DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: WHEN I DRIVE WITH MY BOYFRIEND HE LIKES TO USE HIS SMARTPHONE TO GIVE ME DIRECTIONS. BUT HE TURN DOWN THE VOLUME, AND THEN FORGETS TO REPEAT SOME OF THE INFORMATION. THEN HE GETS MAD AT ME FOR MISSING TURNS! Annie, Antioch
Dear Annie: It sounds like a control issue but no need for you to get mad. It is about safety so choose to take control. You could politely say that you want to try out a different app on your own phone, say you are experimenting with Waze instead of Google Maps or vice versa. Continue reading “Who Drives the GPS?”
Dear Smartphone: I read your advice to Tracy about sending Christmas cards through the mail instead of online. But, curious, what’s your opinion about sending out a party invitation? Should the invite always be on paper, or is it OK to send out electronic cards for an upcoming party? RC, Cambridge
Dear RC: Thanks for reading along. It is a question that party planners have been thinking about for some time and here is a decent link with the pros and cons. I would only add that you consider the social context of the invite and the age group. For example, young kids generally don’t (or shouldn’t) have email, so I would rather send a birthday invite to their home so that they can have fun opening the mail, reading the card and anticipating the date! If you choose to send an email, then Mom or Dad become the initial point of contact and gatekeepers.
That brings up a related issue about sending electronic invitations for grown-up parties. An email is received by one person, but the invitation is often to a couple, and discussion of whether to RSVP may depend on joint calendars. Not all households keep a calendar online. So, a paper card attached to the fridge with a magnet still gets more attention. I suppose you could send both an electronic invite and a paper one to cover all bases. Should you choose online only, consider sending a reminder note a few days before the party. Cheers!
DEAR MS SMARTPHONE: I USED TO WATCH MY MOM SEND OUT CHRISTMAS CARDS EVERY YEAR AND IT WAS VERY TIME CONSUMING. NOW THAT I LIVE ON MY OWN DO YOU THINK I SHOULD CONTINUE THIS TRADITION? EVERYONE IS ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND I CONNECT WITH MY FRIENDS THERE. Tracy,Tiburon
Dear Tracy: You mentioned that sending out Christmas Cards was time consuming, but was receiving them fun and did you look forward to getting the holiday mail? I know of families that string Christmas cards along the fireplace mantle and use them as part of the holiday decorations. After Christmas, the local children’s hospital asks people to donate these cards for young patients. You said your friends are on social media, but how about the relatives? People of all ages are reevaluating their Facebook connections this year. Here is an article that provides even more reasons to continue the tradition.