5 Ways We Epicly Misuse Mobile Technology

Ever joked that smartphones are so intelligent that you don’t need to be? Well, it’s partially true. The capabilities of smartphones have evolved dramatically over the past decade. Yet, many of us primarily use them for basic tasks like checking emails, updating social media statuses, taking pictures, and leaving others bewildered by our usage habits.

As we anticipate the next wave of digital crazes, let’s explore 5 common mistakes we make when using mobile technology.

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1. Inappropriate Media Consumption During Official Meetings

Remember when McCain was caught playing a card game on his iPhone during a Syria hearing? The internet was briefly abuzz. However, when it comes to politicians engaging with inappropriate content during legislative sessions, it seems to go largely unnoticed. If you’re unaware, this happens more often than you might think.

A report by the Huffington Post disclosed that over 300,000 attempts were made to access adult sites within the House of Commons alone. In another instance, three ministers in India resigned after being caught sharing a certain clip during a session.

Inappropriate media consumption by an Indonesian MP
Image: telegraph.co.uk

In Indonesia, a Member of Parliament resigned after being caught viewing inappropriate content on his tablet during a debate. This drew significant attention, especially since he had previously supported a stringent law that could imprison individuals for public displays of affection.

In Thailand, similar incidents have occurred. One Thai MP was photographed browsing images of women in swimwear. He claimed it was unintentional and that he had clicked on a misleading link. Another Thai senator was caught doing something similar during a meeting.

And these are just the politicians who were caught.

2. When iPads, Not People, Attend Concerts

Imagine attending a concert or recital where you can’t see the performers. Why? Because iPads are blocking your view. Eager parents, aiming to capture every moment of their child’s performance, end up obstructing the view for everyone else.

As a result, all that the parents in the back rows can see are the backs of heads and raised iPads. Meanwhile, the young performers look out into an audience of smartphones and tablets, rather than the smiling faces of their parents.

iPads obstructing view at a concert
Image: Medium

Is capturing a shaky video really more important than being present for your child’s performance? How often will you actually revisit that recording?

The mother who captured this scene had to step out into the corridor, missing her son’s performance, all because the audience’s devices made it impossible to see the stage.

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3. The Hidden Costs of In-App Purchases on iPads

In-app purchases can be a parent’s worst nightmare when it comes to their child’s iPad usage. While iPads offer educational value, games often become the main attraction. Take five-year-old Danny, for example. His fondness for the game Zombies vs Ninjas led to a whopping £1700 bill.

Child unknowingly making in-app purchases

Despite receiving multiple email notifications from iTunes, Danny’s parents only realized the extent of the spending when their credit card company alerted them to 19 transactions of £69.99 each for in-game items. Needless to say, someone was in hot water.

Fortunately, Apple issued a refund, and the parents learned the value of disabling in-app purchases. However, this is not an isolated incident. Another case in the UK involved an £4000 bill by an 8-year-old, and in Singapore, a child spent $4300 on Candy Crush Saga alone.

It raises questions about what transpires between developers and Apple when such large refunds are processed.

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4. The Importance of Keeping Social News Updated

Facebook serves as a powerful platform for various purposes, such as reuniting adopted individuals with their biological parents, recovering stolen items, and even locating missing children or pets. While the platform makes it easy to share news, it’s crucial for us to stay updated on unfolding events.

Example of outdated missing person post

It’s common to see posts about missing children on Facebook feeds. However, many times these posts are outdated, and the child has already been found. Therefore, it’s essential to verify the information before hitting the ‘Share’ button.

Case of Mistaken Identity

Consider an incident where a floating dock was mistaken for tsunami debris near Pacific City. This led the US Coast Guard on a needless search by boat and helicopter. A simple confirmation with the original poster could have avoided this confusion.

Mistaken tsunami debris
Image: KATU
Tips for Crowdsourced Searches

If you ever find yourself needing social media to locate something missing, here are some tips for crafting your post. Let’s use a missing pet dog as an example:

  • A recent photo of your dog
  • The last known location
  • Identifying marks (e.g., a shorter left ear, responds to the name Toto)
  • Contact information for leads or findings
  • The date your dog went missing
  • Update the post when your dog is found
Example of a missing dog poster
Image: wildewmn

Posting this information on community or pet lover group pages can be particularly effective.

5. The Selfie Phenomenon: A Double-Edged Sword

Selfies have become a cultural phenomenon, but they come with their own set of pros and cons. While they serve as a form of self-exploration, excessive sharing can make you less relatable to your peers. This topic could have easily been a part of my earlier post on the impact of social networks.

Interestingly, bathroom mirrors have become popular spots for impromptu photoshoots, thanks to the selfie trend.

Selfie trend
Image: Heavy.com
The Evolution of Selfies: Beyond Vanity

Selfies have evolved into something more than just vanity shots. Taking selfies at places with a history of human suffering has reached a new level of insensitivity, a fact often overlooked by the people involved.

Additionally, the methods for capturing bathroom selfies have diversified. While smartphones are the usual go-to devices, you’d be surprised to see the variety of gadgets teens are using these days. And it’s not just humans who are getting in on the selfie action anymore.

Selfies with MacBook
Image: twimg
Selfies with iMac
Image: imgur
Selfies with TV
Image: twicsy
Dog Selfies
Image: yummypets
Cat Selfies
Image: dakotaeast

If you’re curious to explore more, you can search for ‘Sleeping Selfies’ and ‘Selfie Fail’ online.

Lastly, to demonstrate that some people have truly mastered the art of selfies, let’s take a look at astronaut Aki Hoshide.

Astronaut Selfies
Image: NASA

Simply epic!

Final Thoughts

In summary, our misuse of technology serves as a unifying factor, highlighting our shared human tendencies. Whether we stand on the opposite sides in debates over hardware and software preferences, one thing remains constant: we all have our moments of imprudence with technology.