5 Tips to Break the Phone Habit

Since social media is everywhere, there has to be a balance between the world we create and share online, the life we lead, and the responsibilities we have every day. With all the social media websites and apps nowadays, instant communication and information is at the touch of our finger tips. Young Latinas have been brought up in a world of technology and there is nothing wrong with that, as long as you have a healthy balance between your everyday life and your social media world.

Social media is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. A place where you can communicate with friends and family, as well as express yourself and share different occasions in your life with your loved ones, but there can also be cons if you allow it to consume your life.

According to a 2015 survey by Pew Research Center, “92% of teens report going online daily — including 24% who say they go online ‘almost constantly.'” Furthermore, the “Hispanic youth report more frequent internet use than white teens, at 32% compared to 19%.” Results of the survey indicate that “Girls dominate social media while boys are more likely to play video games.” It is obvious that us girls love our Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and texting, but there is more to enjoy then just our phones. Here are five tips that will allow all you to have the best of both worlds:

1. Turn Your Phone Off at School 

School is important and it’s one of your most important responsibilities as a young girl. I know, I know, one thing you always hear is no phones in class, but it is very important not allow your social media, whether it be text messages, Instagram, twitter, etc. to distract you from your school work. There will be time later on to check your phone and post what you want, but school is not the place or time.

2. Call a Friend Instead of Texting

We all love to text; it’s easy, fast, and even fun, but why not call a friend up and see how they are doing. We would all rather hangout with friends and family then to just text them, but the next best thing is to hear their voice. Phone conversations are a great way to communicate with the people you want to talk to without having to constantly check your phone. Your parents will think you are more mature as well!

3. No Phones at the Table

Hectic days sometimes means that we don’t always get to spend enough time with our family. For a Latino family, eating with your family is very important. It’s a time to have a conversation, know what everyone is up to, and laugh. Many of us bring our phones everywhere, and I mean everywhere, but when it’s time to eat with our family we should reserve that time for just that and put the phones away.

Faith, 9, says “I put my phone away or leave it at home, or put it on silent so it doesn’t interfere with my life.”

4. Your Phone Should have a Bedtime, too

Okay, I know it sounds funny, but when we have our phones with us in bed we tend to stay on them. Then, an hour has passed and you were supposed to be asleep two hours ago! I’m guilty of this myself, but when I do put my phone aside before I go to bed, I get to sleep faster and I’m better rested in the morning.

5. Make time for Face-to-Face Contact

Our phones are our life, at least it may seem that way when we’re young, but what is really important is the relationships we have with each other, more importantly the quality of those relationships. Spending time with the ones we love, and hanging out with friends, are the memories that will last a lifetime. So put down the phone, not forever, but just for a while and go spend time with a good friend.

Many young girls agree that there should be a healthy balance between social media and real life. Some even prefer not to use their phones as much. Emily, 17, says “Having to look down at a keyboard rather than looking up at pair of eyes makes me feel more confined to technology than reality.”

Another way not to always spend so much time on your phones is doing something you enjoy.  Feliz, 14, says: “Once you find a hobby that you are passionate about will help you connect to the outside world. You can meet new people, go to new places, and experience life so much better rather than being on your phone. It will open so many more opportunities for you.”

As long as you know the time and the place to use your phone, technology won’t affect you negatively. Social media is fun, and who can’t resist sharing a picture of their abulita’s delicious food, or taking selfies at your familia’s fiesta, or sharing a cute pic of your dog, but sometimes moments are best experienced without a phone. 

Inspired by Twitter

It is easy to get bogged down on Twitter by the negativity that flies around sometimes. Maybe you check twitter first thing and the morning and you see the latest twitter battle between celebrities. Who wants to start their day that way?

