Are You Using Your Smartphone Unethically?

Clinical Practice Ethics in the Digital Counseling World

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

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Confessions of a tech resistant therapist: I’m old school. If I could live with the Crawley’s and be awed by a machine that played music without a real band, I would. (If you don’t know the Crawley’s, then Google “Downton Abbey.”) I like talking to people face to face. I used to scoff at people who pay tons of money for “cell phones.” All I needed for emergencies was a pager. (Google “pager” if you don’t know what that vintage piece of technology is.) More expensive toys doesn’t equate to more professionalism. I was fine all by my old school self. If you’re more old school than I am, that’s ok too. (Ask someone what it means to “Google” something.)

My mentality changed when I finally, through the bitterness of failed resistance, tasted the forbidden fruit called the iPhone.

Do you know its nectar? Are you addicted to its voice? Do you ever go to sleep with your phone in your hand and wake up panicked that you can’t find it in the covers? Or even worse, do you worry that your daughter might have taken your phone to school by mistake, and since your passwords are the same (her birthday) she might be playing your client’s voicemail for everyone on the bus? (Because that voicemail would make great bus conversation for middle school kids!)

Don’t worry. You already know all there is to know about smart and ethical smartphone usage. Right? Let’s find out.

You might be using your smartphone unethically if…

  • You only have a 4 digit numeric passcode on your smartphone
  • Your smartphone OS is not updated right now
  • Siri (or similar function) is allowed on your lock screen
  • The Data Protection function is not enabled on your smartphone
  • You don’t actually know what a passcode, OS, Siri, or Data Protection is.

Scared? You don’t have to be. These issues (and other similar issues) are manageable. They can be addressed, and your smart phone can actually help you be a smarter counselor. Don’t have a smartphone? Right…

Come to JBU's 2016 Family Therapy Conference to learn more from Dr. Barry Wingfield. You will earn CEU's for attending the conference, and two hours are approved for ethics!

Blog HomePosted By: Barry Wingfield, PhD - 3/16/16 6:00 AM

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