MTN renews Cote d’Ivoire licence

MTN announced on Wednesday that its Côte d’Ivoire operation has paid 75% or  CFA F 75 billion of the new telecommunications operator unified license acquisition cost to the government of Cote d’Ivoire. By Staff Writer

The GSM license was to expire on 1 April 2016, after 20 years of operation.

MTN was expected to pay 50% of the license cost amounting to CFAF 100 billion to the Government of Côte d’Ivoire 15 December 2015.

“By paying 75%, which is above the required 50% minimum, MTN Côte d’Ivoire obtains the extension of the operating term of the unified license for 17 years, for commissioning all services and products associated to 2G / 3G / 4G /  LTE and upcoming new technologies,” the operator said in a statement.

“Through this new license opportunity, MTN Côte d’Ivoire is consolidating its positioning as the leading provider of the bold new digital world to the Ivorian market.”

MTN Côte d’Ivoire recorded a marginal decline in its subscriber base to 8,5 million in the period to end-September 2015, following the clean up of the subscriber base.

The billable minutes of use declined 5,5% year-on-year as the business faced increased competitive pressures from competition. Constant currency data revenue increased by 58,6% year-on-year and contributed 15,2% to total revenue.

MTN Côte d’Ivoire’s Mobile Money subscribers rose by 1,9% to 2,8 million. The operation continues to focus on expanding its 3G and LTE network to cater for the increasing demand for data services. During the quarter, 30 2G and 89 3G sites were rolled out. Local currency ARPU declined by 3,2%.

Review – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

While the rest of the world is still waiting to re-immerse themselves in a galaxy far, far away, South Africa finds itself on the lucky end of the spectrum, with the movie being released on Wednesday. By Ahmed Areff, NewsAgency

At the premiere at the Eastgate Shopping Centre on Tuesday night, Star Wars fans and local celebrities gathered to see whether director JJ Abrams’ take on the beloved franchise was worth the wait.

Here are five relatively spoiler-free things you should know about the movie:

1) It has a lot of parallels with the first movie (A New Hope) 

Everything that people found wrong in the prequels is nowhere to be found in this movie. The movie harks back to the original trilogy in a big way, and anyone who is familiar with A New Hope will be able to identify the familiar themes quite quickly.

The Force Awakens, like the recent Jurassic World, wears its reverence for the original in a big way.
2) It is very earnest, and has a good deal of humour

What made the original trilogy great was the sheer number of scenes that could be quoted ad infinitum. That often witty and sometimes laugh out loud humour is very prevalent in the new movie.

It also keeps the optimism the older movies had, and has no qualms about being pure intergalactic escapism that wants to keep emotions running high.

One big positive it has going for it is its use of practical effects instead of going the easy route and simply using computer generated imagery (CGI) for all special effects.
3) There are a lot of action set-pieces

Gone are long-winded scenes about galactic politics and trade negotiations that plagued the prequels. The Force Awakens, with its mix of old and new cast members and a feature length quest goes through several locations, with a fair share of explosions, fast-paced aerial dogfights and gunplay.

From the moment the opening crawl ends, to the final shot of the movie, there is rarely a moment to catch your breath.
4) It’s the first part of a larger puzzle

The movie is the beginning of a longer story, that will take at least four more years to tell. Waiting for the next chapter is going to be excruciating, however the time between the larger tale will be filled with other movies that take place within the universe. One of these films will focus on the younger years of fan favourite Han Solo.
5) It has some flaws

There are very few movies that are entirely perfect. The Force Awakens has some flaws, including to some extent the four points made above. This however does not detract from the enjoyment of the movie.

The movie’s few shortcomings actually turn it into a better movie, especially in a time when other filmmakers aim to make amorphous cookie cutter movies that sometimes try too hard to make a spectacle, while failing dismally. –News24

SA’s ICT teacher shortlisted to win R15m

A Cape Town teacher who cut his teeth by teaching Sunday school as a teenager has been shortlisted for the Global Teacher of the Year Award. By Tammy Petersen, NewsAgency

Warren Sparrow, the head of information and communication technology at Rondebosch Boys’ Preparatory School, is one of 50 finalists in the running for what has been dubbed the Nobel Prize in teaching.

“I can’t put into words what a great honour this is. I am humbled,” he said on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Thanks for ‘wonderful’ teacher

He celebrated with his wife over a glass of wine after recently being informed that he had been selected from more than 8 000 applicants from 148 countries.