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Twitter connects us with people all over the world. More than a third of young adults under the age of 30 are using the social media site, according to data collected by the Pew Research Center. The percentage of Latinos on twitter has seen more growth than any other group in the past two years. Some of us have done some amazing things and Twitter is a great way to share our accomplishments. Check out some of these amazing Latina women and the great things they are doing. What’s a better way to start your day than with a dose of inspiration?

Maria Teresa Kumar – @mariateresa1

Maria Teresa Kumar is no stranger to Twitter. As the president of Voto Latino, she uses social media and texting campaigns to empower young Latinos to go out and take charge of their government. Her own personal Twitter is just as motivating. She often tweets about issues passing through Congress that we should all be aware. She is great at picking out some inspirational quotes as well.

Ana Roca Castro – @anarc

Ana is an education tech developer and the CEO of PreK12Plaza, an education resource helping students in underserved areas receive a quality bilingual education. Her twitter account shows her passion for education rights and bringing more women into the science and technology fields. She is also a founder of LATISM or Latinos in Social Media, an online movement to bring together Latinos on social media platforms in order to open a discourse for social change. Visit her Twitter and join the conversation.

Cristina Saralegui – @cristinaopina

Cristina is often called the Latina Oprah. She is a Cuban-born talk show host and journalist. She has interviewed countless celebrities and even some political figures. She shows just how far a Latina woman can get with some determination. Always the journalist, she often shares inspiring stories over on her Twitter account.

Maribel Marmol – @food4thoughtnyc

Maribel is a health blogger from New York City. She tweets about food, healthy living, and ways we can stay positive in life. Find out how to cheer up and avoid stress in the first place. Not only is her Twitter feed uplifting, but she is also a great example of ways we can all use our social media accounts to send a positive message to the world.  Check out her account to pick up some ideas on how you can follow her lead and tell the world about your passion.

America Ferrera – @americaferrera

America is young, talented, and a very vocal activist for Latino issues. She has supported over a dozen charities including Peace First, Stand UP to Cancer, and Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. In addition, she has spoken at rallies for immigration reform and rights. She finds time for all of this while working as an actress!  Keep up with the excitement on her Twitter page.

If you still need more inspiring women in your life, check out the #Latism hashtag. You can find Latinos sharing their opinions and discussing ways to solve social and economic problems. LATISM holds weekly twitter parties every Thursday with a different topic each week. Young voices are always welcome and can offer a fresh perspective. So go ahead and tell the world what you think! Twitter can be inspiring and you can be one of the many Latinas that makes it that way.

Leading Chicas of YouTube

imagesSometimes surfing the internet can either be very fun or very boring. Maybe you have a day where there aren’t any updates from your favorite tweeters, or maybe you’ve spent just too much of your time scrolling through Tumblr. For days like these, Andrea Acevedo, 13, likes to head over to YouTube. “I check out YouTube when I’m bored to see if there are any new funny videos,” she says, “and a lot of times, there are.”

Of course, you might be asking yourself, ‘But where do I start?’ YouTube is a HUGE website with a variety of videos. From the weird to the funny, there are so many different v-loggers (video bloggers) out there and each v-logger has either a little or a huge fan base. Here are five female YouTube stars whose videos you should check out:

Dulce- dulcecandy

Dulce is a Latina from California with 1.5 million followers. She also happens to be the official beauty blogger of Cosmo for Latinas! Her videos focus on makeup, hair, DIY videos, and nail tutorials. Fun fact: She even has a La Llorona costume tutorial.

 

Kathy Cano-Murillo- craftychica

Kathy is a Latina whose channel is all about crafting! If you’re into crafting, or want to do a little DIY with your friends or family, check her out. She has videos on jewelry, art, and clothes, all ranging from easy to hard depending on your level. She has over 11,000 followers, so make sure to subscribe if you like her videos!

Bethany Mota- bethanymota

From sunny California, Bethany has 5 million followers! She has A LOT of DIY videos for those of you who want to fill your summer days with projects. The girl is so popular that she even has her own clothing line with Aeropostle!

