It can be a scary world out there sometimes, and with the growing population of cell phone users, higher price tags and quick turn over it is no wonder cell phone theft is on the rise. Not just theft out of someones purse or when you leave it on a table. Straight grabbing it from your hand and running down the street theft. Blatant theft that is on the rise in places like Philadelphia. Last yea there were over 400 cell phone thefts reported on Philadelphia’s mass transit, up from 182 in 2008. What can you do to avoid being one of those numbers?
Technology is part of our everyday lives now, and with that we have to accept that accidents do, and will, happen. Cellphones are probably the number one casualty in electronics accidents. Water, Dirt, Drops, shock, all those things we, as people, may run into every single day and since cellphones are right there with us, they can fall prey to such enemies of electronics. Besides being here to help with getting you a replacement phone, we’re here to help possibly save the phone, or other electronic device, you already have. Here’s a list of accidents, and reactions, that may help you save your precious device.
I remember when I was in middle school and I got my first cellphone in 8th grade. It was an old Nokia with a green and black interface, fat antenna on top and was barely able to fit into my pocket. Best of all it had “Snake” built in! I was 14 at the time and seeing a 14 year old with a cellphone back in 1999 was out of the ordinary. During the late 90′s and even the early 00′s, cell phones were considered an adult device. It had the stereotypical attachment to businessmen and soft top sports cars. Now anyone with a few bucks and a prepaid card can get a cellphone from Walmart and be connected instantly. Of course children can’t just go ahead and do that, but the visual of a teenage with a cellphone is now common place.
According to a report done by The Republic, more than 75% of teens going back to school have cellphones and that number continues to grow. but one market is growing even faster, and only recently became an officially named demographic, “Tweens”. Tweens are the ages between 9 and 12, not quite a teenager but not a child either. This market was exploited by businesses the most, with boy bands, MTV and, more recently, romantic vampires. With cellphones getting cheaper, not to mention having gps tracking features, parents are giving their children phones earlier and earlier in life.
But does your child “need” a cellphone? You only need to ask yourself a few questions to know for sure. Do you want to be able to contact your child 24/7, and vice versa in case of emergencies? Can you trust your child with a phone? Or will he or she lose it? How much do you want to spend? Do you want to get a smart phone with GPS tracking and several bells and whistles? Or a simple clam shell phone only for calls. Perhaps buying a used or refurbished cell phone? The National Consumers League has a guide with some of these questions they want you to keep mind when deciding on what phone to purchase for your child.
Next you’ll want to decide on some ground rules. Do you want to set up a limit of texts per-day? Or just accept teens, and tweens, text more than adults and just purchase the unlimited texting plans? You’ll want to explain the dangers of “sexting” and riding a bike while on the phone (just as, if not more dangerous, than driving your car and doing the same). You’ll want to explain strict rules when bringing their phone to school, not just by you as parents, but by the schools rules themselves. Some phones even allow you to set limits to incoming and outgoing phone calls.
The age for cellphone use is only going to get younger and younger. Our phones are turning into more than “just a phone” and soon enough, seeing tweens with cellphones will be just as commonplace as seeing a teenage or adult with a cellphone. The best advice we can give you is to go phone shopping with your child. Just like an adult, you want to be sure they can use the phone, handle it correctly, and like the phone they’ll be getting. Everyone has different opinions on when a child, tween or teen is ready for a phone. But they are your children, so make the decision yourself, and keep the questions above in mind. Happy shopping!
Last week, I posted about Google Buzz and how it integrates with your Gmail account, but I didn’t really get into what it means for your new or refurbished cell phone. As opposed to Google Buzz on your PC or Mac, you don’t need to have a Gmail account to use Buzz on your mobile. If you have a smart phone running Android or an iPhone, you should be pretty excited about what Buzz will bring to your world.
What I find coolest about Buzz for your mobile is that when you press the “Nearby” button, your are shown all the recent Buzz posts, from everyone – not just people you know, in your vicinity, listed in order of proximity. Okay, so it’s Friday night, you live in the city, and you’re bored. You hit the “Nearby” button, and you see posts pop up all around you like, “Drink Up Buttercup goes on in 15 minutes,” and, “The new Frida Kahlo exhibit is beauuutiful,” and, “Open Bar at Las Vegas Lounge till midnight,” etc, etc. Because the Buzzes are tagged with GPS, you see from exactly where the person posted the Buzz. You now have a list of things to do of which you were previously unaware.
Think of what that means if you’re a business owner. Because you don’t have to be “following” people to see their Buzzes when you’re using the Nearby feature, you could Buzz your nightly promotions, and they’ll pop up on mobiles all around your vicinity.
The possibilities are really endless. Say your power goes out – post a Buzz like, “Anyone else’s power out?” and your neighbors may immediately respond, “Not on our side of the street.” How about, “HELP! Our dog Boomer ran away!” Someone down the street might reply saying they found him. What if you’re new to a city and you’d like an insider’s perspective? It’s as simple as Buzzing: “Where can I get the best cheesesteak around here?” “Tony Jr’s on 8th, duh.” Done deal.
To get Google Buzz for your phone, visit http://www.google.com/buzz and click on the button at the bottom right that says: “Get Buzz for your Phone.”
Again, happy Buzzing.