* SIGNAL *
"Please signal me the photo you took just now."
"I have signalled the pdf file to your phone a short while ago."
The above sample sentences could become normal everyday use in the foreseeable future, just like 'whatsapp', a tradename that evolved into an informal verb and noun due to popular usage. A new mobile messaging app called Signal is touted as the safer alternative to WhatsApp, after the latter announced that subscriber usage data would be shared with its parent company, Facebook. This has raised serious concerns about privacy and sparked active debate in the Internet community.
I have subscribed to Signal, an app that counts Elon Musk (the Tesla electric car maker) as one of its proponents. Downloaded it yesterday, gave permission to access my phonebook and forgot about it for the night. This afternoon, I received notification that a number of my contacts are on Signal too. I sent a short greeting to some of them, just to check connectivity. Most of them have replied. Our Signals are up and running. As of 5pm today, 56 persons on my contact list have installed Signal. That's pretty fast, I think.
Am I worried about my WhatsApp usage? Not at the moment. I feel the risk is greater using Facebook (someone cloned my FB account last year).
Would Signal be a better and bigger messaging platform than WhatsApp? Obviously, it is too early to tell. But perhaps the point here is not about being better or bigger. It is sufficient for Signal to be a reliable and trusted product for it to gain a significant number of users to remain viable. It may seem impossible to reach or overtake the immensely huge subscriber numbers of WhatsApp and I'm sure that is not the intention of Signal's developers. Nonetheless, strange things have happened in the IT industry.
Many years ago, Lotus 1-2-3 was the default spreadsheet application. I used it extensively in my line of work and even bought a thick book to learn more about the software's capability. I became so good at it to the stage that I could write macros to short-cut a number of routine steps. But then a guy named Bill Gates created the Windows operating system and his team at Microsoft invented Excel. The spreadsheet domain has a new king. Lotus 1-2-3 is now a fading memory.
Ok friends... I'll catch up with you on Signal, if you're on it already.
|A signal for change|