All Articles Tagged "cell phones"
If You Put It Down Maybe You Can Fall In Love: How Your Cell Phone & Computer Ruin Your Relationships
It’s 2:00 in the afternoon and since I woke up this morning I’ve managed to text two people, e-mail six, read over thirty tweets and Facebook statuses, visit four blogs but actually interact with not a single living, breathing being but my Pitbull Boxer mix.
If you’re like me your iPhone may as well be an extension of one of your limbs. (Well actually I’m still Team Blackberry, but you get my drift.) There’s very little many of us do without consulting our cell phone first. They keep us company and from looking like a complete social outcast when we are in an unfamiliar situation; you can only be so awkward when you are too busy being updated by @Uberfacts, right? (I don’t know about you but I feel a little bit cooler since learning that you are more likely to be killed by a vending machine than you are to hit the Mega Millions jackpot.) Because of cell phones instead of actually doing paperwork at my job, I can first text my bestie and repeatedly tell her how much I am not looking forward to all of the paperwork I have to do. And let’s not forget the greatest gift that Apple technology has offered mankind: I can share every thought that goes through my head with millions of strangers as well as post pictures of the incredibly “savory” meal I am about to eat while thinking it, only to realize the next day what I thought sounded so profound was actually kind of dumb and I actually meant nauseating when I take a look at the savory meal I posted.
I’m being sarcastic obviously, but the truth is technology has “conveniently” given us more time and opportunities to ruin perfectly good relationships, as if we weren’t doing a great enough job before the world was blessed with Apple products. We’re far past butt dials and accidentally texting the person you’re talking smack about. People are single handedly ruining their relationships (and careers) thanks to screen grabs, sub-tweeting and “leaked” pics. I confess there are times when I can’t imagine what I did before the people closest to me were a mere ten digits away at any given time. What did people do when they caught flat tires in the middle of the interstate late at night before cell phone towers? And beyond safety, I appreciate that social networking sites give me the perfect amount of connection I want to have to people in high school that weren’t in my circle, but I still care enough about to congratulate them on their first born. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say social in-the-flesh interaction hasn’t taken a severe hit from the digital world. At their worst, cell phones have made the otherwise shy into complete hermits who confuse stalking with flirting.
If any of the following apply to you, your cell phone could be ruining your relationship, one text at a time:
A Los Angeles restaurant, Eva Restaurant, is offering diners a five percent discount off their bill if they agree to turn over their mobile phones to the hostess at the beginning of the meal. The restaurant’s chef/owner, Mark Gold, estimates that 40 to 50 percent of patrons have taken advantage of the deal. For him, setting aside the cell phone is part of the restaurant’s experience.
“Eva is really about family and being at home. We just want people to connect again,” he told CNNMoney.
Another restaurant in D.C. also had a policy prohibiting mobile phones until about six months ago, which they enforced with a two-page contract. Now, they’ve decided that the quick, occasional phone check isn’t so bad. The Instagram photos might actually be good PR for the restaurant.
Loud conversations and mobile phone sounds certainly can be an unwelcome distraction in a restaurant dining room. But there is a fine line that restaurant owners are walking with their customers when they try to impose rules about personal conduct.
There are parents and business professionals who want to be accessible in case of an emergency. There are some who, taking the hard line, simply think that if they’re paying for the experience, they should be able to use their mobile devices. And then there are the habits of a mobile population.
A recent study found that participants on average check their mobile devices 34 times per day. At this point, scientists say it’s done out of habit more so than need. Which could mean that relinquishing the device for a couple of hours would be a good thing. Or it could mean that being without their mobile would send some people over the edge.
Which side of the issue do you fall? According to OpenSignalMaps, if you’re in these 10 cities, it won’t make a difference because the your phone probably won’t work anyway. Sorry Oklahoma City.
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Ever wonder why your initial dates rarely lead to a great dating relationship? Find out if you’re unknowingly doing or saying 10 things to turn off a potential love match and discover what to do instead if you want to find great love and create a great relationship. Below are ten warning signs that you are a rude date and a few suggestions on what to do instead!
