Be Tech Wise

The Digital Age. Great stuff, really!

We’ve got holograms of artists who are no longer with us performing at concerts. We’re walking on skyscrapers using VR. We’re ‘liking’ photos of cats on Instagram from all around the world.

The future is here. The future is now.

And yet, many of us misuse technology to varying degrees.

It’s not about how savvy we are, it’s about the little socially unacceptable things that we keep doing. To top it off, some of these can be very dangerous.

Let’s run through them quickly!

‘Fake news’ is everywhere these days, but it’s not a recent phenomenon. It’s been around  for a while. You can say it’s been around since the invention of language! (Only because we have no way of confirming if that primitive cave sketch of Prehistoric Dave taking down a mammoth on his own is true.)

From spreading exaggerated accounts of actual happenings to made-up personal stories, this plague that is fake news is rampant and growing more so as most people simply forward snippets of info they receive without fact-checking. So the next time you receive an unverified message from a sketchy source, just take a minute or two and Google it or use Snopes.
You can help prevent mass hysteria by checking facts before believing in and forwarding information!

When our beloved devices die on us, we often either let it sit in our drawers for all eternity or toss it in the garbage. Improperly disposed e-waste is a menace to the environment, being non-biodegradable and suffocating fauna who mistake little bits of it for food. In our attempts to use technology in a sustainable manner, let us recycle or safely dispose of our devices that are beyond repair!

Keep your information safe from prying hands and eyes and use a password or screen lock. Never share your personal details (passwords, credit card numbers, etc.) with others (unless it’s your mother, or somebody you trust just as much), just like how you wouldn’t share a toothbrush or underpants. Another precaution you must take is avoiding meeting people you only know online alone. If you must go (doesn’t it sound sketchy already?), go with a trusted friend or a family member.

Don’t be creepy. You wouldn’t like it if a random person followed you around, taking pictures of you. Keep that in mind and be considerate when you feel the urge to video or photograph somebody. Oh! And it doesn’t necessarily have to be a stranger. Consent is important in all scenarios, even with those you know! And even with consent, be mindful about the media you post it on, and who can see – thus download, edit, who-knows-what-else – those photographs.

Always unplug and/or switch off all devices during a storm! Sure, you may be invested in a show or movie and at the edge of your seat and all, but none of it is worth risking your life for! Not even F.R.I.E.N.D.S. (Yes, I said it.)

Not only is this dangerous, but it’s also highly inconsiderate to those around you.

Be kind to them and yourself and set aside your device until you’re in a clear area suitable for having your eyes glued to the screen, like when you’re sitting on a park bench.

The last thing people at hospitals, libraries, and places of worship want to hear is your inconsiderately loud ringtone. Read the room, friends. If it’s not the place to let your love for Ariana’s high notes shine, then put your phone on silent.

Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road (this isn’t Birdbox!). Don’t be that person who feels the need to prove to the world that they can multitask in the worst ways possible. A little bit of awareness and care can save many lives. Instead, use bluetooth or hands-free, which is an option on all phones and sometimes even cars themselves.

This isn’t a comprehensive list, of course, but just a few pointers to get you thinking.

So, remember. Use technology, don’t abuse it!

Stay safe and enjoy the future.

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