He had diversified his gains, investing in the local music industry and renting out two trucks he had acquired.
This kind of ‘digital shunning’ was a common experience among the young Ghanaians that Burrell encountered; although the youth were following standard social norms, their foreign conversation partners seemed to misunderstand or misinterpret their intentions.
More widespread Internet access didn’t become available until the early 2000s.” As a result, subcultures of the Internet and ‘netiquette’ — rules and expectations about how to relate to people online — developed in the US in the 1990s and were cemented before most Ghanaians ever encountered the Internet.
“Once ordinary Ghanaians began coming online, they were coming into an already organized and formed subculture, not knowing what the rules were,” Burrell explained.
Burrell tells a story of a burgeoning online friendship between Fauzia, a young Ghanaian woman, and an Egyptian man.
While chatting online, Fauzia mentioned “ok, my phone is giving me problems and I will be very grateful if you could send me money to get a better phone or if you could send me a new phone.” After repeating the request, “I didn’t see him online again,” said Fauzia.