- You’re late! You arrive late for a date or change plans last minute instead of honoring your date’s feelings and your commitment to be together as planned.
- You’re distracted! You stare at attractive people who pass by or allow distractions of cell phones, text messages and/or silent vibes to interrupt your dating conversation instead of devoting your full attention to your date. Remember, where your attention goes your affection grows!
- You lie! You exaggerate your accomplishments and dating goals in hopes of getting laid instead of being honest about your life resume or your desire for a casual fling, so that your date can decide if your life experiences and dating goals are a good match.
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Sexting is a craze that has swept the nation. In the last 10 years it has increasingly gained mention in popular culture, so at this point, it doesn’t even surprise me anymore when yet another celebrity has been caught with leaked pictures on the Internet or when I end up knowing what my favorite male singer’s private parts look like. Even political figures have been caught sexting. Conceptually, it’s not a new thing. I’m pretty sure the second cell phones acquired the ability to send photo messages, a new avenue was created for expressing sexual desires and to give us the chance to be a bit too straightforward. Sexting is just phone sex through your fingers. However, it may be my prudish ways that don’t allow me to fully understand why sexting has become all the rage.
I am a firm believer that the media plays a big role in what becomes acceptable behavior in popular culture. I remember there was an episode of the popular teen-angst drama Degrassi, where one of the characters sent her boyfriend a picture of her topless, or something of that nature. Of course in classic teenage-drama fashion, somehow the next day everyone in school got the same picture. She was embarrassed and humiliated because everyone had a picture of her lady bits on their cell phones. Even then, watching this episode, I had no sympathy for the troubled character. I thought to myself, if you didn’t want anyone to see it, why would you even text the picture?
People should know that once something leaves your phone, the possibility of it getting into the wrong hands is very high. Expect anything you say or send through a message to be viewed by at least one more person. I have seen dozens of semi-nude photos on my friend’s phones. I know some men who have collections on their mobile devices that rival adult films. So know that picture you sent to your boyfriend could somehow get seen by all of his friends, people on the block, and his co-workers. What was meant to be private and intimate is now public and humiliating.
Celebrities are chronic sexters. The Internet is bombarded with naked pictures of celebrities taken from their phone or laptop. It was after Jennifer from Basketball Wives nudes leaked that I was no longer fazed by naked celebrities. Being a celebrity, you have more eyes on you than the average person, which to me would give more reason not to not send your c***hie through the mail. But you know what they say, common sense isn’t always common.
With all that possible embarrassment, you would think folks would be more shy with their mobile devices. But I guess not.
A friend and I had a conversation about sexting one night and I realized that I was in the minority. Apparently, everyone does it. Women do it to excite and entice men. Men do it to give women an image of their package. I remember receiving a sext from a man who I met less than five hours before. He had no qualms about sending me, a complete stranger, a picture of himself in all his glory. The caption even read: “Just to give you something to look at.” Uh…thirsty much?
I also understand that sexting can be used to spice up a relationship. When things get dry I guess it’s nice to surprise your significant other with some eye candy when they’re out in the most random of places, or when they’re at home alone. But the guy you have been talking to for one week does not need to see your goodies. Almost all of the guys that I have met always ask me to send them a picture within the first five messages sent back and forth. Sexting is damn near now customary.
I don’t know about you, but I’m too much of a chicken to send any revealing photos of myself through the phone. If I want to do or say something I would much rather do it in person. Call me old-fashioned, but I would rather keep my sexual escapades in closed quarters. I do understand that since sexting has become so prevalent it may be difficult to avoid those kind of situations though. For example, whenever I decline on sending a picture, the follow-up text always asks why. To even ask me why just shows two things: this guy clearly isn’t worth my time since he’s badgering me about why I would want to keep my goods to myself so early on; but also, it shows that most people have no problem with exchanging flirtatious pictures back and forth. Maybe I need to stop being an old maid and open up my mind to the idea of sexting. Maybe I am missing some key element that everyone else seems to get. Or maybe, just maybe, I’m the sane one and people should take a lesson from popular culture and be careful what they send through the phone.
