We’ve already established that what happens in social media and our devices is not all fun and games. Big things and life-changing things may happen.
What do we need to understand about the privacy and personal use of a device such a as a phone or tablet? Check out these 3 important points:
My device my settings
Devices, and apps are customized all the time. We set up everything from the photo in our desktop or profile, to the notifications, volume, brightness, and information management overall. When someone else has access to our phone, they do not even notice how that influences our experience. If they move, click, or use something different from what we use, our “user” experience is changed. Smart phones do notice our every behavior and generate patterns and digital records that affect our user experience. So next time dad gets an invite to follow a “Strong woman” Facebook page, it will make sense if he remembers mom, and his teen used his phone to “check something really quick”
It’s like your Personal Assistant/PO box
Your device holds within it most of your life. Anywhere from information regarding your every day activities, to your every communication with everyone in your life. It is not just about cheating, trust, and relationships. It is also about one-on-one work trust-based information and dialogue. It is also about family or even health issues. And if you’re the creative type, it will most likely also hold that draft for an article/song/book etcétera. You don’t want anyone just browsing through it.
The final element is simply that whatever you “find” in someone else’s personal device, was not meant to be shared or known by you. We want devices to give us the information that we are unable or unwilling to find out from the source. We want devices to tell us the stories that they won’t tell. Well, chances are if you are interested enough to look for information there, you should be interested enough to engage with the person in real life. Get out of the device, and get into real-talk. Many elements may enable or facilitate for people to cheat, lie, hurt, or expose each other leading to all sorts of behaviors.
If you want to learn more, I truly recommend checking the deep insight shed on this by Katherine M. Hertlein and Armeda Stevenson in the Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace in their article
Bottom line… Personal devices are personal. You can’t get more intimate than to see the insides of a person’s phone, tablet, or computer. Keep them that way, be respectful, and respect privacy. And if you’re not ready to trust the device user, then you have more stuff to deal with. If the user is your kid… then they might not be ready to have that privacy level. I also hope this article allowed you to understand the risks of leaving your child unattended with your device. They have access to EVERYTHING you have access to. And if the user is your significant other, then you might not have the trust that you need to be in a relationship with them.