Kat Lazo- TheeKatsMeoww

With over 1,000 followers, Kat is a Latina who vlogs about her life as a woman and her experiences in this day and age. She’s open and honest in all of her videos, so if you want to know more about feminism  and women in the media then you should definitely check out her video feed.

Bunny Meyer- grav3yardgirl

From the Houston area, Bunny has almost 2.6 million followers, or as she likes to call them, Swamp Family Members. Bunny’s channel has videos ranging from fashion and thrift hauls to her popular Does This Thing Really Work? In this segment she tests makeup and “As Seen on TV” products. Bunny is very open about her life experiences and has a habit of making everyone feel comfortable and loved during her videos.

Whether you end up liking these particular YouTuber or you click through the different recommended videos and find someone who you really love, YouTube is a great place to check out and connect with those who have similar interests as you. “I’ve learned so much from YouTube, and I love how I’m able to find new and different ways to connect with people,” says Martha Garcia, 17. “It’s even better when they’re Latina because I really like seeing others like me being represented on YouTube.”

Family VS Facebook

1374166_668942679783592_214847276_nFacebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. The social media world; entertaining, but can also become harmful to people. Have you ever seen a person that never has time for anything else but surfing through their phone on social media? What if a close family member or friend is too busy on their social network to spend time with you or even acknowledge that you are there?

According to statistics found on The Guardian Liberty Voice, “when habits begin to interfere with daily lives – where one simply can’t do anything else until they’ve had their social media ‘fix’ – then it has become an addiction.” One doesn’t only like to get on social networks daily, it becomes you, you cannot seem to go with your day without getting ‘online’; after a while it simply becomes an addiction to social networks. 

These social networks have become more than a part of our lives, but part of who we are and what we choose to do on a daily basis.

Mom VS Facebook

Sometimes when I get home from school and something exciting happens I would like to run home and tell my mom, but recently it has become a war for her attention between myself and Facebook.When we hear her laugh it is because of a picture she saw, when she talks to me is to help her navigate better through Facebook. It has been bothering me and I didn’t know how to face it, until I just learned to accept it. Once I wasn’t paying attention to her anymore she noticed she was excluding everyone around her and realized the mistake she had done, and now she only uses Facebook when she has nothing to do or no one to talk to, she learned to make time for her social media use and myself.

Stephanie, 18, had a similar experience like mine. “I love my Mom, but sometimes I just want to yell at her because all she does is Photoshop me in pictures and post them on Facebook, everyone would see and some of those pictures were embarrassing. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, but I had to tell her to stop because she wasn’t even paying attention to me, she wasn’t even doing her job good, and she wasn’t paying any attention to her family. It got to a point where she was ‘talking Facebook’, she would used to say. ‘Ooh, Like! Poke! 50 Likes, yes’ and she would post every 30 seconds to say exactly what she was doing, even when she was going to shower! It was already to another level, she had gone over board. Good thing we… talked some sense into her. Now, she only gets on social networks when she’s bored at home and I couldn’t be more proud of her,” said Stephanie.

The Pew Research and Project claim how “a widely-reported 2006 study argued that since 1985 Americans have become more socially isolated, the size of their discussion networks has declined, and the diversity of those people with whom they discuss important matters has decreased.” People care less and less about social interaction face-to-face now with the new technologies and have been socially alone, and the ethnic group that belongs to this is mostly Americans.

“My best friend was always on it, she even started missing school because she would stay up until 5 in the morning on social networks, posting pictures, looking at her feed, it got to a point where I had to do an intervention to show her how bad social networks were affecting her. She realized then how it was also affecting everyone around her. I just think everyone needs a balance, everything must be done with moderation,” said Lizzeth, 24.

Social networks can be entertaining and fun, but if you choose not to do it with moderation, there will be consequences. Being stuck to our electronic devices daily can affect how we behave and cause us to miss out on special moments with people that matter. Put down the phone and go look at the world, enjoy the priceless times you get with your loved ones and you can go back to the social media world when you have absolutely nothing better to do. Use it as a way to get away from reality once in a while, but don’t let that take away time from precious moments you could be spending with someone you love.

