Ekaete was confused. She was in the market helping her mother. A doctor was speaking to the traders about a disease. And she did not understand most of her words.
She turned to the boy beside her and asked what ‘cells’ meant. ‘You are holding a phone, google it’. He said impatiently. Ekaete did not know what he meant. What is ‘google it’?
She normally used her mother’s phone to call people. Her cousin had also showed her how to use Facebook.
She looked at the phone and pressed the red menu button. All these things she did not use, she sighed.
There it is! Google. That was what the boy said. She clicked the colourful icon. Soon a box came up with the word search in it. She also noticed that there was a ‘search box’ with the google sign at the top of the phone’s internet browser.
Can she search for anything? She typed the word, ‘cells’. Immediately, a list of headlines came up. One said, ‘What is a cell?’. This was exactly what she just asked herself. The article explained that a cell is the smallest unit of life. We are all made of cells.
Ekaete continued listening. She was happy now because she knew what the doctor was talking about.
Once she got home, she finished her chores. Then she asked her mum for her phone again.
What else have I always wanted to know? She typed ‘pimples’ in the search box. One article gave tips on removing pimples with cheap items like lime and sugar.
Ekaete had a lot of fun searching for different words. Especially words related to her body. She had been scared to talk about her body to anyone. She learnt that many girls had periods for only 3 days like she did. All her sisters had 6 day periods. She had been worried.
Ekaete talked to her teacher once about her new hobby. Her teacher advised her to continue but also warned her that some sites had the wrong information. After hearing this, Ekaete made sure she read many sites when she researched a topic. If all the sites said the same thing then she could trust the information more.
She also liked to look for websites from well known organizations. She trusted websites from popular newspapers and magazines as well. But she made sure that she asked a doctor about all health issues. The internet is not a doctor!
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