The winner will walk away with a cool U$1m. The awards recognise an “exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society”.

Sparrow, 43, a former maths teacher who now specialises in eLearning support, is no stranger to top honours. In 2012, he was the recipient of a Western Cape Teaching Award for Excellence in Information and Communication Technology Enhanced Teaching, and won a number of ICT awards.

The teaching bug bit when he started teaching Sunday school at 15. His teaching career has spanned almost two decades. He has been teaching at Rondebosch for 13 years.

“It’s something that I always wanted to do,” he said.

While he taught maths for a good part of his career, information technology became his passion.

“I like that technology is always evolving. What we use this year could be outdated by next year,” he said.

Sparrow shares his expertise with teachers at schools with scarce resources through his website, where they can access free resources for classes.

He “team-teaches” with teachers in their classrooms and shows them how technology can be used in lessons, and runs short weekly courses to demonstrate Web 2.0 tools, software, hardware, and ideas for the classroom. In the evenings he holds computer classes for adults.

READ MORE: Surviving the scary teacher

Should he win, he intends investing part of his prize money in technologically under-resourced schools.

“I would like to donate tablets and laptops and infrastructural support for teachers to use for the benefit of their learners,” he explained.

Sparrow dreams of taking his family overseas to experience different cultures and see other parts of the world.

Western Cape education MEC Debbie Schäfer described Sparrow’s placement in the top 50 as an “extraordinary achievement”.

Colleen Henning from St John’s College in Johannesburg also made the final 50. The winner would be announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai in March next year. – News24

The Zim Road Pushback

On what kind of road is Zim, and are we following in her footsteps? Or are we different, more complex, resilient, less easily taken, forwards evolving where Zim by now has retreated 500 years into past medievalism and still accelerating? By Cees Bruggemans    

The Zim decades started off promising enough, but when people turned against their ruler they got a taste of the whip (North Korean brigades) and democratic voting mechanisms became rigged, meaning elitist kleptomaniacs took control.

Life hasn’t been quite the same these three decades for the overwhelming Zim majority, who had a choice of either decamping (mostly to SA, millions did) or submissively become subjugated to new masters.

With economic logic reduced to favouring the political elite, the rest of society was subjected to serial decades of devastation & plundering. Land grabs (1990s), hyperinflation (2000s) and $-pegging currency overvaluation forcing internal devaluation (the cost-cutting 2010s) destroyed many viable enterprises & much private wealth, except those well connected, the overpopulated civil service and anyone dealing in hard currency.

Those who resisted were taught lessons that made abundantly clear Ubuntu wasn’t the Zim way.

A country can be made to surrender its dwindling surpluses to keep a slinking elite in style, with the asset base allowed to decay (little upkeep) & the majority of people getting by on progressively less and less. This model only runs out of fuel when the last man standing finally topples. That can take awhile.

None of these events has of course destroyed the true inherent potential of Zim, neither its natural riches or the quality of its people, at least two million of which are currently enriching SA’s economy.

People, even leaders, don’t live forever. Their finale departure is presumably the moment to throw the switch. Provided the ruling clique doesn’t then hang on to power in a new guise, a real change in control may become possible, and a revitalisation may be observed, as ready capital & a longing diaspora pour back into their homeland.

But this is futuristic music. For now, it remains a funeral march, appropriately so, considering the aging leadership.

Some of what has been described here can also be observed in SA’s modern history. The initial start ain’t too bad, but then the self-enrichment starts, eventually gets serious and finally reaches epidemic proportions.

We haven’t completed this journey yet, but both corporate behaviour and the demands of up-and-coming political parties offer hints. So aside of our official policies stances, and their redistributive consequences and stagnation results, we have for instance the list of demands given by EFF marchers to the JSE team.

We then also have the observed behaviour of corporates, escalating outward migration (called globalization or internationalization), until foreign listings, foreign IPOs and foreign head offices make the break a reality, and local assets dwindle to a small stake that can be sacrificed and won’t be missed.

Both these tendencies are far advanced and in a race against time.

Yet we haven’t fully entered into the Zim spirit of the past three decades, so far keeping our redistribution efforts constitutionally “legal”.

