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Children and Mobile Phones

With the rate with which the big boys in the mobile computing industry are changing their models, it’s easy to get lost in all the marketing hoopla and the feature rich, priced-next-to-nothing upgrades on your current data plan. If you take a look at the used phone market, it’s easy to simply toss one up to your child.

But does your kid really need a phone?

In this post, we’ll talk about used phones and getting one for your children. If you’re a bit of a Luddite or you’re simply too far behind, this might help. We’re parents too (well, some of us are) and we get it when you worry. Here are some things you need to know about handing down a used phone for your children.

 

Kids and Mobiles

Kids and Mobiles

Should you get a phone for your children?

If we’re honest, this a loaded question to begin with. Generally, you’ll want to stay in touch with your kids for safety reasons. (Yes, we all know mothers; they came from the same school.) But are your children independent enough to handle a phone responsibly? If they are, it stands to reason that up to a point, they can take good care of themselves.

If your children will gain a lot from a mobile for social reasons; if you feel they can handle all the policies in school or stick to a few ground rules that you’ll inevitably impose (more on this later), then you should get them one.

 

What should you tell your children before they get a phone?

            We’ve all been teenage boys once and if we’re honest, kids these days are seeing plenty of action at a ridiculously young age. Getting a phone for your kids might start you up on a very slippery slope.

Nowadays, a phone isn’t just phone anymore. It’s a portal, a window to the Internet. From their phone, they can easily access adult sites. Some of them simply ask you to click a button if you are over 18 years old.

Just as anybody with a smartphone is a potential pornographer, your kids may be exposed to behaviors such as sending rude messages, sexy photos and texts or uploading embarrassing content. Cyber-bullying is real and it happens more often than we’d like to believe.

In these days when the messiest of break-ups happen over Twitter and Facebook, your children might easily follow suit. If you think they’re emotionally capable of dealing with these, your kids deserve their own mobiles.

 

Here’s what works for us.

At the end of the day, we ask ourselves – is the juice worth the squeeze? For those of us who do, here are a few things that work for us.

  1. Draw some boundaries. Just as Uncle Ben told Peter Parker, “with great powers come great responsibilities,”            there is comfort in knowing your kids are safe. It’s up to you to help them. No texting while driving – that’s a great start.
  2. Try to set-up some accountability. Around the time the bill comes, we sit down with our kids and we review their minutes. One of us had her boys shoveling snow to help pay their bills. This not only helped them be responsible and accountable but they learned the value of good work.
  3. Be transparent with them. As little children, we relished secrets. If you can strike that curious balance between privacy and transparency, your children will turn out just fine.

How old are your children? How do you help them cope with mobile phones? Share your tips or tell us what you think in the comments below.

buying used phones tips

Secure Yourself From Buying A Stolen Used Phones

There’s a serious dent in the growing rates of iPhone and smart phone theft. According to UK police there are 250,000 – 300,000 phones stolen were reported each year. It’s very alarming that what If you bought used phones are from theft and you can use it because after acquiring the item the used phone you bought is now blocked and cannot be use, a waste of money right?

It will be easy to have your money back if you pay it online via Paypal or Credit Card. You can file a dispute and ask to get your money back, stating the incident. But you can’t retrieve your money back asap, this will require a long process and days also this long process brings too much hassle. Stay away from these and secure you from buying theft used phones, here are few tips how:

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Top Tips when shopping for a used phone

If we’re honest, we still think used phones are underrated. They’re almost always hand-me-downs from users who’ve given chase to the next biggest name from a behemoth with an unlimited marketing budget. With the quality of service that goes into each phone, they’re almost always better than their same-age, stock counterparts.

Each piece that’s likely to fail (the battery input or audio jacks are among the first to go) is hastily replaced. Save for a few dings and hairline scratches, they’re as good as new. If you’re looking for a used phone, here are some things you need to know before diving headlong to the market.

 

Pick a brick-and-mortar seller.

            Some of the horror stories you read about some online auction sites (read: eBay) where winning bidders receive a boxful of bits and pieces that may resemble a mobile phone (on some absolute level) and nowhere near the one on the advert – these stories happen.

Save yourself the pointless dispute system and the long, discussions with customer service representatives who can barely give a coherent answer to your complaints. If you’re going to look for a phone online, choose one which has a brick-and-mortar address. It’s this quality that separates them from most fly-by-night sellers and outright scammers.

