I don’t have an iPhone, but I have an iPod Touch. With both, you can buy or get free applications that allow you to simulate feeding a dog, touching a waterfall, playing a piano and so much more. You can also check calories, movie reviews, breaking news and the weather.
They’re interactive and fun.
But what was Apple thinking with its latest app?
Apple is in the news now for offering a “Baby Shaker” application that allows users to simulate shaking a crying baby until it quiets and has red Xs over its eyes.
This new “game” has angered parents, child welfare groups and organizations that work to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome.
The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation has demanded an apology and e-mailed press releases, asking the public to contact Apple about their disappointment in this product.
As a result of public outcry, Apple has pulled the app.
– Linda Lynn
The campaign hopes to help the teens deal with unwanted text messages from other teens seeking sexual messages, pictures or videos. This also applies to such requests made online.
Teen and their parents are invited to explore a new Web site at www.Thatsnotcool.com.
The Web site offers teens some ways to respond to the so-called “textual harrasment,” among other interesting information.
The Ad Council (www.adcouncil.org) is a private, non-profit organization that marshals talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to produce, distribute and promote public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies in issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation and strengthening families.
The council is partnering on this new campaign with other agencies, incluing the National Family Violence Prevention Fund.
I’ve been looking for one and think I’ve picked out the one she’ll get for Christmas.
Since we’ve been talking about cell phones quite a bit these days, I’ve taken the time to talk to her about the results of a recent survey conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and CosmoGirl.com.
The results, released recently, found that one in five teen girls (22 percent), and 11 percent of teen girls ages 14-16, said they have electronically sent or posted online nude or semi-nude images of themselves.
According to the “Sex and Tech” survey, these images are getting passed around by their peers: One third (33 percent) of teen boys and one-quarter (25 percent) of teen girls said they have had nude/semi-nude images, orginally meant to be private, shared with them.
I had already heard of this type of thing occuring, particulary images sent via cell phone. When this survey was released I learned that this type of behavior has informally been dubbed “sexting.”
The survey concluded that what teens and young adults are doing electronically seems to have an effect on what they do in real life. Nearly one-quarter of teens (22 percent) admitted that technology makes them personally more forward and aggressive. More than one-third of teens (38 percent) said exchanging sexy content makes dating or “hooking up” with others more likely and nearly one-third of teens (29 percent) said they believe those exchanging sexy content are “expected” to date or “hook up.”
“That so many young people say technology is encouraging an even more casual, hook-up culture is reason for concern, given the high rates of teen and unplanned pregnancy in the United States,” Marisa Nightingale, senior advisor to the Entertainment Media Program at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, said in a news release.
“Parents should understand that their own notions of what’s public, what’s private, and what’s appropriate, may differ greatly from how teens and young adults define these concepts.”
By the way, according to the survey girls are not the only ones sharing sexually explicit content: Almost one in five teen boys (18 percent) said they have sent or posted nude/semi nude images of themselves.
Find out more about the survey, including some helpful tips for parents, by clicking here: “Sex and Tech survey”
I was about to pull out of my driveway and head to work when I glanced at my cell phone.
I had seven voicemails! Who could have called me so many times?
I listened to the first message, and it was my youngest daughter, Kaci, distraught and crying. You can never understand her on the phone when she’s upset, but I knew it was her. What could be wrong? So, I listened to the next message. Again, her crying, never staying on the phone more than a couple of seconds.
As I quickly headed to her school, my mind began to imagine the problem. Had someone hurt her? Had the teacher addressed her harshly? … Still, the next two voicemails were even shorter, some with only whines.
I was about in tears when I pulled into the school parking lot. I rushed to the office. “I have to talk to my daughter,” I said with urgency. “She called me on the phone distraught.”
One of the women in the school office told me Kaci was in the gym, so we quickly walked to her P.E. class. (Had she broken her arm? Was she hurt?)
When we arrived at the gym, I saw my little 10-year-old swinging a racquet and playing with the other children. She looked fine, so I was puzzled. I motioned for her to come to the door.
When she was asked if she had called me that morning, she said, “No.” …. But she had called two weeks ago. And then I remembered getting a phone call on our home phone weeks earlier. She had been upset because she had thought an envelope with money for school pictures was missing … It wasn’t. It was in her notebook. So, she quickly recovered from her tears.
Or so I thought. I didn’t realize she had tried calling my cell phone several times. Aren’t cell phones grand? I’m not sure if anyone else’s phone does this, but sometimes I don’t get a message alerting me to voicemails. Then, one day I’ll get one that seems to push all the voicemails forward at once.
So, I left her school that morning, relieved but mentally shaken.
When I retold this story to my family, my oldest daughter reminded me of a time last year when my worry took me a little over the top, too.
I showed up at her middle school with two pairs of pants and a sandwich.
I thought she had ripped her pants (I had seen a dark spot on her jeans when she boarded the bus, so I thought they were torn.) And news reports of tainted peanut butter panicked me because I had packed her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Well, the rip turned out to be a sticker on her jeans. But I still made her switch out the sandwiches.
My children might laugh at me for my antics, but it’s just my nature. I will always worry about my kids. — Linda Lynn
According to a story by The Associated Press, the head of a prominent cancer research institute is cautioning people to limit cell phone use because of the possible cancer risk, especially to children whose brains are still developing.
I’m sure my family would go through cell phone withdrawal if we had to do without the cell phones simply because it is a way for us to stay connected when we are physically apart.
But cancer is, well, cancer.
I think I can go back to using the land line for most of my calls. I could also do some more letter writing or I could catch up on my e-mail correspondence now that I think about it.
The same goes for my kids. I know they can survive without a cell phone if their very survival was at stake.
I’m sure I won’t be the only parent on the look out for more information on this topic.
I know I’m not the only one out there over 40 who started out text-challenged.
I steadfastly refused to text message my kids for months after they received their cell phones.
“Call me if you want to talk to me and I’ll do the same for you,” I told them in a no-nonsense manner.
That worked for all of two weeks.
One day I needed to talk to my 15-year-old son so I picked up the phone and called his cell. No answer. I tried three more times at different intervals over the next hour.
With a huge sigh, I typed out my message. Actually, I wouldn’t call what I did typing. It was more like pitiful pecking.
How did they manage to have whole conversations with people by doing this? This is insane, I thought.
Finally, after many, many stops and starts, I was able to press the “send” button and get that message out.
Surprise! Within a minute, my son answered back.
“Mom, you’re texting now?”
“YES, BECAUSE YOU DID NOT ANSWER MY TELEPHONE CALL!!!!”
I yelled this out at my desk, causing folks sitting around me to stare for a minute. Feeling, much calmer, I pecked out a response: “Just answer my question and we’ll talk about the rest of this later.”
Well later that night, I found myself the center of attention at my house.
By the time I got there, my son had told my 13-year-old daughter all about my inaugural text message.
I thought she was a little too excited.
She was making plans to have these intense conversations via text.
That is so not happening, I told her. I’ll do it when it’s the only way I can get in touch with you. Period.
Since then, I’ve text messaged more than ever. Of course the kids have had some laughs at my expense.
For intstance, they received several run-on messages at first and had to show me how to put spaces between words. Then they think it’s hilarious that I don’t use their text jargon. They find it amusing that I actually text complete sentences.
Look, to do otherwise would be flat-out weird to me.
I told them that if they get a text from “mom” that is short and includes all their usual jargon, they’ll know it’s not me, but an imposter.
It will be someone else having a hard time getting ahold of them …