DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: WHY DO PEOPLE FEEL THE NEED TO GET A NEW PHONE WITH EACH UPGRADE? MY FRIENDS TALK ABOUT THIS ALL THE TIME. I HAVE HAD THE SAME PHONE FOR FIVE YEARS AND IT WORKS JUST FINE. Harold, San Francisco
Dear Harold: We all get familiar with our smartphones and they can come to feel like an old friend. Sometimes people get a new phone for the same reasons they seek a new outfit or a bigger car. They reward themselves or they want to impress others. But people also get new phones when their contract expires or they perceive that there is a better feature, like a new keyboard or sharper camera. Americans replace their phones more frequently than people in any other country and the average time is two years.
DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: MY BOYFRIEND HELPED ME DOWNLOAD SOME NEW APPS. BUT NOW HE HAS MY PASSWORD FOR BOTH THE PHONE AND FOR THE APP STORE. HE SAYS I DO NOT NEED TO CHANGE THEM IF I TRUST HIM. Lily, La Canada
Dear Lily: Lots of people find themselves in this situation, and you should be grateful for the assistance he gave you with the phone. It’s great to learn about our phones by asking others for help. But, even though you fully trust your boyfriend, it’s always a good idea to frequently change passwords because of outside security risks. Go ahead and change your passwords, and if you have to explain your reasoning, tell him you are going to do this regularly to keep your phone more secure.
DEAR MS SMARTPHONE: MY GRANDPARENTS COMPLAIN THAT I DON’T PHONE THEM ENOUGH. I LOVE THEM VERY MUCH. BUT IT IS HARD FOR ME TO PICK UP THE PHONE TO CALL. Dan, San Diego.
Dear Dan: You are describing a generational difference. You probably use chat and text more. But, you said you love them. Show that by placing a call, even if you are not used to it. Over time, see if you can help them find new things to share on their smartphone, like family pictures. On our resource page we have listed some sites you can share with your grandparents to get them started, and they are free. https://dearsmartphone.com/resources/