Land grabs have yet to occur on any scale, but our macro institutions (Treasury & SARB) looked vulnerable after the firing of finance minister Nene last week. This impression was only partly corrected by a change of mind & reappointment of Gordhan. A certain amount of damage had been done, though, to credibility, with no guarantee our steady descent towards junk credit status has been reversed.

So overnight these macro institutions, for long our pride, are now less credible bulwarks against hyperinflation, and preventing thereafter the next silly thing of pegging against the strongest global currency, thereby inviting painful internal depreciation (forced lowering of costs or meekly accepting bankruptcy).

The ruling party is far gone, when it approvingly starts to publicly quote the ways of chairman Mao, history’s biggest slayer (an estimated 70 million deaths through famine & other misdeeds).

Perhaps more importantly, our population reportedly isn’t as meek as Zim’s. Pushback didn’t only happen here in the 1960s, 1970s & 1980s against the previous nationalists, and further back in time against imperialists. This tradition is being kept alive, witnessed in thousands of public service delivery protests annually. But especially at Marikana, the subsequent prolonged miner strikes, the etolling rebellion, marching against corruption, the student revolts, the Parliamentary slapstick, and now an epidemic of hashtags-must-fall campaigns.

And despite events of recent weeks, our public institutions haven’t all decayed, key ones remaining dedicated to preserving economic logic, preventing for instance hyperinflation.

But some of our fellow travelers possibly wouldn’t mind doing a Zim, provided there was space at the feeding trough.

The pushing & shoving is getting a little excitable at times. And it may get worse with every new turn of the election cycle, local in 2016, leadership tussles in 2017, and again nationally in 2019. Shrinking majorities would create their own desperation?

It is as yet far far from obvious as to which style will win out. Rigged kleptomania or constitutional democracy. In this respect we remain on the Zim road, if with push backs?


#ZumaMustFall march gets the green light

Permission has been granted for a #ZumaMustFall march in Johannesburg, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) said on Tuesday.  By Genevieve Quintal, NewsAgency

“Final arrangements will be done tomorrow [Wednesday] morning when organisers meet with representatives of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department events unit to finalise the route and exact time [of the march],” Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said.

The march would start in Braamfontein and end in Newtown Park.

Minnaar said the meeting between the JMPD and the organisers was expected to take place at 07:00.

President Jacob Zuma is facing a backlash after he announced last week that he was replacing Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene with ANC MP David ‘Des’ van Rooyen.

There was a public outcry resulting in calls for Zuma to be recalled over the move that saw the Rand plummet against major currencies and millions wiped off the JSE.

But four days after Zuma fired Nene, he then announced another move. This time he replaced Van Rooyen with former finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, the man he demoted from the position after the 2014 elections, and the Rand recovered somewhat.

This, however, did not change peoples’ sentiments that Zuma should be removed from office.

Several Facebook pages were created with tens of thousands of people from major cities across the country calling for peaceful marches on Wednesday.

Protest marches have been planned for Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, George, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Nelson Mandela Bay.

Cape Town and Pretoria organisers had apparently not applied for permission to march but the events were expected to go ahead. – News24


Telkom teams up with Star Wars franchise

Telkom and The Walt Disney Company Africa have partnered to celebrate the release of the highly anticipated film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (in cinemas nationwide from 16 Dec) with South African consumers.

From January you will start to see the advertising partnership as well as the detailed Star Wars: The Force Awakens packages exclusive to Telkom.

One of the key aspects to this partnership is while the film will be available for viewing internationally from the 18th December, South Africans will be seeing it from the 16th December – one of the first countries in the world to see Star Wars – The Force Awakens.

“This partnership is part of our overall strategy to position Telkom as a leading provider of cutting edge technology and Star Wars: The Force Awakens is perfect for this. This film franchise, more than any other, appeals to more than one generation reaching back to the original films to this brand new addition. We are thrilled to be involved,” says Enzo Scarcello, chief marketing officer for Telkom.



Christmas bonus for Tshwane Wi-Fi users

As Tshwane residents enjoy their traditional holiday at the coast, there’s a Christmas treat in store for visitors and those who remain behind. By Duncan Alfreds, NewsAgency

Project Isizwe, charged with implementing the City of Tshwane’s Wi-Fi build programme, announced that from December 24 to 26, the metro will offer free uncapped internet access.

