The price of privacy: giving up your phone

A few hours without a mobile can't hurt – and it will protect the privacy of others on women's only beaches.

Privacy comes at a cost. In the case of Abu Dhabi’s new ­ladies-only beach, the price might be spending a few hours without a mobile phone. The newly opened section of Al Bateen beach has been welcomed by women who want to enjoy some privacy in a men-free environment. However, a few women told The National that they did not feel comfortable without their smartphones, which were taken from them at the gate by security guards.

People’s attachment to their phones is understandable in an age where much of our interpersonal interaction is carried out through chatting apps and social media platforms. Amid all this, perhaps we have forgotten that it can be a good thing to take a break from electronic devices; to just relax and enjoy the outdoors.

Smartphones themselves don’t cause harm, but the increasingly ­sophisticated cameras on these devices could do.

Banning phones outright might offend those beachgoers who have no intention to take pictures of others. But even well-intentioned photographers can accidentally include strangers in their pictures, and these could cause embarrassment if they found their way online. In a conservative society, it is often best to err on the side of caution.

Published: June 14, 2014 04:00 AM