April 2016

Internet, where would we be without you?

“Dinner is ready, are you coming?” The family sits at the table but they do not focus on dinner because most of them are concentrated in their phones. This disturbs the mother. Ten minutes later, she is angry. “Put your phones away and talk to each other!” Many of you should recognize this situation. Does the mobile phone change our way of living?

By: Melanie Hazenberg
Projects Abroad Volunteer
Hilversum – The Netherlands

Connected with our devices, but disconnected with the people around us?’


‘We have lost our privacy’
Photo by: SkyLuke8

Bolivia has a strong economic growth, but some areas are poor and neglected. Other areas of the city are developed. The citizens in these areas have the opportunity to buy and use a mobile phone. Bolivian people use WhatsApp and Facebook to communicate with their friends. Almost everyone in Bolivia is using this social media channel.

Through social media you cannot see people in cafes, offices, and bars who do not stare at a screen. But what is the actual reason for using so many devices? Are we hiding our faces from the real world? And are we only connected to our devices and disconnected with the people around us?

Small groups of friends

When you communicate, you do multiple things at the same time. Send a text to a friend, check your social media profile, and talk with the people next to you. According to Buddle, a global independent telecommunications research company, new communication tools can create more environments and small groups of friends.

Meeting new people

The way of meeting new people is also changing. It is normal to use your phone to find out if anyone would like to go out with you. The application Tinder is popular among the youth, according to researcher Jean Pierre Dalbera. You will get the opportunity to make new friends, talk, and drink some coffee near your house. Even at high school, teenagers make friends through social media. A conversation goes something like this: “Hi, I saw you at school. Do you want to be my friend?” Then you might respond, “All right. Why not?” The next day you are friends on every social media channel.

Safety and criminality

Most Bolivians feel safe when they have their mobile phone with them. The most important reason is that they can always call the police or other people in case of need, according to Frankwatching, a website specializing in marketing.

Family reasons

The mobile phone also contributes to family relationships. Elderly people have a mobile phone because they want to have more contact with their grandchildren. They see the phone as the only option to communicate with the younger generation. The elderly also have a mobile phone to contact someone in case of emergency.

Always be careful

You always have to be careful with what you are doing through social media. Maybe there is someone with a camera who is making pictures of you right now. There are many stories of people who lost their jobs and even their relationships because of something on social media, something that appeared totally innocent at that time. The main change resulting of this is that we have lost our privacy. Even people who are not in your own friends list can see everything about you. So, always be alert and aware!

You see that the impact of the social media century is huge, and it is still growing. If you see the changes above, it is not only the youth who cannot live without their mobile phones. Entire families need to stay in touch; if they are not, they worry wondering if everything is all right. So now you understand why most Bolivians have a mobile phone despite persistent poverty. The connected generation is growing and the world is getting more and more connected. Are you following every innovation? Then you are a real connecter, but you have seen nothing yet!

It is normal to use your phone to meet new people’


Woman calling
Photo: ReSurge

Sources http://mashable.com/2015/03/28/internet-communication-brandspeak/#xjzZJ08b4mq7
http://www.marketresearchreports.biz/category/95 - Market Research
http://mashable.com/2010/02/08/communication-social-media/#xjzZJ08b4mq7