Stand Up to Cyberbullying

As technology advances, so do the problems that come with it.  Cyberbullying is defined as the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostel behavior by an individual or group who wants to harm others. It is a serious social problem that seems to be growing among teens. Cyberbullying has led to eating disorders, depression, suicidal thoughts and suicides. Cyberbullying needs to be addressed by schools, law enforcement, parents, and online websites in order to stop completely. Here are some actions you can take to avoid cyberbullying and stay cyber-safe.

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Ways to Stay Safe:

1. Never give out personal information: Waiting for hours on your favorite band’s page to buy tickets, to their upcoming show, is extremely important, along with your online shopping addiction. But be on the lookout, keep personal info like bank account numbers, pin numbers,and  passwords to online social networks to yourself! This will help prevent others from posting inappropriate information on your accounts and stealing personal information.

2. Don’t believe everything you see or read:
Just like your soccer team’s locker room gossip, don’t  believe everything people say or post online, because they could easily be rumors. Also, don’t believe all the  personal information people share, like their age. That Justin Bieber look-alike can be lying and tell you he’s 15 when he can actually be a lot older.

3.Use Netiquette:
Manners online are just as important as those in the real world. Be cautious of what comments you make, or words you use to address others. When online treat others the way you would like to be treated. In other words, treat them just like you would off-line, with respect.

4. Don’t send a message to someone when you are angry:
Keep an online diary or notepad and write down all your frustrations, but don’t send anything. Anger can cause you to express yourself in ways you normally wouldn’t, which can be hurtful. Wait until you are calm and have analyzed the situation before sending a virtual message.

5. If it doesn’t look or feel right, it probably isn’t:
Trust your instincts and if your gut tells you not to do something then don’t do it. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

6. You don’t always have to be “on.”
Escape back to the real world. Turn off, disconnect, or unplug your device once in a while!  Try actual reality instead of virtual  reality: Don’t spend too much time online; try riding a bike, reading a book, or exercising instead. Challenge yourself to an afternoon without electronics!

You followed the safety protocol but are being threatened by a cyberbully, what should you do? Here are some tips on how to handle a cyberbully.

 How to Handle A Cyberbully:

1. Don’t reply to messages from cyberbullies:
To avoid any problems simply ignore the cyberbully by  not replying to his/her messages. This might be difficult, but it’s best not to add fuel to the fire.

2. Do not keep this to yourself!
You are NOT alone and you did NOT do anything to deserve this!  Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to talk to a parent or adult. The best way to deal with this sort of situation, is to ask someone you trust for help and advice.

3. Inform your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or cell phone/ pager service provider:
Most websites or cell phones have ways to block a bully. Use these services and don’t be afraid to report anyone who is harassing you.

4. Inform your local police:
If the bullying continues and escalates, call the police.  This might be scary but remember, the police are there to help no matter what your problem is.

5. Do not erase or delete messages from cyberbulies:
If things get really bad, don’t delete anything so that you have proof of the cyberbullying. Do not reply, but save them so you have evidence for when you do report them.

6. Protect yourself!!:
Never arrange to meet online with someone without knowing who they are. If you decide to meet up with a new online acquaintance make you sure it is in a public place and that you have your parents approval. Always practice internet safety, chicas.

Cyberbullies tend to be male and the cyber-victims female. More research needs to be done in order to determine how much influence gender really has on cyberbullying.  Statistics show that 1 in every 7 students is either a bully or a victim, which should be a high enough number for schools to realize more should be done about the problem. Some online websites that aid victims of cyberbullying mainly approach parents or caregivers instead of the adolescents who make up the highest number of cybervictims.  Schools are slow to do something about the problem because they’re not quite sure how or when to approach an incident.

