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Hanging Up?: If you’re like me, you have a couple of kids who are adorable, always do what you ask of them the first time you ask them and, of course, never, ever harangue you about when they can get a phone of their own.
OK, we all know that’s a fantasy. Whining about or tattling on each other makes up at least 94 percent of my six- and eight-year-old daughters’ daily conversations. And the next time one of my kids does something the first time I ask her … Well, that will be the first time that they do.
And like many kids their ages, my daughters are already asking me when they can get a phone. I usually give them my standard response when they ask me if they can have something that they are too young for and I don’t want to pay for:
“When you turn 21, or are going to college out of state, and I don’t have to know about it.”
Now, my wife and I aren’t Luddites when it comes to technology and our kids. But, like many parents, we do take into consideration the presence of “screens” in our home, and how to regulate the usage of our iPads, computers and TVs. A smartphone, however, seems to be an entirely different animal. The portability of the device and how it can be used for instant communication make it something that any parent should take into account when thinking about giving one to his or her child.
Of course, we could just ban the sale of smartphones to, say, kids under the age of 13. Which is what one parent in Colorado is trying to do.
USA Today reported that Denver-area anesthesiologist Tim Farnum is spearheading an effort to put a measure before Colorado voters that would ban sales of smartphones to children under the age of 13. Farnum is heading up a nonprofit group called Parents Against Underage Smartphones (Or, PAUS, get it?). It is trying to accumulate the 300,000 signatures needed to get the measure on Colorado ballots in November 2018.
Let’s be clear, this would really be targeted toward parents who are buying a smartphone for their pre-teen child. The measure says as much, as it would require retailers to send in reports to the state saying they had really, super-duper asked about who the phone was going to be used by when an adult bought a smartphone. Those retailers could then be fined if they were found to be continually selling phones that would be used by children under the age of 13. And we all can see how those retail conversations would likely go:
Smartphone Seller: So, is this phone for you, or your kid?
Customer: Just me!
Smartphone Seller: OK! Here you go! Have a nice day!
The measure is a long way from becoming reality. And the reality is that it should probably be up to parents to decide when their kids are mature enough to handle a smartphone.
Four Steps at a Time: Google and its YouTube video-streaming business are taking some more steps to help combat terrorism. Four steps, to be exact. These include new efforts to make videos harder to find that, while they might not violate YouTube standards, still come pretty close with inflammatory or potentially derogatory images or messages.
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Tips Get a Lyft: If you drive for Lyft, you may be pretty happy with how your tips have turned out. Lyft said its drivers have been paid more than $250 million in tips so far. And to make Lyft drivers even happier, the ride-sharing company is expanding its options for riders to include an automatic tip with their ride fee. Lyft said that now, for a ride that costs more than $25, the company’s app will show options for tips of $2, $5 or $10, or basically double the current tip choices of $1, $2 and $5.
Quote of the Day: “Ideally, you could put a sofa in your home with the help of the app, and then with one click add it in the shopping cart on the e-commerce site.” — Michael Valdsgaard, digital transformation manager for Ikea. Valdsgaard was speaking about an effort between Ikea and Apple to build an app that includes augmented reality (AR) features that would help with purchasing furniture from the Swedish retailer.
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