What do you think, is sexting your thing?
Rachel Louissaint is a blogger and a graduate student. Check out her blog at Ebonymaiden.com. Follow her at @Ebony_Maiden.
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(Daily Finance) — Why pay $649 for a new cell phone when you can get it for one-third of the cost? Slashing the price is just a matter of signing on the dotted line: All you have to do to earn that hefty up-front discount is stay true to a particular cellular plan for a while. But what do youreallyget for your money in these shotgun weddings? Is a two-year contract really a fair trade for the discounts you’re getting? Like most relationships, it’s complicated. Sometimes you come out ahead in terms of penny-pinching with monthly prepaid deals and sometimes you don’t. But one thing is almost always true: The phone companies are indeed after your money. But you shouldn’t just hand over your wallet without knowing what kind of plan you’re getting. Here’s some background info on some plans you may be considering. Do your homework and the perfect deal is out there, somewhere.
(New York Times) — IT’S hard not to feel ripped off when you get hit with unexpected roaming charges while traveling abroad — whether they come from making phone calls or checking e-mail. Take it from Jeff Gardner, who received an $11,000 bill from Verizon after spending four days inJamaica. Before the trip, Mr. Gardner, who runs a fly-fishing business in Grayling, Mich., said he called Verizon to find out what it would cost to use his cellphone for calls and his wireless air card to check e-mail on his laptop while in the Caribbean. He said he was told that calls would be about $2 a minute and that there would be no extra charges for data as he was on an unlimited plan. The latter part turned out to be wrong.
By B. Hutson
In April, news broke about the Michigan State Police using data extraction devices to pull data off an arrestee’s smartphone, but only with a warrant. According to CNN, more states are beginning to favor the option of not only being able to search an arrestee’s cell phone, but the procedure is permitted to happen without a warrant.
There have been an increasing number of incidents to demonstrate the growing popularity of this policy. For instance, in California, it became legal in January for police to search an arrestee’s cell phone without a warrant; in Florida, an appellate court decision upheld warrantless cell phone searches, defining the phone as a kind of “container;” and in Georgia, there was an appellate court decision to uphold a warrantless search of a cell phone found in an arrestee’s car.
Civil rights advocates are fighting back though. Catherine Crump of the American Civil Liberties Union told CNN that, “the police can ask you to unlock the phone—which many people will do—but they almost certainly cannot compel you to unlock your phone without the involvement of a judge.”
State and local police officers are taking the initiative to search arrestees’ cell phones because in some cases, such a search produces information that is relevant to an alleged crime, thus leading to indictments and convictions. While this may be a valid argument, what’s to happen in the event that police decide to access an arrestee’s cell phone, but that person was wrongfully arrested? So it appears that a person’s right to privacy can go out the window regardless if they are innocent or guilty.
What did we ever do before mobile phones and the industry movements behind it all?! Every time you blink there is either another new device or a new merger. One can only guess at how the duopoly of the AT&T acquisition will affect consumers, particularly those who consistently rack up the most in mobile expenditures each and every month: African-Americans. And since the ratings and statistical giant Nielsen also seems to think that our demographic is the key to the smartphone wars as well, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at one of the latest smartphones, Samsung’s Nexus S.
Now, those who are really into the smartphone game will know that this phone hit the market just a couple of months ago, but what is new is that Sprint just announced earlier this week that it will now make the phone available via its network in the spring of this year. So this phone poses a new option for those on that carrier who are toying around with upping their Android game. (The Samsung Nexus S is available currently on AT&T, T-Mobile only).
Peep the video below now to see me put the phone through its paces but also watch some “person-on-the-street” reaction as well. I also have some hot Playbook news right before the Nexus S demo jumps off…. Let me know what you think of the device in the comments below. Also note, while the Playbook comes out on April 19th pre-orders are being accepted right this moment.
