Pick up your phone.
While news on Wednesday came out that Vodacom has obtained a gag order against Nkosana Makata, inventor of the 'Please Call Me' function, to stop him from discussing the settlement negotiations in public, according to Business Day – there is no doubting that the invention changed the way we communicate.
Here are five things we appreciate about 'Please Call Me':
1. No airtime, no worries
Murphy's Law states, "whatever can go wrong, will". Imagine trying to communicate something very urgent, but you are out of airtime. That would mean you would have to find the nearest store to buy airtime before you can make that potentially life-saving call.
For those emergency situations, PCM had us covered.
2. Personalised SMSes
One cool feature about PCM was the ability to personalise the PCM text. So if you want to tell your lover how much you love them, but have no airtime or free SMSes, you could personalise your text and they would receive something like; "Please Call 'I Luv U'". Genius right?
Or how about Please Call 'Goodnight', or Please Call 'Log onto Mxit'. This feature made the PCM option very diverse, as it could also be used as an emergency SMS.
'Pick up your phone' – these are just some of the words we utter when we are in a dire situation and just need the person to help or bail you out to pick up.
Sending five consecutive PCM's would alert the receiver to how dire your situation was and cause their phone to buzz as if it were ringing. If they were smart enough, they'd know it was an emergency.
BlackBerry Messenger had a cool feature called PING, where if you send a PING, the receiver's phone would vibrate. Facebook had a similar feature called poke, where you would poke someone in social media so that hopefully you can start a conversation, or just randomly annoy them.
There was a cool PCM function with CellC users where, if you sent five PCMS, you would get a sixth PCM free, so that you can send more PCMs. It may sound dumb, but it was a way of socialising. It was fun, annoying, tiring, but also memorable.
5. What would we be without it?
Think about it, what would we be without Nkosana Makata's invention? There is a reason why he is fighting so hard. He changed, and saved, lives while putting money in Vodacom's pocket.