Posts Tagged ‘Mobile phone’

Cell Phone in the Washing Machine!

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

I’m so excited to discover Genny over at My Cup 2 Yours, a wonderful blog that celebrates parenting and friendship between moms. I can get happy lost for an hour, wandering through Genny’s posts.

She has created a fun blog carnival, “Talkin’ About Thursdays,” where bloggers concentrate on a particular topic and we all chime in. This week, the topic is “laundry,” and that prompted me to share one of my favorite posts from the past, “Cell Phone in the Washing Machine!”

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Talk about timing…

So I’m sitting here working on a magazine article on kids and cell phones, and I decide to take a break from the home office and switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer. (OK, and maybe grab some Triscuits and cheese… If there are downsides to working from a home office, like the constant reminder of dirty laundry, there ought to be upsides. Like snacks. Right?)

Perfect 10-15-09time to discover that my 12-year-old son left his cell phone in his pants pocket and it went through the wash cycle. &*^())#$#^!

I knew I wasn’t alone with this problem when I Googled “cell phone in washing machine” and up popped 332,000 results. That seemed a bit overwhelming, so I decided to go straight to our cell-phone service provider, who suggested removing the battery and letting the phone dry out for a few days. Sometimes that does the trick, they said — but often it doesn’t.

Unfortunately phones that are damaged by liquid aren’t covered by most manufacturers’ warranties. So this may be an expensive lesson for one young man regarding always emptying his pockets at night. (But his dad’s wallet went through the laundry — again — two weeks ago, so this may be a genetic problem we’re dealing with here!)

Hey, anything for a good article-sidebar idea, right?

What Are YOUR Gotta-Have Mobile-Phone Apps?

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Image representing iPhone 3G as depicted in Cr...

Do you have any favorite mobile-phone applications that you use a lot?

My friend Damon Brown is researching, for an article in a magazine geared toward moms (can't reveal the name just yet), the best mobile-phone apps for busy moms – for the iPhone, Blackberry or other phones.

Damon would love to hear about any favorites you have. Drop him a line at damon at When the article runs, I'll link to it here — and you may see your name!

What’s The Babysitter Up To?

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Fascinating piece on about Miriam Forman-Brunell's new book "Babysitter: An American History."

For generations, parents have fretted about how their kids were being cared for while in the hands of teenage babysitters.

Most of our babysitters have been wonderful and responsible. One often brought fun DVDs to share, and always made sure the kitchen was clean after she and Matt had dinner. (A rare thing, that kitchen cleaning!) Another, accomplished in music, encouraged Matt's interest in piano. A third played silly games that left Matt in giggles.

But there were the ones who spent more time yacking on the phone with their friends than interacting with our kid.

Back before nearly every teen had a cell phone, we even had teens calling the house after we'd returned for the evening and the babysitter had gone home — because she had given out our home number to half the kids in the local high school, it seemed.

And we had a babysitter remain in the upstairs den, doing homework, while she allowed our young son to go downstairs and answer the door at night, open it and allow a strange man (a solicitor) into the house. This was after we had included in our house rules: "Don't open the door to anyone." Let's just say she didn't get any future calls.

I have my own confession from my babysitter days: I babysat for a sexy single mom who had a stack of Cosmopolitan magazines at home. After the kids were asleep, I'd devour the magazines, knowing full well that my parents would not have permitted such reading material for their 12-year-old  daughter.

(Funny, though… The first magazine sale I made when I became a freelance journalist was to — you guessed it — Cosmo. And no, it wasn't about sex!)

Are Your Kids Sexting?

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Terrific piece by Nick K. Mandel, over on the Consumer Reports electronics blog today, on sexting, where cell phone users — usually teens — exchange provocative, sexual photos of themselves using their cell phones' built-in digital camera.

(Disclosure: I work for Consumer Reports as their social media reporter. You can follow me at @CReporter on Twitter. I primarily cover consumer issues there, but that also overlaps with my parenting reporting here. After all, we parents are some of the biggest consumers around!)

Mandel notes that a survey from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
suggests that one in five teens have "electronically sent, or posted
online, nude or semi-nude pictures or video of themselves." A percentage that high means that many parents who think "my kid would never do that" may be surprised to learn the truth.

Check out Mandel's post and the articles below. Then talk with your kids if you think they may be fooling around with sexting. Chances are, they have no idea how serious the consequences can be.

Just Found Your Cell Phone in the Washing Machine? Maybe This Should Be Your Next Model

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Of all the Google searches that have brought readers to Parent Talk Today, the most common, by far, is "cell phone in the washing machine," which continues to bring readers to my post about the day my son's phone was found, soaking wet, at the bottom of the washer. (Nope. Couldn't save it.)

When Should My Kid Have a Cell Phone?

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

An air mattress in the shape of a mobile phone

Chris Brogan, posting over on Dad-o-Matic (my favorite new parenting blog) has a terrific post today on kids and cell phones:

Saw this post by Julie Bonner, where she talks about her daughter getting a cell phone before the age of 11. Now, some of you just raised an eyebrow. You’re wondering if that’s a bit early for a ten year old to own a cell phone. I’m going to say that it’s not, from my perspective. With current requirements on scheduling, freedom, and even safety, giving a child a cell phone seems to be moving towards being the norm.

Brogan goes on to share some great tips about what type of plan to buy, parental controls, rules for cell-phone use and a lot more. Good stuff. Check it out here.