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The Digital Minute


May 10, 2022

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and I’m looking at some ways I think technology can improve our lives - rather than stressing us out.

 

Smartphones are incredibly useful tools - for example - most of the time, they know almost exactly where you are.

 

And this has led to a surge in popularity for a fairly new sport, called GeoCaching.

 

Get some friends or family together, download the official GeoCaching app which is free, with a premium paid for upgrade - and it’ll take you on a trail - a bit like orienteering - to find hidden items or ‘caches’ all over the country.

 

It can be a lot of fun and is a great way to explore parts of your neighbourhood you might not have known about.

 

As with any outdoor activity make sure you tell someone where you’re going and equip yourself for the terrain and bad weather. Geocaches can be hidden in all sorts of places, expect to go cross country, up hills and sometimes even up trees.

 

As brilliant as our smartphones are, they can’t track your location if it doesn’t have a network connection so keep that in mind.

 

On the subject of location, Google offers a Location Sharing service.

 

When this is activated, you can choose to share your exact location with people you choose. When they look at Google Maps, they’ll see where you are - or at least, where your phone is.

 

You might find you’re closer to your friends than you realise and could then message and arrange a spontaneous meeting.

 

The theme of this Mental Health Awareness Week is loneliness, and used correctly, smartphones can play a role in bringing us closer together.