Monday, January 17, 2011

Cell Phones: Both a Blessing and a Curse

The Blessing

Cell phones have become a standard equipment for many of us, as calling or texting has improved communication greatly. Not only do Mom and Dad have cell phones, but most of the kids do, too. Parents can keep track of their kids, business people can stay in touch with their customers -- whether they're sitting at their desk or out in the field -- and low-cost long-distance plans keep people in touch with distant friends and relatives that in the past was impractical and costly.

The Curse

Of course, there is a downside to the ubiquitous cell phone, such as when people in restaurants, movie theaters, or on public transportation loudly converse on anything and everything about their lives in public, ignoring the fact that most people don't care to hear it, or worse, are offended by it. Like most new technology, it's a lack of etiquette and courtesy on the part of the user that causes the problem, not the device itself. If you use a cell phone, please be aware that people around you may not want to hear your conversation, and find someplace private to talk. Just because you can talk just about anywhere, it doesn't mean you SHOULD. We don't want to know what you're planning for dinner. Really.


For drivers, there are now bluetooth earpieces for cell phones that allow for hands-free driving, enabling commuters to conduct business while on the road, and friends and family to communicate. Now they can carry on conversations in their car, with their hands full, grocery shopping, or pretty much anywhere they choose. The convenience is liberating, but, once again, this can make it less than appealing to the people subjected to a bluetooth user's conversation, such as when they are in a public place and are seemingly talking to themselves. This can disturb people around them, and many times the device cannot be seen, so others mistakenly think someone is talking to them. This can be annoying or downright embarrassing!

Social etiquette aside, cell phones have brought an incredible amount of communication to our fingertips. The latest cell phones have everything but hot and cold running water. Most of it is just fun and games, but cell phones can perform some very important functions. Getting to know these features could come in very handy someday.
Features and Handy Tips:

GPS Technology
Disney has a cell phone with GPS technology that allows the parent to track the location of the handset. This was designed for parents with children between 10 and 15 years old. Parents can control the times and days the children use the cell phone, and the child can feel safer knowing that their parents know where they are when they're not at home.

Mobile Emergency # 112
(Finds existing network. Can be used even if keypad is locked)

If Keys Get Locked in Car
Call home and spare keyless entry button can be pushed on cell phone. You hold your cell phone about a foot away from car door and it will open it!

For Reserve Battery Power:
If cell battery runs out, push *3370# and you will get 50% power. Will recharge the reserve when recharged
Write Down Cell Phone Serial Number:
Push *#06# and a 15-digit code will display. Write down and keep in safe place. If phone gets stolen, give code to phone company and phone will be disabled.

Free Mobile Directory Assistance:
Instead of 4-1-1, which is a charged call, dial 800-FREE411 (800-373-3411) and there is no charge for directory assistance.

You may know of other tricks and tips in addition to the ones listed here. We'd love to hear about them!