“The ‘Christmas gift’ is possible due to many Tshwane residents leaving the city for holidays, reducing network load and creating an opportunity to provide users with more bandwidth at no extra cost to the city,” Alan Knott-Craig jnr of Project Isizwe told Fin24.

The non-governmental organisation has delivered over 700 Wi-Fi hotspots in the City of Tshwane where residents normally have access to 500MB of data.

The project has so far cost the city R180m and Knott-Craig justified the deployment by rejecting the monetisation model employed by other municipalities.

“Despite the sales propositions of many service providers, in the entire world to date there has not been a successful commercialisation of a public free Wi-Fi network by selling extra data. Ever. Not even airports can monetise Wi-Fi and they have a virtual monopoly on high-income users of the internet,” said Knott-Craig.

Free access

The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality recently began rolling out its Wi-Fi access programme and will spend millions to expand the current 233 sites covered.

“We’re planning for anything between R80m and R120m to connect 695 Ekurhuleni buildings,” Lydia Ntlhophi, divisional head of ICT business relations management in the metro, recently told Fin24.

In Cape Town, the Wi-Fi access programme is set to expand by 120 sites in addition to the current 170 by the end of the year.

Knott-Craig lambasted the Cape Town model of Wi-Fi delivery.

“Cape Town is based upon a ‘paid-for’ model and is primarily targeted at businesses and high-income households. The only model that is 100% guaranteed to fail is selling extra data, ie: Cape Town.”

He said that free internet access should be guaranteed as it could benefit the economy or be used as a method to increase collections on unpaid municipal bills.

“Internet access is like water – a utility. The poor should be entitled to a daily free quota. Cities must find the budget to do so. Unlike water, internet access has a proven multiplier effect on the local economy, resulting in higher tax revenues,” he said. – Fin24

Maximising data resources to protect water resources

South Africa is a water scarce country. With average annual rainfall of 450mm – compared to a global average of 870mm – the country is ranked the 30th driest in the world. One would assume that we would be more cautious when it comes to water usage and wastage and that conservation would be a priority for everyone. By Kroshlen Moodley, GM: Public Sector and Utilities at SAS

Unfortunately, it’s not, and the current drought has brought this into stark focus, sparking crucial conversation about how to secure future supply to meet increasing demand. We can prevent an even bigger crisis. But it requires public-private partnerships, better resource management, efficient infrastructure planning and, most importantly, the aggregation of all available data to inform decision-making.

It’s a data problem

 When talking about water management and advanced data analytics, we have to consider the whole picture. This includes water sources and treatment plants, the distribution network and usage, as well as overarching legislature and weather and demand/supply analysis to obtain a holistic view of the current situation. According to water expert Anthony Turton, many of the country’s water problems are because of poor government data. To have the biggest impact, we need reliable data analysis in the following areas:


SA’s drought is the result of an El Niño, a complex weather pattern that results in drier than normal conditions from December to January in south-central Africa. Historical weather data shows that an El Niño occurs every two to seven years. By analysing this data, as well as normal rainfall data, we could have predicted the current drought with relative accuracy five years ago.This would have given us time to plan accordingly for water shortages, for example, by making better decisions on how to supplement supply and prioritise infrastructure development.


 Waste water treatment plants spew more than four billion litres of untreated or partially treated sewage into rivers daily because of management issues and poor functioning plants – another problem that could have been avoided with analytics. Water quality is affected by physical, chemical, biological, microbiological and radiological parameters.

With analytics, plant managers can monitor these factors via sensors installed at source points, treatment plants and reservoirs. These sensors provide a constant stream of data – known as event stream processing – which, when analysed, can reveal certain patterns in water quality. Managers would be alerted to an anomaly in a ‘normal’ pattern, which could indicate a problem in quality.

For example, fluctuations in microbial data could suggest that there is a problem at the water source. Response teams could then be dispatched to investigate and might find that a large water source is being polluted by industrial waste. Action could be taken immediately to prevent irreversible contamination of the source. Currently, only 60% of SA’s category I and II dams comply with basic dam safety standards, while quality levels at some category III dams – SA’s largest water sources – are also concerning.

With analytics, much of this contamination could have been prevented. Treatment plants and distribution networks comprise many working parts, including pipes, pumps, filters and transformers. It’s crucial that these are continuously monitored to prevent failure.