Cyberbullying should be taken more seriously because of the physical or physiological consequences it can have on someone. More can be done if Cyberbullying is seen as a problem and not as an issue among adolescents.

Tech Girl: Facebook Protection

Staying in the loop of things has become as easy as logging onto Facebook. There, you can find out what your friends from school areNetSafety up to and what’s on their mind.

Nowadays, networking sites like Facebook serve as our main source of our information and communication. Through the power of the Internet, people can get access to personal information like what you are doing, where you are and whom you are with…if you post it.

Though Facebook is meant to be fun, it must be used with caution and responsibility. We all love posting pictures on Facebook, but we rarely stop and think about who is able to view our pictures. You never know who is out there searching your name and looking at your profile, so it is necessary that you are aware of the dangers Facebook brings.

When posting a picture, keep three things in mind:

  • What does this picture suggest?
  • Does it give away any personal information, such as location?
  • Could there be a negative response after I post this picture?

Those are just a few things to keep in mind before uploading a picture. Other things to consider: be aware of who your friends are. People with bad intentions could be lurking around your profile pretending to be someone they are not. Your parents probably warned you to be careful online, but once you have had an account for several years, you may forget about the dangers that are always around.

If you have doubts about posting a picture, the best thing to do would be to keep it off the Internet. Once something is on the web, you can never erase it. Several people have had their risqué pictures land online, whether intentional or not. And certain attention can damage your self-esteem.

Sometimes you might think that a picture is harmless, but it could be sending people the wrong message about you. Make sure you know what the picture will represent.

Be careful on the Internet and you won’t regret it in the future.

Tips to Better Digital Pictures

1) Get on the level of your subject
When photographing someone smaller than you (ex: pets, children, fruit bowls), get down on your subjects’ level. This creates a more personal feel in the photos. Also, it will give the photo dimension and life as the photo will be on the same eye level as the subject capturing better expressions.

2) Use plain backgrounds
If possible, take the photo using a plain color as your background to put more emphasis on your subject. If your background is crowded, this could cause a distraction to the person viewing your photo and the subject can be lost in the background. Also, a background that is too busy can make it difficult for someone to see where the focus of your picture is. Be aware of the colors around you, and pair colors that will make your subject be the center of attention.

3) Get Close Up
When photographing nature such as rose bushes, focus in on one particular rose to create more of an impact instead of photographing the entire rose bush. According to Kodak.com, “[This] will eliminate background distractions and show off the details in your subject.” Moving in closer shows a greater attention to detail and truly emphasizes the subject of your photo. This technique will cause your pictures to have a more professional or artful look to them.

4) Don’t always put your subject in the middle
For both portrait and landscape photos, do not place your subject in the middle of your shot. This tactic is old and tired. Try placing the subject at a diagonal or at the edge of your shot. Kodak.com suggests that you should, “Imagine a tic-tac-toe grid in your view finder. Now place the subject at one of the intersection s of lines.” Most cameras auto-focus in the center of every shot, so do not be afraid to play around with the auto-focus or completely turn it off.

5) Don’t be afraid to be a director
It is okay to take control of a picture after all you are the one holding the camera. Be brave. Experiment with the picture such as adding props, moving people around, moving to a different area, or taking the photo from a different vantage or view point. Be inventive and ask yourself how can I make this picture more personable or creative?

6) Take your camera everywhere
This is one of the more obvious, but often forgotten tips. Having your camera constantly with you is vital to becoming a better photographer. Some of the best pictures occur at the most unexpected moments, so having your camera constantly ready could truly pay off. Also, any opportunity to practice will pay off as practice does make perfect!

February 2011

Texting in the Fast Lane

As technology becomes more closely tied to our daily lives, a growing problem for young drivers is using gadgets while behind the wheel. Cellphone texting is distracting and endangering the lives of its users. A group being seriously affected is teenage drivers who despite being new to driving are risking it all to send that “important” text message while on the road.

