough to write this col­umn at all, given all the things I would rather com­pul­sively be do­ing on my phone.

It isn’t even a phone any more, is it? There is a trainer at my gym who hails from Bul­garia, and I am not say­ing any­thing about Bul­garia here, mind you, but he re­fuses to up­grade his cell­phone. So he quite lit­er­ally still has a phone. This an­tique takes calls and sends SMSs. That’s it. Noth­ing like the brain pros­the­sis grafted onto my hand.

Which brings me to the trou­bles I have me re­cently like an evil porn plague. It started at 10am with a call from a pri­vate num­ber. I thought it was my brother call­ing me on Skype. He does that and then we have pretty much the same ex­change ev­ery time: ‘ Call again, I can’t hear you…’, ‘No, not this time ei­ther.’ The third time, I heard him. And it was not my brother. It was some crazy weirdo talk­ing to me about his tackle.

I promptly shut that down, then he sent pho­tos of his mem­ber on SMS. Three times. I deleted it all. Then he took it to the next level. my What­sApp, fol­lowed by videos. I did not look at that damn video but the dam­age had been done. My hand felt dirty; my phone felt vi­o­lated, never mind me. He car­ried on all day.

I con­sulted Kaptein Steyn of the SAPS. He said it was pretty gross (he watched the video). and the re­sources of the SAPS are al­ready rather stretched, given the daily vi­o­la­tions of a much more in­tense and con­fronta­tional na­ture tak­ing place on a grand scale all over the place. I spoke to a for­mer SAPS in­ves­ti­ga­tor who now spe­cialises in pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tions. It would cost me a lot of money and a lot I de­cided I didn’t want to give him any more of my at­ten­tion. It was more than enough that the sick thought had oc­cured to me that I had some­how brought this on my­self (this stuff will do that to you). I sup­pose that is what have much bet­ter things to spend my hard­earned cash on. Feel-bet­ter shoes, for ex­am­ple.

Sex pests used to hang around in dirty is per­ma­nently at­tached to your hand and your psy­che. I blocked the sick bas­tard but, in ret­ro­spect, he had man­aged to in­vade more than my cy­berspace – he had made me feel vul­ner­a­ble in a way that was in­cred­i­bly pri­vate. That phone is like an ex­ten­sion of my self; I tweet on it, I Face­book on it, I In­sta­gram on it, I cu­rate my mu­sic, my pic­tures and my runs on it. I work all day on it and chat to my friends and fam­ily on it. It has my life em­bed­ded on it. And now this sicko was all over it – and so was his ter­ri­ble ap­pendage. His cy­ber at­tack se­ri­ously made me re­think my re­la­tion­ship with the cell­phone graft at the end of my arm. Post Pe­nis Stress Disorder – sadly, it’s a thing.

I’m de­light­ing in my Kisua

jump­suit

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