Our phones are getting smarter and smarter. But are we using them smartly enough? I don’t think so.
I know that the high-end phones have so many features that they can get overwhelming sometimes. In fact, our phones have now become so smart that most of us can never use our phone’s full capabilities. That is okay. But for a gadget-lover like me, it’s painful when I see a flagship smartphone being used as nothing but a feature phone. And it’s quite irritating when people let their smartphone addiction become a headache for others, or a danger for themselves.
There are several dumb habits of smartphone users that I wonder at. Here are five of them:
Not Backing up contacts and photos:
I have seen people posting on Facebook that they have lost their smartphone, and hence, all their contacts. Honestly, you are not a very smart smartphone user if you lose your contacts and photos when you lose your smartphone. Whether Android or iOS, every smartphone allows you to backup your data. And you need to do it only once! Just use the Import/Export facility in your phone’s contact app and export all your contacts to Gmail. After that, save all your new contacts only on the Google account. If you do this, your contacts will remain safe even if your phone gets lost or damaged. And when you change your phone, all your contacts will get transferred as soon as you add your Gmail account to the phone.
As for photos, apps like Google Photos give you the ability to backup all your photos. For free. So set them up and relax. Every photo you take will get backed up automatically and will remain safe with Google.
If you worry about privacy, then apps like TrueCaller are more a privacy risk than Google Contacts. Google already knows everything about us anyway.
Not caring about security:
Once it was said that smartphones don’t get viruses. It’s no longer true. As the smartphone use increases, the smartphone abuse by cyber criminals is increasing too. So, smartphone users need to be careful.
Don’t install pirated apps. Go to the security setting of your phone and uncheck the setting that allows installation of apps from unknown sources.
While in the Security settings, activate Google as Device Administrator. Once this is done, you can remotely control it by going to google.com/android/find. Or just google with the words Find my phone. You can lock, wipe or ring the device remotely, provided it is online and connected to a Google account.
When you install an app from Google Play, check the number of its installs, its developer’s website and the permission it requires. Don’t download pirated content on your phone.
If you don’t install third-party apps, you don’t absolutely need an antivirus app on your phone. But they are not a bad idea either. Some antivirus apps also give very good anti-theft feature. Also, the security features on the phone like Password, pattern, fingerprint unlock are not just for privacy. In case of theft, they can prove helpful in keeping your data safe too, at least from petty thieves. Just don’t use dumb passwords like 1111, 1234.
Going blind or rude while taking selfies:
When the phone acquired the camera, it turned everyone into a photographer. The statistics shown above makes it clear. Most of all, the self photography craze broke all limits. I have nothing against selfie lovers. They are quite entertaining actually, if you get to watch them while they are busy pouting and posing.
But taking Extreme Selfies or going blind while taking selfies is not just dumb, it’s dangerous too.
And its downright disgusting when smartphone users let their selfie love infringe on other people’s space and comfort. Asking people to move because you need to take a selfie, obstructing other people’s path, making your companions wait because you are not getting that perfect selfie…well, the list is long. But I hope you don’t indulge in any of this rudeness, because you are a smart smartphone user.
Using the smartphone in dark:
I know smartphones are addictive. But long usage of them in dark is very harmful for your eyes. It can lead to pre-mature cataract, dry eyes, and other serious eye ailments, including cancer. Eyes are precious. Don’t put them with unnecessary risk by staring at smartphones for long duration in dark. If your phone has bluelight filter, use it. And just like computer use, remember to take regular breaks from staring at the screen. Doctors recommend looking away for 20 seconds after every 20 minutes. There are eye care apps available that can add bluelight filter and break reminders to your phone. You can try them.
Mind your manners:
We often get so lost in our smartphones that we forget our manners. Not a very smart thing to do, is it? When you are with friends or family, remaining busy with your phone is bad manners. Watching videos on loudspeaker at a public place is bad manners. You may enjoy the video, but it means unwelcome noise for others. Not putting your phone at silent in places like theaters and hospitals is bad manners. Staring at the phone while walking outside is dangerous. It is also bad manners as it may cause you to obstruct the path of others. We have already discussed the bad manners selfie love can lead to. Observe your smartphone usage and try to restrict any smartphone habit that might irritate others.
A smartphone is an amazing device if you use it well. But careless habits of smartphone usage can lead to much harm. So, be careful. Be a smart smartphone user.
Is there any smartphone users’ habit that irritates you? You are welcome to talk about it in the comments.