DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ABOUT USING THE VOICE COMMANDS ON THE SMARTPHONE(LIKE SIRI)INSTEAD OF THE KEYBOARD? I HAVE A FRIEND WHO USES THE VOICE COMMANDS ALL THE TIME AND I FIND THIS UNUSUAL. Fran, Albany
Dear Fran: This is one of those questions that deserves an up or down vote from fellow readers. There are situations where hands-free helps: for example, if you are in the car alone or helping older people navigate a rideshare app.
DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: MY EX IN-LAWS DECIDED TO GET MY 13 YEARS OLD DAUGHTER THE NEWEST PHONE FOR HER BIRTHDAY. MY IN-LAWS ARE WELL OFF AND DID NOT CONSULT ME. MY PROBLEM IS THE COST OF THE MONTHLY PLAN. I AM A DIVORCED MOM AND I STRUGGLE TO MAKE ENDS MEET. I DON’T WANT TO DISAPPOINT MY DAUGHTER OR MY IN-LAWS. Cindy, LaBrea
Dear Cindy: It’s too late, but your in-laws should have consulted you since as a parent, you are the grown-up when it comes to both money and screen time. But, back to the finances: you could ask your 13 year-old help out financially Continue reading “Dear Smartphone: Teen Phone Costs Mom”
DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: I’M ABOUT TO EMBARK ON MY FIRST EUROPEAN VACATION AND I’M STRUGGLING WITH THE DECISION WHETHER OR NOT TO BRING MY iPHONE. WHILE I DO WANT TO ENJOY MY VACATION I’M NERVOUS ABOUT FOLKS NOT BEING ABLE TO REACH ME. WHAT SHOULD I DO? AZ, Sausalito
Dear AZ: I would not let a phone dictate the plans for my dream vacation! But, since it’s a long dull ride back and forth, you might want to get wifi service for the duration of the plane (or boat) trip. That way you won’t come back from your holiday and feel swamped with catch-up. I am sure that before you leave you will post an out-of-office message on all of your communications, and ask a colleague to serve as a back-up too.
If you can’t pull yourself entirely away from work or home matters, then set a time each day to catch up on texts and email. Are you worried that phone time might cut into holiday time? Here is an earlier posting about that!