Most teens think that they are invincible. They have the attitude that it can happen to others, but not them. In my generation, we are completely overwhelmed with technology. It seems almost impossible to put your phone down to concentrate on one thing. One second you are glancing down at your phone rather than at road can change everything. Ignoring the warning signs and living in an “it could never happen to me” attitude, teens are often surprised at almost colliding with another vehicle when looking down at their cell phones for a split second.

A report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 26% of all American teens 16-17 have texted while driving, and 43% have talked on a cell phone while driving. Texting while in the use of a moving vehicle has become one of the leading causes of death for people within the ages of sixteen to twenty, accounting for more than five thousand deaths each year according to a study reported by lifescience.com. They also reported that another study done by the University of Utah, simulated young drivers texting while driving and found that they ran over virtual pedestrians, went in and out of their lane and were extremely distracted.

Several teens have told me their stories of near encounters because of using their phone while driving. Driving his vehicle on the Border Highway in West Texas, 17-year-old Luis Oliveros said he almost side-swiped another vehicle because he was checking his phone exiting the off-ramp. “I was driving on the highway and I took the exit off, but I was checking my phone at the same time,” said Luis. “When I got off the 375, I was going to switch lanes, but another car was coming that I hadn’t noticed because I was using my phone…I only noticed it because [the driver] honked and I swerved to my left to avoid hitting it.”

Rainelle Espinoza, age 17, almost fell victim to her distraction, while driving when she reached down to grab the cell phone she let slip from her hand. Her vehicle started to veer to the next lane, but Rainelle “quickly reacted” and was able continue her commute unharmed.

Many tales of “close call” exist for teens who decide to text message while behind the wheel. Amanda Guzman said her turning point came after a situation similar happened to her. “The fact that I had to slam on my brakes hard changed everything,” the 19-year-old said, adding that she’s trying to be a safer driver.

The split second it takes for a driver to take their eye of the road makes a drastic difference when looking at the statistics and research done. Driving demands responsibility, concentration and focus. To give the situation what it demands you can’t be doing anything other than driving. Remember no one is above this; everyone has the chances of being in an accident. You can help eliminate those chances by being a safe driver and not use your phone, mp3 player or have any other kind of distractions around while driving.

By Cassie Barraza

Get Set to Dial!

In today’s wireless world, many teens cannot live without being connected. Cell phones are fast becoming the portal from just simply staying in touch to managing entire social lives.  There’s a plan for everyone, yes even chicas who have to have all the latest chisme. If you are like most teens, you probably have a part-time job or no job at all. Either way, you can still find and afford a phone. First, talk to your parents. Some teens may be reluctant, but if you need them to help you out with costs or get their approval, then they are the first place you should go. Discuss and write down what you want in a phone before you decide on a plan or on a prepaid phone, this way you don’t have to commit to one right away. Plans differ from prepaid phones in many ways and are specific to an individual’s needs.

How Prepaid Phones Work Prepaid phones are used by purchasing minutes from companies such as Virgin Mobile, T-Mobile to Go, Alltel Prepaid, Ampd and many more. These come in the form of cards with a preset number of minutes. The card has a code on it that the user dials to adds minutes to the phone. These cards can be purchased at any major store, and are specific to the brand of the phone.  The appeal of these phones is that you don’t have to worry about surprise bills with overage costs.   Unfortunately, once the minutes are used up, the phone can no longer make any more calls until the user buys more minutes.   This can be bad if you don’t keep up with the minutes and when it’s time to buy a new card. With text messaging, minutes are deducted from the card every time a message is sent. This is also true for using the Internet, downloading ring tones, games, and extras.

