DEAR MS SMARTPHONE: MY TWO GIRLS GO BACK TO SCHOOL THIS WEEK. ONE OF THEM IS A FRESHMAN IN HIGH SCHOOL AND THE YOUNGER ONE IS IN EIGHTH GRADE. I AM WORRIED THAT THEY WILL NOT BE SO ATTENTIVE TO THEIR SCHOOL WORK THIS YEAR BECAUSE THEY SPEND SO MUCH TIME ON THEIR PHONES. THEY GET LOTS OF HOMEWORK. SoCal Mom, Los Angeles
Dear SoCal Mom: Almost every parent thinks about this issue when school begins anew. I recommend two books that help parents achieve a school/media balance. One is called “The Art of Screen Time” by Anya Kamenetz and the other is “Reader:Come Home” by Maryanne Wolf. I recommend that you prepare your students to be deep learners by insisting Continue reading “Dear Smartphone: Homework or Phonework?”
DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: MY FRIENDS AND I LIKE TO SHARE OUR PLAYLISTS. WE USUALLY DO THIS ON THE BUS TO AND FROM SCHOOL. SOMETIMES MY FRIENDS ASK ME TO SHARE THEIR EARBUDS BUT I AM RELUCTANT TO DO THIS. IT GROSSES ME OUT. AM I WRONG? Helen, Goleta
Dear Helen: It sounds like you are on the right track (no pun intended). Although sharing ear buds seems as innocent as say, sharing a milkshake with a straw, the experts say otherwise. Apparently, we all have unique ear-bacteria, and when you share buds you are doubling the microbial flora in your ears. This can lead to infections and worse. Tell your friends you are getting over an earache, and you don’t think it’s safe for them.
DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: MY BOYFRIEND AND I ARE BOTH IN TENTH GRADE. HE HAS A SECRET PHONE SEWN INTO HIS BACKPACK AND DURING CLASS HE WILL OPEN UP A FLAP AND BROWSE IT. IF THE TEACHER COMES BY HE CLOSES THE FLAP UP. SHOULD I REPORT HIM TO THE TEACHER? From Gabby, Stockton.
Dear Gabby: It is going to be difficult to confront your boyfriend, but if you care about your relationship you need to do this. You don’t want to have a friend you cannot trust. Tell him that you do not respect the fact that he is hiding the phone from the teachers. He may be hiding other things too.