Life without electronic devices

Is a life without electronic devices still conceivable?

by Kilian and Lars

It sounds like the deepest Middle Ages. But it is true! There was also a life without electronic devices. Nowadays everyone owns a smartphone or other electronic device, but how was life without these inventions?

On the one hand the communication was completely different, people had to either write letters and send them by mail or walk to the phone booth to talk to friends. If you were lucky, the family had a home phone. However, this was not as we know it today by radio, but it was connected with a cable and you had to stay within range.

Another thing that has changed is the leisure activities. In the past, children used to go out to play football on the street or to play catch. Others met in the park and explored nature for adventures

Love has also changed. Nowadays you write to each other by WhatsApp or you end it on the phone. People used to write real love letters that came from the heart or they met in person, but people dreamt about things like writing girls on Instagram.

People have lost creativity, they just hang out at home. They no longer meet up with friends, but arrange to play Fortnite on Playstation. No one goes to the nearby football field in town to play football. Nobody plays in the garden or climbs into their tree house anymore. More and more people lose interactive communication with each other, while they don’t even notice it.

These points are showing, that electronic devices changed our lives not positive. But there are also many features, that make our daily life easier. Google Maps replaced the classic maps. In a few seconds, the app can tell you, where to go.  Taking a foto is these days much faster and easier. Old schools had to always have a camera with them.

 We asked 3 teenagers, where the mobile become an important part of their lives. They said, that they are spending two to three hours daily on their phones. You have to ask yourself: “what would I do, if I haven’t got a mobile” Not only the mobile is a “timekiller”. Every boy we asked, said that he played or is playing video games. Also one to three hours daily. On the weekend sometimes more , than five hours. The difference from today’s games to video games 20 years ago is, that they have no end. It is impossible to finish the game.

For me, the biggest problem is, that we, the teenagers, lost our creativity. I was at a party a few weeks ago and seven guys at the same age sit down and all looked on their phones. I asked myself: “What would my dad have done , when he was in my age ?” They would dance, talk about girls, maybe smoke something, but they would never sit down and do nothing. Just wachting on their phones. If you think, that you aren‘t  concerned, just try it! Let your mobile at home for a hole day. Many of our teenagers, we asked, told us, that they feel empty or lost, when they aren‘t available anymore. When you have this fear, just try to don‘t look that often on your phone. The medienpsychologe Thorsten Fehr talks from a “digital drug“. He says, that it is very important to controll the mobile time of their childrens. He underlines, that kids in a young age skip an important development of becoming an adult.

To solve the problem, we found a website, which helps to find a good balance between using your phone and not get addicted. Also for parents, there are important tipps, how to behave.

The goal should be, that every electronic device is only a feature for solving a problem in everyday life. Communications should be more personal and more directly.   Parents have the task to control the mobile time of their children, because we think that spending time at your mobile or computer, is wasted time.

Privacy vs. Security

They know you.

by Vincent and Nick

The internet has your data. Everything you do in the internet leaves a trail of information behind. Who can access your data? And who should?

What is more important: Privacy or Security? There is a great conflict between the two. In our survey security was valued as more important. Most people would instinctively choose this option. However this conflict is more complex than one may think.

Privacy is about you keeping your personal information secret as long as you don’t want it to be public. This includes your thoughts and feelings as well as your memories and experiences. Of course you wouldn’t want everyone to know who you broke up with last summer. Or where you live, what you eat, when you were born, etc. Privacy gives you a feeling of safety and comfort.

But isn’t security supposed to make you feel safe?

Security ensures the protection of oneself in reality and in cyberspace. It is the only barrier that separates our society from turning into anarchy. The law protects your rights from being taken away by force. Your freedom won’t be limited by others freedom. Security allows you to live in safety and freedom.

So, shouldn’t they agree with each other?

While the concept of privacy focuses on holding information back, security is in need of this information. Knowledge about a threat is needed to deal with it. Privacy gets in the way of security. The internet has spread around the globe and is in need of new security measures. You can’t catch a thief that doesn’t need to enter your home to steal and sell your data with a policeman. If you want the government to deal with it, you need to give away your data. You give away your data to keep it from getting taken. The more the government knows about its citizens the more it can deal with the evil. This can include checking every communication to find terrorists hidden amongst the innocent. But about 99% of the people it checks will be innocent. The government will have breached your privacy – an innocent citizen’s privacy.

So, should we neglect security to focus on privacy?

To achieve absolute privacy the opposing force – security – will have to be removed completely. This would imply your every action to be unchecked by the government. Thus, there would be no control over the country’s citizens and the criminals. The result being anarchy.

But having no privacy to ensure security would be no solution either. If this were to be executed, we would live in circumstances similar to the dystopian novel “1984” by George Orwell. We wouldn’t be happy living in a society where freedom isn’t granted.

In our survey concerning the idea of CCTV in public spaces about 86% of all participants agreed to this idea. It would grant the government higher levels of security while maintaining a certain amount of privacy. The innocent citizens walking the street would have nothing to worry about while wanted criminals could easily be spotted. This way the internet can be used to aid law enforcement and transfer data throughout the country.

This example shows the need of a proper balance between the two concepts of society to ensure the well being of citizens as well as their happiness.

We agree to the idea of a higher level of security but we have to make sure to limit the restrain of our privacy. The internet is a place of interaction with large amounts of data and this balance is needed to make sure everyone can safely use it without unwanted theft of one’s data.