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Posts Tagged ‘age 14-17’

Get a Glympse of Where Your T(w)een Is

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

“Where are you?” That’s the way the vast majority of mobile calls and texts start — and it’s the question parents always ask of their t(w)eens. Parents have a frenetic need to always know “where” their children are. Unlike the era before the mobile phone parents now have a better sense of where their children are. Recent studies by Pew Internet & American Life Project show that the supermajority of teens have mobile phones.

Many parents simply call their children and ask them where they are. While teens use mobile phones, they seldom use them to speak. Asking a teen to “answer” or pick up a call may be a tall order. You will need to learn how to text “where R U?” if you want a more prompt response.

Some wireless carriers offer parents GPS location tracking services for their children’s phones. Now, smartphones contain a growing array of Apps that can be used by parents to quickly locate their children.

A really interesting and easy App that parents can use is called Glympse (available on iPhone, Android and Windows 7). Glympse is an App that allows t(w)eens to quickly send to their parents a glympse of where they are on a map. Unlike other location tracking tools, Glympse allows users to send a short duration peak at where they are. After the specified period of time is over the other person can no longer view the location of the user — it simply times out. We think this is a very effective privacy feature. Check out the “What is Glympse” page for a helpful video.

Of course there are some caveats. Keep in mind that parents should use tools like Glympse responsibly and realize that they are not foolproof. Parents should explain to their children why they want them to check in with their location (who knows, kids may rather send a Glympse than a text message or, heaven forbid, actually talk on the phone). Further, never ask your teen to initiate a Glympse or text while they are driving a car. And lastly, use this conversation as an opportunity to talk to your children about your concerns with their sharing their location information with people they don’t know or don’t trust. We are generally concerned with the amount of uninformed location sharing that is being done on social networking sites and mobile phones.

Good luck.

Going green for Spring – time to clean out the home office.

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy announced last week that they are opening their free electronics recycling initiative to all of their nationwide stores. This was cause for joy in my household, where there are currently two out-of-date laptops, one dilapidated desktop and no fewer than four old cellphones lounging about taking up precious space. Did I mention this is a free service? There are a few notable exceptions to what they will accept (nothing with freon) and there is a $10 fee for monitors, TV’s and CRT’s. But they are offsetting that fee with $10 gift cards in exchange. Not too shabby!

Spring cleaning is almost upon us, so this is a great time to take an inventory of those old CE products you have that need to be recycled. Also, take a look into other options for recycling and additional resources for where you can drop off at www.MyGreenElectronics.org. This site also offers important advice on how to protect your privacy by deleting information off of your old hard drives and cellphones.

Here are a few other notable green campaigns to check out:

Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine Program (recycle cellphones and accessories for victims of domestic violence)

AT&T’s Cell Phones for Soldiers (turn your old cellphone into a prepaid phone for our troops overseas)

Apple & the Environment (iPod and cellphone recycling)

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