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A famous quote says “Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral” (Melvin Kranzberg). – so the only person that can answer the question for you: “my smartphone curse or lifesaver?” is you!
The way a mobile phone is used, depends very much on the hands that control it and what those hands do with it in everyday life.
Personally, I’d go with lifesaver as it actually makes everyday life much easier – for example the convenience of having applications that show detailed maps of your surroundings or the option of having your agenda always at hands.
Technologies, and therefore mobile phones, are designed to enrich everyday life and make it more convenient. However excessive smartphone use has been proven to affect social activities, distract from work and studies, lead to procrastination, cause sleep and health problems and trigger negative emotions such as emotional exhaustion and anxiety.
Thus, BEE SECURE advises you to observe your personal daily media consumption and to find personal ways on how to use your phone in a more conscious way. Life, not technology, should be in the foreground.
The way we connect with each other has certainly changed. Social media, messenger apps and other communication tools have become an important part of our society. For lots of people, this helped breaking down barriers and being able to connect with other people sharing common interests.
These new ways of communication help to re-connect with people or to meet new and like-minded people all around the world.
Personally, I tend to believe this development leads to more democracy: everybody can express his or her opinion and reach all kinds of people via the Internet. We have seen in the past two decades, how technology has led to political movements such as, for example, the Arab spring, Black Lives Matter, Youth for Climate. Unfortunately, due to censorship, access does still not exist in all the countries around the world so there is room for improvement.
When parents decide to give their kid a mobile phone, they should make sure to properly configure the device to the specific needs of the child. They should familiarise themselves with parental control functions such as limit of screen-time, access to apps, etc.
Besides the control of technical aspects of a child’s phone, we should not forget to talk to our children about their online experiences.. As parents, we must recognise the importance of mobile phones in our children’s lives but also be aware of potential risks involved.
Finally, we should also respect the privacy of our children – snooping on a kid’s mobile phone is a breach of trust.
If ever in doubt, parents can get professional and anonymous advice on BEE SECURE Helpline 8002 1234
1. Backup your data on a cloud or a physical hard drive
2. Use a password manager to securely store all your passwords
3. Protect important accounts with two-factor-authentication (2FA)
4. Think before you click (especially when confronted with dubious links or attachments)
5. Stay critical and question information you come across on the Internet and social media.
About the blog:
There is an urgent need for rapid transition to global sustainability. Business and industry have enormous social and environmental impacts. "Why does it matter?" is a bi-monthly blog that aims to elucidate this important topic through the eyes of our experts.
Don't miss out our experts' practical tips for your daily life and be part of the positive change.