If you want to bypass the video tech review, here are the highlights:
The Nexus S, the world’s first handset to feature the latest version of Google’s Android operating system 2.3 he 4-inch Contour Display features a curved design for a more ergonomic (who made up that word, anyway?) style and feel when held in your hand and to your face. Nexus S also features Near Field Communication (NFC) technology which allows you to read information off of everyday objects like stickers and posters that are embedded with NFC chips. They’re not here yet, but they are coming. Mark my words and remember those three letters! Powered by a 1 GHz Samsung application processor, Nexus S produces rich 3D graphics, faster upload and download times and supports HD-like multimedia content. Nexus S is equipped with a 5 megapixel rear facing camera and camcorder, as well as a VGA front facing camera. In addition, Nexus S features a gyroscope sensor to provide a smooth, fluid gaming experience when you are tilting the device up or down or panning the phone to the left or right. Nexus S is reported to come with 16 GB of internal memory though the brand new unit I had for test-driving had 13 GB. Hmmmmm…
All in all, a hot device.
Important tip: don’t just always react just as a consumer. You know I always want you to think about how the phone can make you money, as well. Have a business? Sell a product? A mobile phone application is one of the hottest ways to brand and drive revenue. Of course, it’s got to make sense and provide real value for the end-user, but at least price need not be the factor which holds you back anymore. A new start-up called Mobiflex has developed a system for people to create an iPhone or Android mobile app incredibly low prices. No, it’s not going to offer 3D and all the other bells and whisles, but it’s a good start and can be customized accordingly. If you can build a PowerPoint presentation, you can now make an app. Google Mobiflex for more information.
Lauren DeLisa Coleman is a writer, host and thought-leader specializing in the diverse segment of the Gen Y demo, tech and its convergence with socio-economic concerns. She is also the CEO and founder of Punch Media Group, an edgy digital media and entertainment company which develops pop culture experience and branding strategy across digital platforms. Follow her @mediaempress
(Crain’s) — Cell phone taxes and fees in New York are third highest in the country, adding 22.8% to users’ bills, according to a new study. State and local taxes combine for an average surcharge of 17.8%, with the remaining 5% coming from federally imposed fees, according to the analysis by the Tax Foundation. The report did not estimate the total amount in surcharges on wireless service that New Yorkers pay each year, but a Crain’s New York Businessstory in 2006 estimated it to be $1.5 billion. It has undoubtedly risen since then as cell phone use has increased. Only Nebraska and Washington state have higher cell phone taxes than New York. It is possible for New Yorkers to reduce their taxes by registering their phones in low-tax states such as Idaho, Nevada or Oregon, where cell surcharges are about 2%, not including the federal component.
(Smart Money) — Consumers grumbled when cellphone companies first started requiring a data plan to go along with “voice minutes.” But now that smartphone owners are more likely to use their phones for texting, email, taking photos, playing games – anything, basically, but talking – those data plans could be the key to saving $500 or more on your annual cellphone bill.
As perhaps one of the unintended consequences of allowing outside developers to make programs for smartphones, a number of apps now let users avoid calling and texting charges. Skype, which lets users make voice calls to other Skype users for free, can now be found on a quarter of all iPhones, and its use on all phone platforms more than doubled in the second half of 2010. Instant messenger apps, which can act as a text messaging service, held at least one (and often several) of the top 10 spots in Apple ( AAPL: 363.13, +3.23, +0.89% ) , BlackBerry, Android, and other app stores for all of 2010, reports app-store tracker Distimo. In all, the use of calling and messaging apps increased 87% last year, second in growth only to streaming video apps, according to research firm Allot Communications.
For strategic users, the growing popularity of apps like these could lead to lower phone bills. By swapping a texting plan for an instant messaging program like Yahoo! Messenger or even Facebook could save the parents of a text-happy teen up to $240 per year.