Editorial. The impact of smart technology on users and society

Publication Date14 Nov 2016
AuthorTomayess Issa,Pedro Isaías,Piet Kommers
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Information management & governance,Information & communications technology
The impact of smart technology on users and society
In the twenty-rst century, smart technologies are introduced to various stakeholders in
society, namely, users, businesses and education to improve performance, productivity
and to increase satisfaction. Smart technology has changed stakeholders understanding
and perspective towards performing business, collaboration cooperation,
communication and connection. Stakeholders are using smart technology for
information access, education, entertainment, marketing, political, online shopping and
health information. Adopting these smart technologies in such sectors poses a huge
challenge in training and implementation. Nonetheless, using such technologies will
improve several areas performance and productivity, reduce costs, improve
sustainability, increase users’ satisfaction, retention and loyalty in the long run.
However, new threats will be introduced, for example, security, privacy, legal conicts
and risky reputation if it is used inappropriately. This special issue aims to investigate
and assess some of the effects and inuences of smart technologies on users and society
in general.
This special issue of Journal of Information, Communication & Ethics in Society
entitled The Impact of Smart Technology on Users and Society comprises ve papers
that provide cutting-edge information and knowledge insights of technology, privacy,
security and reputation issues. The guest editors selected these papers from the Internet
Technologies and Society 2015 Conference (ITS 2015) and International Conference on
Educational Technologies 2015 (ICEduTech 2015), which were both held in Brazil and
an open call. The conference papers have been extended signicantly and all papers
have been peer-reviewed further to achieve a nal high publication standard.
The rst paper is entitled “Cyberbullying a desecration of information ethics:
perceptions of post high school youth in a rural community” by Lancelord Siphamandla
Ncube and Luyanda Dube. This paper discusses Cyberbullying, which is bullying that
takes place using electronic technology devices such as cell phones, instant messaging,
e-mail, chat rooms or social networking sites such as Facebook and twitter.
Cyberbullying occurs when a minor is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated,
embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child. Given that cyberbullying entails
defamation or spreading false information or portfolios about someone, it is regarded as
a violation of the ethical code of information use. The purpose of the study was to
explore the perceptions, experiences and challenges of post-high school youth with
regard to cyberbullying. This is a quantitative study that used a survey approach to
gather data using a self-administered questionnaire which was distributed to 60 youth
from the Kwa-Zulu Natal computer literacy community engagement project. The
ndings attest that youth recognise that cyberbullying might have detrimental effects
on victims such as alcohol and drugs abuse, low self-esteem, high level of absenteeism,
poor grades, as well depression and suicidal thoughts. There is a low percentage of
victims and perpetrators of cyberbullying in rural contexts in South Africa. It is hoped
that ndings may have a positive impact in the rural communities and enable the youth
to interact with the modern technologies and handle them in an ethical manner. The
study recommends that parents need to take cognisance of the probable possible
dangers of the various technologies so that they could be instrumental in educating their
Journalof Information,
Communicationand Ethics in
Vol.14 No. 4, 2016
©Emerald Group Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/JICES-09-2016-0035

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