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.
You could install an app that will shut off his phone when he drives. Here is a list of apps that Verizon posted, and most of them work on either an Continue reading “Dear Smartphone: Teen in Car”
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: 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.