Cricket Wireless Helps Parents Navigate Teens' Digital World
SAN DIEGO, Aug 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Cricket Communications, a leading provider of innovative and value-driven wireless services, is helping parents navigate a new digital reality where some of the youngest members of our increasingly digital society are entrenched in technology, both inside and outside the classroom. Today's teens are among the most enthusiastic communicators, particularly on cell phones, not having experienced life before cordless phones or the Internet.
According to Pew Internet and American Life Project, older teens ages 14 to 17 are substantially more likely to have a cell phone than younger teens ages 12 and 13 – 87% of older teens have a cell phone, compared with 57% of younger teens. Since 2009, the number of older teens with mobile phones has increased from 80%, while the percentage of younger teens with cell phones has declined slightly, from 66% in 2009.
Many parents are left wondering how to navigate and appropriately monitor responsible technology use for their teen. With the proliferation of cell phones, Cricket Communications is offering a few "Digital Literacy 101" tips to help parents determine if their teen is ready for a cell phone, and what to keep in mind before handing one over. This can be especially important with many teenagers operating independently on the way to and from school, participating in after-school activities and team sports throughout the school-year and beyond.
- Why does your teen need a cell phone? Determine how your teen will use a cell phone before committing to one. Is your teen out unsupervised and needs to communicate with you? Will the phone be used for emergency use only? If so, it's best to focus on a plan with more voice minutes. If the phone is going to be used for texting or surfing the Internet, it's important to consider an unlimited plan to avoid overage charges. The volume of texting among teens has risen from 50 texts a day in 2009 to 60 texts for the median teen text user.
- How responsible is your child? Managing their cell phone can be a great way to teach financial and technological responsibility to a teenager. Just be sure to lay the ground rules early when it comes to minutes used, downloading music and apps and expectations on when they can and cannot text. Most schools also have very strict cellphone use policies.
- Is your child already driving? The local news is full of stories about teen accidents, especially when it comes to text and driving. Free apps, such as Drive Safe Mode, disable texting and emailing on Android phones while on the road. The app senses when the car is driving at a predetermined speed and prevents use of the keyboard while the vehicle is in motion, so teens can focus on the road.
Has your child been schooled in proper cellular etiquette? Manners in the age of the cellphone are now a defined social skill, but can be tricky for parents to navigate, especially when it's difficult to understand what children might be doing with their phone 24/7. Parents can create phone-free times or zones where teens aren't distractedly waiting for texts or calls, but that doesn't cover every moment of the day. When you're ready to hand them a cellphone, be prepared to also establish an open dialogue about appropriate and inappropriate ways to use a cellphone, such as:
- Lower your voice and avoid discussion of personal topics in public places. Keep a distance of about 10-feet from the nearest person when talking on a cellphone in public.
- Resist the temptation to call or text when in the company of someone else. If you do need to take an urgent call, politely excuse yourself and step into another room or quiet area.
- Follow your school or library's cellphone policy. Turn your phone off completely in movie theaters so the screen doesn't light up, and put it on silent when at church or restaurants.
- Never take or post a cellphone picture of anyone without their consent.
- Remember cellphones are recorders. Everything you text could end up on a friend's Facebook, Twitter or blog page.
- HTC One™ V (MSRP $269.99), Cricket's first HTC smartphone, offers a premium experience with a 3.7-inch WVGA touch-screen, Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ S3 1Ghz processor, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS, an amazing 5-megapixel camera, Beats Audio™, 3G Real Web Browsing, Wi-Fi and tethering capability. Soon to be available in Cricket company owned stores, Premier dealers and online.
- Huawei Mercury (MSRP $249.99) offers a beautiful 4" display and is powered by an ultrafast 1.4 GHz processor, features an 8.0MP rear camera, VGA front camera and an Android 2.3 OS-named by PC Magazine as the best pre-paid smartphone in America and has Muve Music pre-loaded.
- Huawei Ascend Q (MSRP $139.99) As Cricket's first Android smartphone offering both a bar configured QWERTY keypad and a 3.2" HVGA capacitive touch display, this Muve Music-enabled phone is the newest introduction from Cricket. The device is powered by Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), an 800 MHz processor, 1500mAh battery and includes features such as a 3.2MP camera/camcorder, Wi-Fi and hotspot capable, 3G real web browsing, and comes equipped with a 4GB microSD card (3GB for Muve Music).
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