“I would never have been able to arrive at my destination without my smartphone,” he added. “I get stressed out when the battery even starts to get low.”
That is from Osama Aljasem, a 32-year-old music teacher from Deir al-Zour in Syria, who took a boat to Greece, walked to Belgrade, and hopes to continue to parts further north and west:
In this modern migration, smartphone maps, global positioning apps, social media and WhatsApp have become essential tools.
Recommended. And yes, disintermediation is kicking in:
“Right now the traffickers are losing business because people are going alone, thanks to Facebook,” said Mohamed Haj Ali, 38, who works with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency in Belgrade, Serbia’s capital — a major stopover for migrants.
Facebook groups are used to pass along GPS coordinates and the prices charged by the traffickers have fallen in half.