NIU: Don’t want to get stalked? Keep your cell phone at home and avoid needless add-ons

By U-Wire

With the overwhelming array of options coming out for cell phones with today, a cell phone is no longer just used to talk to friends. People use their cell phones to listen to music, take videos or pictures and even to get on the Web. Since cell phones are improving as each day goes by, it’s no surprise options are becoming more useless and a waste of money.

Before our time, cell phones were strictly for emergencies, but now they seem to be a necessity. Cell phone companies look forward to new options that the younger generation just can’t live without. Some of the more recent options cross the fine line between convenience and laziness.

Helio brand cell phones are introducing Buddy Beacon, which can track up to 25 friends anywhere in the world with global positioning system (GPS) satellites. For about $100 and the hopes that most of your friends will get the device too, you will be able to track your friends 24 hours a day, just as long as they allow it.

Although cell phones can serve as tracking devices as long as your friends answer them, cell phone companies still think this new option is a way to make more money. Sure enough, more cell phone companies have already chosen to sell tracking devices on cell phones, and there will probably be more to come.

Boost Mobile came out with the same idea of installing GPS devices on cell phones. The old slogan, once “Where you at?” has changed to “I know where you’re at,” according to commercials.

Despite the fact that people can answer the question “Where are you?” on their cell phones as fast as a satellite can find them, people are still spending the additional $100, thinking GPS on cell phones is convenient.

Tracking devices are only useful for people who have mindless children, and for others who often get lost. Besides that, what kind of person wants people, even their friends, to know where they are every minute of the day? It’s completely unnecessary.

Privacy is an issue people often complain about, yet they frequently give it away.

Privacy should be taken advantage of in the world today, when people hardly ever get a moment to themselves. The possibility of a friend popping out of nowhere, everywhere you go 24 hours a day isn’t something people should want to pay for. If tracking devices become popular, the only real way to escape people may be to throw out your phone.

Besides being able to play James Bond or the bad-guy stalker, tracking devices on cell phones are clearly a waste of money. If someone really needs to know where their friends are, they should just pick up a phone and give them a call, instead of using a satellite to track their every move.

Liz Soever

Northern Star