How the Plan Phones Work Phones that come with a plan have a preset amount of minutes every month. If you go over the minutes, the phone is still usable, but users must pay a fee for going over the preset minutes.  Text messaging is also preset or the user can opt to have no messaging at all. Once again, extra fees can add up quickly if you go over the set amount of messages. Internet plans are expensive because they are unlimited.  This means that a user can get on the Internet as much as they would like, but must pay monthly. Also if your parents have a cell phone plan, ask them if they can add you as another line. Most contract companies do this for less than starting a whole new plan. They may also discount the price of the phone as a promotion. Although there are no unlimited plans for prepaid cell phones, there are inexpensive unlimited plans out there. The Cricket Company has an unlimited plan that includes talk, United States long distance, picture messaging, video messaging, Internet, and text for one flat rate of $45 dollars a month. On the other end of the spectrum, the same plan is available with T-Mobile for a steep $99 a month.

Ask Yourself Questions It is important to ask yourself questions like, how much do I talk on the phone? How much do I want to pay a month? How much do I want to pay for the phone?  Is this phone going to be for casual talk or just for important phone calls like emergencies? Do I text message, and if so, how much? Do I need a basic phone or a fancy phone? If your parents have a cell phone plan, ask them if they can add you as another line.  Keep in mind not to overwhelm yourself in the future by choosing something you can’t keep up with financially.

Read the Fine Print Okay, now to the fun part. So you have figured it out, you want a prepaid phone, you want a cool new phone to turn anyone envidioso. When it comes time to actually choose a phone, look at the price! Prepaid phones come in a variety of trendy styles and start as low as $19.99. Phones attached to a plan can sometimes be free depending on what type of plan you open. Phones from Cricket, can cost as low as $29.99. Be careful when choosing and read the fine print.  Sometimes the phone must be paid for up front, and a rebate is mailed in order to your money back, therefore making the phone free. For example, a phone advertised as 29.99 may actually cost $89.99 before the rebate is mailed in.  You need to make sure you have the full amount available  up front,  hold onto the receipt, and remember to mail it in for your rebate.

How to Keep up With Costs Now that the precious new phone is in your hand you are ready to take on the world, right? Not quite. Decide how you are going to pay for the minutes, if prepaid, or plan? If you have a part-time job, set aside money from your pay check. Remember, this money is off limits! Sometimes it helps to purchase a prepaid wireless card right away, so that you won’t contemplate on what to spend it on (hmm new shoes or cell phone?). What happens if you don’t have a job? Work out a deal with our parents. Do things around the house in exchange for minutes or monthly bill. Think about it, if you do these chores for money, then you would probably be spending it on your phone anyway. Work out some sort of a deal, keep up your grades, do chores, babysit, or walk dogs. Remember that if you make a deal, then you must commit. Part of having a cell phone is responsibility.  If you don’t hold up your end of the bargain, then this reflects on your readiness to have a phone.

On your mark, Get set, Dial!Take care of your phone and be responsible. Remember that having a phone is a new and exciting responsibility that can give you independence. Use this new freedom wisely by choosing the right wireless setup for you. Now, you are one high-tech Latina on your way to talking and texting glory!

By Vanessa K. Brown

Net Safety Quiz

Do you think you know it all when it comes to cyber safety? Take the net safety quiz and test your knowledge.

1. It is okay to give your personal information (real name, age, address, phone number) to friends over the web.
A. True Incorrect
B. False Correct
No matter how well you think you know someone that you met over the ‘net, you should never give your personal information over the web. You don’t want a stranger knowing where you live or how to call you. this could be a dangerous situation.
2. Always tell an adult if anyone online makes you feel uncomfortable.
A. True
Correct
B. False
Incorrect
3. You can download anything you want from the internet without permission.
A. True Incorrect
B. False Correct
You should always ask for permission from an adult before you download something from the internet. You might accidentally download a virus that will corrupt your hard drive.
4. It is okay to meet someone from the internet in real life.
A. True Incorrect
B. False Correct
You must never agree to meet someone in real life that you meet from the internet. If someone asks you to meet them, tell your parents.
5. Always use appropriate language when you are online.
A. True
Correct
B. False Incorrect