Smart phones have made it so much easier for people to keep in touch these days, allowing us to keep to date with what is going on in each other’s lives at the click of just a few buttons. But for some people they make face to face interactions all the more difficult as people can’t tear themselves away from their screens.
One woman, who is sick of her anti-social family being glued to their mobiles, wrote to The Denver Post’s Ask Amy agont aunt section, asking for advice on how to deal with her tech-obsessed family, including her 77-year-old mother in law, who is among the worst cuplrits.
Revealing she feels like her “privacy is being invaded” as her photo and details of her life are constantly being shared online, as family members constantly update their social media profiles, she admitted to “dreading” having to interact with her relatives.
“I come from a large family, and we get together often,” she wrote. “Lately I’ve come to dread our interactions.
There are always some individuals who never put down their phones. They take pictures and videos from the minute the interaction starts until it finishes.”
The disgruntled woman went on to say that she is sick of having her daily life documented online for all the world to see, as family and friends constantly upload photos of her or tag her in posts, revealing her location, without her consent.
She added: “My life isn’t an open book and I would prefer people not knowing my every move. I feel like it is an invasion of my privacy to have my picture all over Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
“I attended a birthday party for an uncle of mine. A week later I ran into an old friend who told me she had seen video of me dancing with my uncle. I was so taken aback because another friend had videotaped me without my knowledge and sent it to this friend.
She ended the letter by asking: “I feel like all this social media is actually making people less social, and it makes me sad. Do people (like me) who don’t want every move to be public, have any rights?”
Agony aunt Amy Dickinson told the frustrated writer that while, yes, she does have a right to privacy, she would be wise not to expect it to be respected.
She replied: “Yes, you have a right to privacy. No, you will not receive it, certainly not while Granny’s got a Facebook account. And if you are in a public place or at a public event.
“You should stick up for yourself and for your right not to be photographed without your consent. You should state, out loud, that your life is most definitely not an open book.
“You may be branded a party pooper, but I know many people who would gladly sit at your table — where there is at least a shot at having a privately enjoyed conversation.”
Earlier this week, Education Minister Dan Tehan revealed he was considering introducing a ban on school students having mobile phones with them in the classroom. Tehan told the Daily Telegraph he’s willing to back teachers on the matter to ensure students are focused on learning.
“There is no doubt that phones can be distracting,” he told the newspaper. “What we need is for teachers to understand whether mobile phones are preventing people from learning or not and if it is the idea that they all be put in a basket at the start of class and picked up at the end of class.
“If that’s what teachers think will lead to better outcomes, then I’d be happy to back teachers on that.”