Developing good cellphone habits

2019-06-12 06:02

IN the age of smart phones and other cellular devices, it is apparent that, despite their obvious usefulness, various problems can arise in regard to the youths’ dependence on their cellular devices.

ETIQUETTE

Instilling good manners in children (and practising them ourselves) is a vital part of life and, in the digital age, teaching children how to behave online has become just as important as teaching them how to behave in public.

“Our mobile devices allow us so many avenues to communicate with each other. But the manner in which we do so can vary from platform to platform,” says Michelle Beetar, Cell C’s Chief Customer Experience Officer. “It is important to instil in our children and ourselves basic politeness and etiquette, however we choose to communicate. Good conduct should not get put on hold when using a phone, tablet or computer.”

For parents who feel their children need a little guidance, the following tips may be useful:

Out of sight, out of mind : There are certain times when putting your phone on silent is preferable — such as any formal gathering (weddings, funerals, social engagements).

Public noise alert: Children may love playing audio on a game or video in public, but not everyone around them may agree. It is a good idea to make headphones compulsory when in public.

Monitor screen time: Develop a habit of monitoring screen time, which can be done via a range of apps. This is a good way to help children (and adults) develop a healthier balance between time spent interacting with their phones and real-life interaction with family and friends.

Think before you type: In the same way children are taught to “not say that to other people”or “don’t be rude”, the same applies with what is typed. Whether it’s in a text message or on social media — what is typed on a phone is literally the same as saying it to someone in person or shouting it out in public. It’s crucial to make youngsters aware of this, because there is no longer a distinction between online and real-life behaviour.

Make sure your cellphone is protected: It is imperative that children understand the importance of protecting themselves online. Making sure your phone is password protected and installing a trusted malware app will help make sure nobody else can access their social media accounts or other personal information via their phone.

Teaching children about online and cellphone safety is part of being a parent in a digital age.

Don’t text and drive: The best way to ensure that children will never think it’s ok to just “send one text” while driving is to simply never do it as a parent — and to make sure they are aware of just how high the risks are.

BE WARY OF BECOMING A VICTIM OF THEFT

According to a SAPS Communications Officer Captain Linzi Smith: “Scholars, boarding schools and college students are particularly vulnerable to theft of portable possessions. Because they live in close quarters in dormitories, they are more at risk of becoming a victim.”

Here are some tips for pupils and students to help minimise their chances of becoming a victim:

- Don’t leave items unattended

- Make sure to create strong passwords for your accounts and lock your smartphone

- Make sure you child has registered their portable possessions with the school’s IT department

CELLPHONES AT SCHOOL

Speaking to the Fever, a KZN high school consulted their full-time Behaviour Management Officer (Mr Panday) and a full-time Technology Integrator (Mr Atwell), to provide some insight on the school’s policy on cellphones at school.

“Cellphones/mobile devices have become ubiquitous in our society and learning to use them responsibly is part of the ethos at Hillcrest High School (HHS), covered specifically during Digital Literacy lessons in Grade 8 and Grade 9,” said the school.

HHS is an e-learning school and has a strict mobile device policy. The school also encourages parents to monitor the time their child spends on their devices and what they are spending their time using these devices for. As HHS is a Microsoft showcase school, if parents have a Microsoft account, they can connect the entire family and enable child account restrictions via the Microsoft website.

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