Happy 2020! Year of Rat and the first year of the potentially Roaring 20s. So, while we say goodbye to the decade that saw the rise of Bitcoin, the bot, and invasive malware of all stripes, let’s resolve to spend the 2020s making tech work for us, not against us!
In 2020 I resolve to:
Invest in wearable technology.
The last decade saw the rise of the Apple Watch and FitBit (and its clones) for tracking steps, playing music, and staying connected to messages, but wearable tech is exploding in ways we never imagined. Think of the Muse, a headband that senses your body’s stress level and plays calming music and even meditation to ground and focus you. Wearable cameras allow you to capture important milestones like completing a marathon or attending a once-in-a-lifetime event. Devices like bracelets and t-shirts monitor heart rates and other body functions and geolocators allow you to track where your kids are to make sure they are safe at all times.
Be more responsible with my data.
It seems like everywhere you go, the computers are listening. You search for a leather armchair ONE time and now your Facebook wall, your IG page, and every news site you visit just happens to offer a leather armchair for sale. With all the technologies tied together, this type of “invasion” is inevitable, but you can cut down on who has access to your preferences and data with a few simple tricks:
- Don’t provide your email address to access content. If you do, you’ll get emails forever that you might not want.
- Never enter credit card or other personal information on a site without an “https” secure address.
- Don’t respond to survey questions unless you don’t mind being contacted further or having your responses drive sales and marketing efforts aimed at you.
Be more responsible with my passwords.
No one loves to keep up with multiple passwords or have passwords that are impossible to remember, but the security of your identity and data absolutely depends on you maintaining solid passwords. Change them often and make sure they include the following:
- A mix of lower and uppercase letters
- No keywords or phrases that are easy to guess
- At least 16 characters
Use social media for ME, not the advertisers or the bots. Get back to what social media was intended: staying in touch with friends and family far from home and reconnecting with lost loves and friends we lost contact with. Don’t let Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram get under your skin. Don’t let it force you to buy something you otherwise wouldn’t, compare yourself to the “perfect” others seem to project, or get sucked into unwinnable political debates. Don’t believe the hype. Read content critically, research and fact check before forwarding content that could be click-bait, propaganda, or robot-generated fiction. Remember that social media is just a tool for communication, but it’s not real life.
Let 2020 be the year of responsible internet use, smart use of smartphones, and communicating responsibly and honestly. Be safe out there!