Posts Tagged ‘smartphones’

There is always controversy about who is the world power. Ethnocentrically, the United States believes we run the universe. China is certainly a contender. Spoiler alert- we’re all wrong.

Facebook has officially taken over everything. In my social media class, we have uncovered the scary ways in which social media has control over our privacy and information regardless of how much we think we protect it.

Spoiler alert- Facebook likely knows more about you than you do. Here is how:

  • Location location location- Facebook knows where you are based on where you are using your smartphone or the IP address of where you are logged in. If you don’t log out, Facebook still collects all of your information.
  • Face recognition- even if you untag or delete photos, Facebook has face recognition. Your name will always be attached with images in an album where you appear whether it is once or 50 times.
Facebook Face Recognition

Facebook could identify my face when looking through an album that hadn’t been tagged


  • What are you searching? Facebook keeps track of that and uses the information to tailor advertisements to you. 
  • Facebook makes changes to their terms and conditions all the time but they rarely let users know. Your privacy settings might be reset without you knowing it.

With Facebook being so present, they continue to extend their control over its users which has reached the billions. The latest was this week’s announcement of the Facebook’s new home screen for Android phones. Users can chat and get updates automatically to the home screen of their smartphones.

And what does Facebook get? Access to everything. With no concept of logging in or out of the Facebook application, users’ information will be constantly recorded.

While new technology gives us the potential to do so many things that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, we must stay smart. Being aware of the motives behind the world powers like Facebook and Google will help to stay protected and maintain privacy.

What measures do you take to secure your privacy? Let me know in the comments below.



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Have you ever been at a social event where everyone seemed to be on their phones? It’s a tad ironic. The more social we try to be online, the less social we end up being in person.


Image courtesy of lolriot.com

Is there a wrong or right way to stay connected with everyone? Are there rules? Who makes them?

Unfortunately, manners are not as hard and fast as we’d like them to be. This is especially true for social media and phone use because of how new it is. There is nothing new about saying please and thank you. But having your phone out at the dinner table wasn’t possible until relatively recently.

Today’s rules seem to be very situational and context-based. For example, lunch with my grandma? Not a phone in sight unless you want to hear about it for the remainder of the meal (no text is worth that).

At a recent PR event, it was almost a violation of social norms if someone didn’t have their phone out. Communication professionals do their job by staying connected and consistent with online interaction and engagement. Clearly, it’s a hard line to walk.

Here are some tips to stay polite and professional.

  • Consider your company. If you are among peers who frequent phone use too, go for it. If there is a mutual understanding that being on your phone is okay in the given moment is acceptable, let those cues guide your choice.
  • Location, location, location. Are you in a religious setting? A professional networking event? A funeral? Put the phone away. If you are in a place where you’d like to maintain a level of respectfulness, play it on the safe side. You can never offend someone by keeping your phone in your pocket.
  • Give fair warning. Phones seem to be the lifeline of society; almost a security blanket for the “just in case” moment. If there is a time when you expect you’ll need to use your phone in a place that isn’t appropriate, let your company know that you might be interrupted by an important call.
  • Don’t be a wimp. If you are in a situation where someone is on their phone and you would rather they not be, say something. Help make the rule book about what is socially allowed by having conversations. Set boundaries and establish guidelines to avoid confusion.
  • Be in the moment. Keep in mind that you are where you are. Take advantage of the people around you. What might you be missing if you’re too busy retweeting a Kardashian?
  • Phones down in the car. Texting and driving has been proven to be just as, if not more, dangerous than drinking and driving. Nothing to do with manners, just overall safety.  Be smart.

Social media, texting and staying connected is current and normal. We have so many capabilities and so much accessible to us and it’s important we take advantage of that.

Just like everything else, there is a time and a place. Use your best judgement and when in doubt, err on the side of phone-less.

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The more entrenched I become in this social media based world, the more I realize just how much more instant smartphones make our world. I have yet to join the rest of the universe; my phone is quite dumb.

Courtesy of Amazon.com

I manage to keep up with things as best as I can but slowly, I am breaking down my ability to resist the data packaged goods that encompass a smartphone. It is a shame that the world makes it something of a requirement to have what some might call a luxury item, just to be a productive member of society.

Much like the persuasive essay I wrote in third grade to insist that a puppy would help me advance in life, I have quite the list of reasons why smartphones make the world a more social place.

1. They are fun. The number of games that exist is increasing as you read this. These games turn into entire fads that overtake the universe. Angry birds. Temple Run. I don’t even have a smartphone. That is how mainstream these games have the potential to be.

2. Saving money. Companies love to promote with social media. Become a fan in the store and get half price. Download our app and get a free cookie. Tweet at us right this second and win $1,000,000,000. It never ends. Scan the Groupon, check in on foursquare, the list goes on. Is it possible to save enough money to make a data plan worth it?

3. Directions. There is no excuse for any person to not get where they want to go. GPS is magical. If only my parents knew how to use it…

4. It’s instant gratification. What do you want to know? You can figure it out. And if you can’t? There’s an app for that. Balance your checkbook. Find your one true love. Recipes. Need a flashlight? Perhaps a protractor? Literally anything. 

Courtesy of  www.1mobile.com

As useful as this innovative technology has proven to be, I manage to do just fine with my trusty little GoPhone.

Until that moment of truth when I join the rest of the world, I will continue to be asked- “Wait, why are you carrying that around? Where is your phone?”. My personal favorite comment was from the girl next to me in class- “That’s your phone? Oh, I’m sorry”

We live in a dumb world filled with smartphones. But as proven by my father, a smartphone is only as smart as its user.

Are you a smart smartphone user? What is your most useful app? Post in the comments below!

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