Dear Smartphone: A European Holiday with or without iPhone?

DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: I’M ABOUT TO EMBARK ON MY FIRST EUROPEAN VACATION AND I’M STRUGGLING WITH THE DECISION WHETHER OR NOT TO BRING MY iPHONE. WHILE I DO WANT TO ENJOY MY VACATION I’M NERVOUS ABOUT FOLKS NOT BEING ABLE TO REACH ME. WHAT SHOULD I DO? AZ, Sausalito

Dear AZ: I would not let a phone dictate the plans for my dream vacation! But, since it’s a long dull ride back and forth, you might want to get wifi service for the duration of the plane (or boat) trip. That way you won’t come back from your holiday and feel swamped with catch-up. I am sure that before you leave you will post an out-of-office message on all of your communications, and ask a colleague to serve as a back-up too.

smartphones and time-off
Should I bring smartphone on a special holiday vacation?

If you can’t pull yourself entirely away from work or home matters, then set a time each day to catch up on texts and email. Are you worried that  phone time might cut into holiday time? Here is an earlier posting about that!

Dear Smartphone: Needing Newest

newer phones are bigger
Bigger Better phones (WSJ-9/9/18)

DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: THERE ARE LOTS OF NEW PHONES COMING OUT THIS FALL AND I REALLY WANT TO GET ONE. BUT MY FAMILY SAYS THAT I DON”T NEED ONE AND I AM JUST SHOWING OFF. WHAT DO YOU THINK? Jeff, San Jose

Dear Jeff: I concur-This season brings a lot of phone upgrades. In marketing there are people known as early adopters- they are first to try out a new product and spread the word. If that’s you, go for it! Your new phone will have better security, improved picture taking, and, with a bigger screen, you might download more apps (see this link). But, take a minute: is your family trying to tell you something? Before you get that new phone, consider the upfront cost and monthly payments, whether you will be spending more time on the phone and less time with family, and whether the size and shape are convenient.

Dear Smartphone: Online Parenting Advice

DEAR MS SMARTPHONE: I HAVE A SON AND DAUGHTER-IN-LAW WITH TWO YOUNG CHILDREN. THE CHILDREN ARE AGES 3 AND 7. THEY GAVE EACH CHILD THEIR OWN iPAD OVER THE SUMMER BREAK. MY SON SAYS THIS IS BETTER FOR THEM THAN WATCHING T.V. BECAUSE THEY CAN FOLLOW CARTOONS AND PLAY GAMES THAT ARE PERSONALIZED AND INTERACTIVE. WHAT DO YOU THINK? Susan, La Jolla

Dear Susan: This is a super interesting issue. There might be some advantage to the tablet or iPad because they are interactive and can be used for instructional purposes, say learning the alphabet or how to add numbers.
Unfortunately, many parents do not choose and monitor the content this carefully. Instead, they use the technology to keep a child entertained and quiet, whether that be in the car, a restaurant or elsewhere. Continue reading “Dear Smartphone: Online Parenting Advice”