DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: I KNOW YOU WANT TO MAKE PEOPLE AWARE OF DISTRACTED DRIVING. MY FAMILY AND I JUST GOT BACK FROM A VACATION IN COLORADO AND THEIR ROAD SIGNS SAID, “WHO YA’ GONNA CALL? NOBODY, YOU’RE DRIVING.” I THOUGHT YOU MIGHT LIKE THAT. SORRY I DID NOT TAKE A PICTURE. Fred, San Mateo
Dear Fred: You definitely made my day. No picture needed. A little humor can go a long way when we need to drive home the point. What’s your most compelling reason to take your attention away from driving? The IOWA DOT posted this blog: “Are ghosts invading Manhattan and you need to call for help or are you simply going to be a couple minutes late for dinner and want to let your sweetie know? In either case, the consequences that can come from making the call far outweigh the benefits.” Resist the ghost.
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: I DON’T GET THOSE LITTLE SQUIGGLY ICONS ON THE TOP OF THE PHONE SCREEN. I AM TOO EMBARRASSED TO ASK WHAT THOSE IMAGES ARE SUPPOSED TO MEAN. Rory, Fontana
Dear Rory: You should not feel shy or embarrassed. What you describe is more common than you think. For example, what is a circle with a half closed arrow? Sometimes you can hover over the image with your finger and a descriptive label will pop up. But, I assume you tried that. So, as a first step, try to describe the mysterious icon in an online search… you’ll be surprised! You could also get an instructional book for your phone or look on YouTube. And, check out classes at the phone stores. Many of these are free.