The dangers of devices, be it smartphones or tablets, have become ubiquitous with the rapid uptake of technology in the 21st century. Although such devices do serve beneficial purposes, being able to use them without falling victim to vices can be a challenge.
The easy use of smartphones can make it incredibly easy to access a range of destructive tools and other dangers of devices. While such dangers do not necessarily imply obscene content, it could also include immoral or unethical behaviour.
That is why youth aged 13 to 19 were invited to a workshop with the theme ‘Harmful Vices on Your Device and Its Impact on Our Youth’. The event was hosted in the Johannesburg suburb of Norwood by the Education Evolution Academy in conjunction with Tranquillo Mind Coaching.
Open to youth from all backgrounds, the workshop on the dangers of devices featured Ml. Iqbal Adam, Qari Ziyaad Patel and Ml. Muhammed Kola. The focus was on “shifting the paradigm”.
Speaking ahead of the event, Patel said the workshop was necessitated by the fact that smartphones have become a part of everyones’ lives. He argued it was more effective to use them with sufficient knowledge of the dangers of devices than to pushback altogether.
“These are things that are going to stay with us forever. It’s not going to go away – let’s be honest about it. You can do what you want to do, you can try as hard as you want as a parent, to try and keep the devices away from your children [but] eventually you’re not going to win,” he said, adding, “it’s part and parcel of everyday life.”
Benefits vs harms
Patel acknowledged that smartphones were double-edged swords. He said the workshop was all about shedding light on the dangers of devices and ensuring that they were used correctly instead.
“It seems as if maybe every human being on the globe is connected to technology in some way or another. It does come with a lot of good, but anything which is not managed and regulated correctly can become harmful,” he said.
Although Gen Z is widely regarded as being extremely tech savvy, it still remained to teach them to be “tech savvy from a moral point of view,” he said.
“They need to understand what to keep away from, what to be careful [of], and we need to empower them to become smart with regards to who do you trust online, which sites to stay away from, how do we stay away from these temptations,” he said.
Patel also emphasised the need to highlight other dangers of devices. These included falling prey to catfishers and cyberbullying. He said just as there were important workshops on marriage, the workshop on the dangers of devices was a big first step in empowering youth.