Sensors supply information on assets – including when they were last serviced, how old they are, when a certain part was replaced – producing patterns that indicate normal functioning of the asset. Again, an anomaly in a pattern could indicate a problem – a leaking valve, for example. This allows municipalities to perform predictive plant maintenance – as opposed to reactive maintenance when it might be too late – to reduce downtime and maintain quality.


SA loses R7 billion, or 25% of its non-billed water, due to leaking or burst water pipes and collapsing infrastructure annually. Advanced data analytics through smart water metering solutions can drastically reduce the amount of water lost by predicting where losses are likely to occur based on demand – a new residential development that will have to be served by ageing infrastructure, for example – and asset data.

Kroshlen Moodley, GM: Public Sector and Utilities at SAS

Sensors in pipelines monitor water flow and will alert a municipality if there is a sudden and abnormal increase in pressure, which could suggest that a pipe has burst. Damage can be repaired timeously rather than having to rely on a member of the public to report the leak, which could be days – and millions of litres of water – later.

Policy management

Pravin Gordhan, former Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, has attributed SA’s current water crisis to adverse weather conditions and water management issues.

While SA has some of the world’s best water legislature, it is not effectively implemented, especially at municipal level. This is because municipalities not only lack the funds and skills needed to act on the legislature but also because national government cannot govern how local municipalities provide water. Advanced analytics can help government better understand population growth and the effect that new residential and industrial developments could have on supply and demand. This information, combined with weather data, can help government decide where to build new catchment areas.

Analytics can help government to understand what legislation is not working and where it should be focusing, like on alternative water resources and removing red tape for those who develop solutions to water challenges, for example. According to Turton, you can’t measure something you can’t manage.

This is especially true for SA’s water crisis. The only way to solve some of the problems is to adopt powerful analytics systems that aggregate data and help government make better-informed decisions about water supply and demand.

Now that the conversation has started, government should take it into the boardroom and form partnerships with the private sector to protect this precious resource and secure our future water supply.

Super Salesman Pravin Gordhan  

There are genuine rewards & recognitions, and then there are hospital passes. What happened to Pravin Gordhan last Sunday was a bit of both when Zuma re-offered him (as a pair of ultimate safe hands capable of damage control) the position of Finance Minister so very recently vacated by his new colleague David van Rooyen, who in turn was offered the position of minister of local government (for which he likewise wasn’t really qualified, continuing his quandary, definitely not of his making). By Cees Bruggemans

Having gamely accepted, with ground rules we can only surmise, but probably quite different from what was ever offered before, possibly insisted upon by senior ANC cadres, Gordhan faces the unenviable task of having to face the media with a straight face and insist things would be done in ways that clearly had been flaunted up till then.

Strangely, one did not feel like singing “how the hell can we believe you?”, waiting for Pinocchio’s nose to grow & grow as he explained himself ever so charmingly & disarmingly, though with steel showing.

The country won’t spent what it can’t afford or with resources it can’t raise. Growth will need to generate the resources to be used, alternatively raised through higher taxes. Higher borrowing specifically is not an option as debt stabilisation & retention of the investment credit rating are hallowed ground?

This doesn’t preclude adventuresomeness, considering the option of raising taxes, but somehow one senses that appetite to be subdued. Still, it remains to be seen what government appetite remains, given challenging cycles of political elections ahead in which the populist left in particular will be promising the moon & somebody else’s body parts to make itself more attractive, and bearing in mind extensive dishing out of food parcels may become handy in time of severe drought.

Still, the main emphasis appears to be on disciplined clean government, trying to restore trashed reputations, given past presidential antics. Not really mission impossible, but to be given shape in the February 2016 Budget.

To restore confidence politically among citizenry, financially among markets and economically among business, the best foot forward would be to rigorously pursue the spending ceiling while not unduly raising the tax burden as the budget deficit and government debt are steadily stabilised as projected by Nene.

Equally important would be evidence of giving short shift to inopportune exploiters of the public purse residing throughout the public sector in politically privileged positions, starting with SAA and its vaunted Airbus contracts worth billions and allegedly the reason why Nene had to fall.

Figleafs were offered up early re nuclear ambitions (and the national health insurance scheme), but with full clarity yet to be obtained. Nuclear may remain an option, or is it merely an obfuscation now? This in contrast to the national health scheme, except its ambitions may remain phased as long speculated, a matter of affordability & growth rather than simply ruinously raising our tax burdens.

