DEAR MS.SMARTPHONE: I COMMUTE INTO SF AND I ALSO TAKE A LOT OF RIDESHARE TRIPS. THIS TIME OF YEAR THERE’S A LOT OF FOCUS ON DRIVING SOBER AND SAFELY. I’VE NOTICED THAT UBER AND LYFT DRIVERS SPEND A LOT OF TIME ON THEIR PHONE AND I SEE THEM CLICKING TO FIND NEW ROUTES, ADD AND DROP PASSENGERS, OR DO OTHER THINGS. IS IT MORE DANGEROUS TO TAKE A RIDESHARE BECAUSE THESE DRIVERS USE THEIR PHONES MORE? J.F. Fremont
Dear J.F: Phones, holidays, and cars all seem to roll together. That said, your question is a good one and I really don’t have an answer. I recently met with a researcher at the MIT Age Lab, and keeping eyes straight-ahead and glued to the road seems to be the benefit of having a hands-free, voice-activated car phone. But, that is compared with say holding a phone in your hand and also needing to take eyes off the road. I’ll re-post your question after I search around for more data on rideshare safety. Thanks for asking!
DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: YOU HAD A POST ABOUT ALL THE NEW PHONES ON THE MARKET THIS FALL AND WHETHER WE NEED ONE. MY PROBLEM IS A BIT DIFFERENT: I HAVE PICKED OUT A PARTICULAR PHONE TO GET, BUT MY WIFE AND EXTENDED FAMILY USE A PHONE WITH A DIFFERENT OPERATING SYSTEM. THEY ARE TRYING TO TALK ME OUT OF MY PREFERRED PHONE. Lemar, Cotati
Dear Lemar: I can relate to this, because the same thing happened to me several years ago. If you are experienced with your phone’s operating system (OS), then you should be able to bridge potential problems like transferring pictures, sharing music, and getting real-time notifications. Continue reading “Dear Smartphone: Family Plan Matter”
DEAR SMARTPHONE: I LIKED YOUR RESPONSE ABOUT WHY OLDER PEOPLE BLAME KIDS WHEN THEY FORGET TO TURN ON THE RINGER. I HAVE A SIMILAR QUESTION. WHY DO OLDER PEOPLE RESIST USING TABS WHEN THEY DO A SEARCH? WHY DO THEY INSIST ON CLOSING ONE TAB AND THEN OPENING ANOTHER? Wilco, Mill Valley
Dear Wilco: Perhaps there is a digital divide on this issue. An earlier generation like Ms. Smartphone once believed that keeping tabs open drains the battery or could crash their device, and compromise privacy. I did some scanning for representative points of view: Back in 2013, a journalist, Angus Kidman suggests that you close tabs because one cannot possibly process that much information simultaneously and it might keep you from focusing on the task at hand. In 2018, A Slate writer, Rachel Withers, suggests that you let tabs pile up, because they are inspirational and like a stack of books you might get around to reading! How we use and process information may be at the bottom of this issue. Keep tabs on it (pun intended)!