A massive “Cell-out” was in order from 12-6 PM on Wednesday. Congo week, as I talked about in my last blog entry, has had a lasting effect on me, especially with regards to the video about rape, which encouraged me to participate in this cell-out. Congo is actually a world leader in the production of a mineral that is in most technology…including cell phones. Since the video about rape in Congo really opened my eyes, I figured I would give the cell-out a try, not only because it sounded like an interesting thing to do, but to see if I could spread awareness about what is currently going on in Congo.
As I turned off my phone I wondered to myself, “what do cell phones and murders in Congo have to do with each other?” Then I read a little further into what this cell-out was actually about. Just like the controversy of diamonds that Africa has a monopoly on, there is a similar situation with a mineral by the name of Coltan. People are using cell phones every day not thinking about where they come from; a place where brutal rapes and murders of women and children occur everyday. I figured maybe if I could draw some attention to the situation people would think twice next time they buy electronics or cell phones.
Momentarily as I was recording a new message, part of the assignment, and I could not think of something that would get the point across, and at the same time also make people actually care about Congo. My message ended up being for six hours as follows. “Hey it’s Kevin, I’m here, but I’m not picking up because of the BRUTAL RAPES AND MURDERS GOING ON IN CONGO. Everyday people use cell phones which contain a mineral only found in Congo, a place in total chaos. If I care this much, so should you, next time your free check out congoweek.org or google it. Later” I found it very weird how people did not seem to be bothered by what was happening, and I am sure that before I spent all this time learning about the Congo, neither would I.
“Who cares, its like a million miles away?” “Everyone has cell phones, I’m not going to stop using mine!” These were a few of the answers I got when I told people about what I was doing. As far as the message goes, I am not that popular, therefore the only message I had at 6 pm was from my parents, but at least they became aware of how this serious situation has affected me.
All three works assigned for homework helped drive home this reality of what is going on in our world. Dickinson really helps to portray how good some people have it and no one can imagine what it’s like to have to face death so early in life. I cannot imagine what the people in Congo have to go through, death is a scary thing, and thousands of people have to deal with it on a daily basis. Maybe turning off my cell phone for six hours will not stop what is going on in Congo, but my awareness was definitely raised, as well as my parents. Hopefully what Loyola has done to bring awareness to this horrible situation in Congo will succeed and soon this massacre will end. I am glad to have participated in this cell-out. It helped me to realize how important issues across the globe are, it raised awareness in other people’s lives, and on a smaller scale taught me that my cell phone is not as important as it seems, and I’m lucky just to be alive.