The real thrust appears to be re-establishing a gilded reputation for sound finances worthy of an investment grading (doable despite slow growth), offer hope to business longer term and getting them to restart confidence & growth engines (possibly more a function of Zuma lame duck status and future reform & leadership yet to be clarified) and cleaning out more thoroughly the corrupt public sector stables, achieving proof of clean government rather than offering more corrupt feeding troughs for the well-connected.

A challenging task, but not a thankless one, something that presumably can be achieved now that ground rules have been more clearly established, and markets, business, civil society, the populist left & global rating agencies have shown they are capable of plug pulling and seeing them all on their way.

A remarkable week in politics has come to a close, the summer break beckons, and the proof will be in the 2016 pudding. How will it shape local elections?

You could be suffering from FoMO this Christmas

The holiday season can be a traumatising time for many people, but spare a thought (or retweet) for those who strive to be a part of the cultural zeitgeist at the expense of all sanity and reason. By 

For these individuals, fear can be an incapacitating emotion caused not by spiders (arachnophobia), the colour white (leukophobia), or a fear of the numbers 666 (hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia), but rather a fear of missing out (FoMO).

Scholars consider FoMO a pervasive apprehension that one is absent for the rewarding experiences of others, and is characterised by a desire for continual connection with what others are doing.

For many people, it’s even harder to avoid social media than it is to avoid spiders, white or the devil’s number. And evidently these poor individuals are particularly vulnerable when Santa makes his annual pilgrimage to town, which boosts the Australian retail market to the tune of A$46.8 billion.

Double rewards

Social media has infiltrated the daily lives of many people. Currently in Australia, 24% of users check social media more than five times a day, of which 70% happens through smartphones, 93% going to the demographically diverse Facebook, 26% to Instagram, 28% to LinkedIn and 17% to Twitter.

It’s not surprising that marketers are cashing in, so much so that the average Australian over the age of 16 is now expected to spend around A$2,500 in retail in the six weeks leading up to Christmas.

And at least some of this spending is fuelled by a desire to fit in and tell everyone about it on social media. Evidently, the intrinsic value of giving a great gift and bringing joy to a loved one is out-weighed by trivial extrinsic motivations of likes, shares and re-grams.

In looking for a possible explanation, lets get phenomenological and consider a few scenarios that will typify the connection between Christmas marketing and FoMO.

It’s early August and a day after your partner’s birthday. No sooner has she finished scanning copies of the receipts of all the presents she’s going to return, she has already shared with you 12 carefully curated Pinterestboards of iPhone-filtered photos and inspiring infographics filled with French Bulldogs, hanging gardens, super-food smoothies and cute-ique travel destinations. All just in time for Christmas.

We know that some individuals are deeply concerned with how others view them on social media, and are careful with the content they share with their world. This may explain the social media-friendly present options, but it doesn’t go far to telling us why a celebrity cookbook is even thing. Or does it?

Like many teenagers, Johnny opens up his last present under the tree. His parents watched their RSS feed with bated breath all of November, stumbling across a blog article covering “26 Greatest Presents for Teens“.

While they did expect to click through 26 inane images with snappy hyperlinked taglines, they could never have anticipated that the joy Johnny will receive from using his new Bluetooth-controlled Quadcopter is no match for the 50 likes he will get for his Instagram post posing with the new pressie.

Our friend social media

Recent research suggests that individuals use social media purposefully, for reasons such as presenting themselves in ways that gain social capital, and that those who exhibit higher traits of FoMO have an “unhealthy” relationship with social media. In Johnny’s case, it’s hard to disagree.

At its core, social media reinforces connections within networks while strengthening communication among friends and family members. While this might explain the reasoning behind Johnny’s LinkedIn endorsement for “Mother” – a symbol of ultimate gratitude to his mum – sometimes Christmas can bring out the strongest of fears.

As you open up an awkward Christmas present and pose for the obligatory family photo with bonbon-extracted paper crowns, uploaded straight to your aunt’s Facebook of course, perhaps your FoMO becomes a favour of missing out.

In this sense, some believe social media serves as a means for users’ emotional support. Considering the inevitable “digitally fuelled deluge of updates” symptomatic of Christmas-marketing induced FoMO, perhaps we should all stuff our stockings with some social media support.