Dear Smartphone: Tab Browsing

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)!

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Many Open Tabs on Device!

Dear Smartphone: Dead Ringer For Cell Phone Senior

a dead ringer? how to use it.
dead ringer- learning the smartphone buttons

DEAR MS SMARTPHONE: MY MOTHER INSISTS THAT NO ONE CALLS HER ANYMORE. I DO CALL HER AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK BUT IT TURNS OUT THAT SHE HAS THE RINGER TURNED OFF OR THE MUTE BUTTON TURNED ON. I DON’T LIVE THAT CLOSE BY, SO IT’S HARD TO CHANGE THESE SETTINGS ON HER PHONE.  C.K.,  Richmond

Dear C.K.: When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone he worried that people would not understand how to use it.  The earliest users picked up the “talking stick”  and  completed the call with an Operator.  I teach seniors about phones and find that what you describe is somewhat commonplace. Continue reading “Dear Smartphone: Dead Ringer For Cell Phone Senior”

Dear Smartphone: Is Map Skill Overkill?

DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: MY SISTER AND I DISAGREE ON THIS ISSUE. WE WERE BOTH TAUGHT TO READ MAPS WHEN WE TOOK A FAMILY CAR  TRIP. MY SISTER SAYS TIMES HAVE CHANGED AND WE CAN RELY ON THE MAPS ON OUR PHONES.  I THINK THAT MAP READING SKILLS ARE VALUABLE AND SCHOOLS SHOULD CONTINUE TO TEACH THEM.  WHAT DO YOU THINK? Chrissy, Sebastapol

Dear Chrissy: Good Question! There’s no doubt that a lot of things we used to do by hand have migrated to the phone- for example, long division and address books. That said, map reading is something that I would not want to entirely depend on electronically, although Digital Natives might disagree. Maps are, by definition, representations of the outside world, and we should always consider their distortions or biases (remember the flat map?). Second, the maps on our phone are so small so we literally don’t see “the big picture.” You asked whether that skill should be taught in schools- only if they still teach geography!!