DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: YOU WRITE ABOUT DIGITAL ETIQUETTE. NOT THAT I WANT TO BE A PAPARAZZI, BUT AREN’T YOU ON PHONE HERE? THIS LOOKS LIKE A RESTAURANT AND A PUBLIC PLACE YOU ARE CALLING FROM. Tibo, NoeValley
Dear Tibo: So embarassed. Me bad. That is indeed a compromised photo. As I recall, I was engaged with some back and forth with my spouse, who was out-of-state. But, that doesn’t matter. Some restaurants and clubs insist that diners put their phones in a Yondr bag, so they are not distracted during meals. But, we do not need bags. What we do need need is to exercise better etiquette and social awareness. And, we need to savor the present moment with the people we are with. There is practically nothing that can’t wait. With painful thanks for your critical eye and posting.
DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: I READ THAT LOTS OF PEOPLE ADMIT TO HAVING A SECOND, CONCEALED PHONE. BUT THEN MY BUDDY AT WORK ADMITTED TO HAVING ONE. Fred, Novato
Dear Fred: There was a survey of 1,500 people who admitted to cheating on their spouse, and eleven percent of the cheaters said that they used an extra phone for communications. But, this survey was among people who have extra-marital affairs. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons people have a second phone: they have a second phones to separate their work and home lives, they keep a spare backup, or they use it while they travel. However, your buddy admitted to having a concealed phone, so that raises other issues: why is he concealing the phone and is he keeping something secret.
DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: I AM THE MOTHER OF A TEEN AGE BOY. HE GOT HIS DRIVER’S LICENSE LAST YEAR. I LET HIM USE MY CAR ON WEEKENDS AND WHEN HE GOES ON A DATE. I JUST RECEIVED A TEXT MESSAGE THAT HE PROBABLY MEANT TO SEND TO HIS FRIENDS. I AM FAIRLY SURE HE WAS ON THE ROAD WHEN HE SENT IT. Worried Sick, Sacramento
Dear Worried Sick: You have reason to be concerned and as a responsible parent you must take action. Teenagers have a high accident rate than any other age group. In the U.S. in 2015, 2,333 teens ages 16–19 were killed and 235,845 were injured by a vehicle crash.