What do cell phones and clean water have in common?

Sketch note of cell phones and clean water
Sketch note of cell phones and clean water

I heard a TED Talk this morning from Andrew Bastawrous about cell phones in the Third World and an app that will help diagnose and cure blindness.

What struck me was when he said more people own cell phones than have access to clean water. I found an article confirming that:

More People Have Cell Phones Than Clean Water | The Corvallis Advocate.

That amazed me for several reasons.

  1. In effect, more people have technology than basic health needs
  2. Land line telephones have become obsolete in the Third World before they became widespread.
  3. This probably means illiterate groups have more access to information than ever before.

While smart phones are still rare in developing nations (according to a Pew survey) , it is only a matter of time until this changes.

This is key for publishers and media professionals. Up to five years ago, I was in discussions where we believed most of our customers still didn’t own a desktop computer. Now, we must admit even remote villages in far-flung regions of the world can access technology. It stands to reason a household may be more likely to own a mobile phone than a printed book.

Think of it! Households that may not have a literate person living there could suddenly have access to information that was otherwise out of their reach. This is more than revolutionary. This could fundamentally change how the world thinks.

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Author: Kevin Spear

I am a marketing professional with a design flair, based in Clayton, Ohio. I specialize in digital and content marketing that increases brand awareness for small businesses and nonprofits.