Even better, haul yourself over to their shop. This way, you can get access to their models and stocks on hand. There’s simply no substitute with testing a mobile you’re about to buy with both hands.

 

Get a hold of yourself.

            Never walk in a shop without a prepared budget or at least a general idea on what you want to buy or how much you’re willing to shell out. If you’re a techie or gadget junkie, walking into a good store is absolutely ecstatic.

These places are notoriously good at displaying rarer finds like the old Palm Treo 180G. It was sold only in black-and-white screens but it was one of the first few phones to use character drawing system. Mind you, this was around the time Eminem was just starting out; around the time Enrique Iglesias’ slightly mispronounced lyrics were making old ladies swoon by the hundreds.

 

Some of them are free.

If you’re looking for a used phone because you’ve lost yours and the next big payday isn’t due for a month or two, there are shops that specialize in giving away free phones. No, not selling – giving away.

These phones are usually available on a wide range of networks and data carriers and if you know where to look, all you really pay for is the airtime – whether you choose a monthly plan or one where you pay as you go.

Again, their biggest selling point is also their fatal flaw – network. Find out the best, most reliable services in your area. You might be walking away with a free phone but if it’s not going to work inside your flat or your office, what’s the point?

If you’re in the market for a used phone, remember:

  • Find a seller you can trust, or at least one with a physical store you can visit.
  • Don’t get carried away with all the choices; color within the lines.
  • Do your homework and you just might score a real penny-saver.

Have you bought a used phone before? Share your story in the comments below.

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Quick fixes to get your phone working again…

Used phones are many things – incredibly reliable isn’t one of them. Most used phones sold in the market these days may have some serious mileage in them but resellers have gone to great pains to make them as good as the day the left the factory.

But what if you bang them up outside the reseller warranty? Don’t throw them away just yet! Here are some quick fixes you can try on your used phones get them up and running again.

 

Wanky LCD? Try an eraser!

            If you’ve ever had a screen that won’t display all the dots and lines, like a choking dot matrix printer, fret not! All you need really is an eraser and a pair of steady hands.

First, power the unit off and remove the back cover. Some older phones have some screws just to remove the casing so take a long, hard look before simply cracking it open with your bare hands. Take the front cover off as well and remove the keypad module.

What you’ll find next is that the display is usually a layer of materials, including a magnifying plastic. Turn the LCD over and you’ll find a small thin, usually black plastic ribbon that connects the screen to the mainboard.

This is where we’re interested. Get a pencil eraser and slowly clean the surface using long, gentle strokes. Some people would use a heat gun on low alongside the eraser but we don’t really recommend this.

Put it all back together and just like a clean dot matrix, your LCD display should show all the dots and lines correctly.

 

Used phone out on a swim? Get some rice and sunshine!

            We’re very sure that you’ve heard of these quick fixes for water damaged phones. The idea here is to keep the phone from powering on while there’s still moisture in it. Water is conductive and it’ll mess with your phone’s internal components.

Simply take the battery out and put your phone in a soft cloth and onto a walkway under the sun. A few hours should be enough to dry it completely. If it’s raining outside, stash it inside a towel and put it on your freezer for an hour, or so.

If these don’t work, you can always try dunking your unit in a bowl of uncooked rice. These tiny grains are water starved and will do well to suck all the moisture in. If you want a more industrial take on this fix, collect those annoying packets we get inside new bags, shoes and luggage. These are silica balls and work nearly thrice as well as rice.

 

Annoying keypad problems? Try the first fix!

If you’ve some problems with the keypad, you can try the steps outlined in the first fix for your keypad. Simply disassemble your phone and use an eraser to fix the keypad module. With a bit of work, all you the pegs should slot snugly in on all the holes.

In sum, when you’re fixing an old phone do remember the following:

  1. Not all phones are made equal – some of them are a lot trickier to disassemble. If you’ve found a screw you can’t take apart, head over to eBay and look for the right tools.
  2. Some old phones are teetotalers. Using alcohol for water damaged phones may seem perfectly fine but some older units (and some newer ones) react so badly with water. The same is true if you’re considering using acetone.
  3. Get some help. If you’ve absolutely no idea what you’re doing, do your research first. Even better, get in touch with a good repair shop. The best ones don’t charge a lot and you can count on their portfolio of impressive results to boot.

What other fixes have you tried on your used phones before? Share your thoughts or ask your questions in the comments below.