5 Things You Can Get in India With a Missed Call

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Excerpt from this article:

Want to transfer funds from your account? Give your bank a missed call. Want to hear Bollywood music? Dial a number and hang up.

Making a missed call by calling a number and letting it ring is a popular way of communicating in India because the caller doesn’t have to spend money. Marketing companies, politicians, banks and others now use this practice to reach millions who have cellphones but limited means.

Here are five things you can do in India by ringing a number and hanging up.

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Children and their mobiles: psychologists’ views on a modern obsession

Girl using her mobile phone in bed

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Parents should not constantly check their phones…

Young people need boundaries. Relying on self-management for children may not work well – when the technology is there, they tend to use it. I don’t think schools should necessarily employ an outright ban but one approach might be to bring children, teachers and parents together and draw up some guidance. If children are involved in setting rules they are more likely to adhere to them and enforce them in others. They would also need to decide on sanctions for those who break them…

Banish phones at bedtime and during homework

…Parents should make sure that young people don’t sleep with their phones – get an alarm clock instead. It’s important to talk to young people about sleep mistakes and make sure that they have a consistent night-time routine.

 

Clash Of The Screens: Should Movie Theaters Allow Texting? AMC Says Maybe

The CEO of AMC Entertainment says he is considering allowing texting during some movie showings at AMC Theaters. A good thing? Our pop culture blogger and movie critic weigh in.The CEO of AMC Entertainment says he is considering allowing texting during some movie showings at AMC Theaters. A good thing? Our pop culture blogger and movie critic weigh in.Should texting be allowed at some movie screenings?

Excerpt from this article and be sure to listen to the short radio story that features the debate:

Texting at the movies is usually annoying and usually banned. But the CEO of the giant movie theater chain AMC says maybe it’s time to rethink that.

AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron floated a trial balloon in an interview with Variety at CinemaCon, a film industry trade convention, saying the chain has considered adding showings where using your cellphone will be allowed.

The reason?

“When you tell a 22-year-old to turn off the phone, don’t ruin the movie, they hear, please cut off your left arm above the elbow,” Aron told Variety. “You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That’s not how they live their life.”

NPR’s pop culture blogger Linda Holmes and movie critic Bob Mondello weighed in. Bob adopted the curmudgeon role; Linda talked him down from the ledge.

See also this story about how movie theatre ushers in China shine laserpointers at people who use their phone there.

Update: AMC Backs Down From Allowing Texting in Theatres: “We have heard loud and clear that this is a concept our audience does not want. In this age of social media, we get feedback from you almost instantaneously and, as such, we are constantly listening. Accordingly, just as instantaneously, this is an idea we have relegated to the cutting room floor.”

Update 2: Why the panic about texting in cinemas? Phones can breathe new life into old space

 

A New Weapon for Battling Cellphones in Theaters: Laser Beams

Ushers aiming lasers at a patron using a cellphone at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. Credit Gilles Sabrie for The New York Times

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Audience members using cellphones bedevil performers and presenters around the world. But in China, theaters and other venues have adopted what they say is an effective — others might say disturbing — solution.

Zap them with a laser beam.

The approach varies, but the idea is the same. During a performance, ushers equipped with laser pointers are stationed above, or on the perimeter of, the audience. When they spot a lighted mobile phone, instead of dashing over to the offender, they pounce with a pointer (usually red or green), aiming it at the glowing screen until the user desists.

Call it laser shaming.

Xu Chun, 27, who was in the audience for “Carmen” at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing last month, said: “Of course it’s distracting. But seeing lighted-up screens is even more distracting.”

This may be a response to a particularly acute problem here. Audience numbers have surged in recent years, along with the number of new performance spaces. And theatergoers are often noticeably younger than in the United States and Europe, with a corresponding lack of experience with Western-style concert etiquette. The lasers, theater managers say, are part of a larger effort to teach audiences how to behave during live performances.

 

Pew Research Study on Cellphones in Public Spaces

People Have Varying Views About When It Is OK Or Not OK To Use Their Cellphones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another report from Pew Research‘s “Americans’ Views on Mobile Etiquette”:

People’s cellphone use has injected itself into public spaces. This has blurred the line between private and public as often-intimate and occasionally blustering phone conversations have now become a common part of the background noise during bus rides, grocery shopping excursions, picnics, sidewalk strolls, waits in airport terminals and many other public venues.

To see how people are responding to these changes, people were asked about their views on general cellphone etiquette in public. About three-quarters of all adults, including those who do not use cellphones, say that it is “generally OK” to use cellphones in unavoidably public areas, such as when walking down the street, while on public transportation or while waiting in line. At the same time, the majority of Americans do not think it is generally acceptable to use cellphones in restaurants or at family dinners. Most also oppose cellphone use in meetings, places where others are usually quiet (such as a movie theater), or at church or worship service.

Can phone data detect real-time unemployment?

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If you leave your job, chances are your pattern of cellphone use will also change. Without a commute or workspace, it stands to reason, most people will make a higher portion of their calls from home — and they might make fewer calls, too.

Now a study co-authored by MIT researchers shows that mobile phone data can provide rapid insight into employment levels, precisely because people’s communications patterns change when they are not working.

…“Individuals who we believe to have been laid off display fewer phone calls incoming, contact fewer people each month, and the people they are contacting are different,” says Jameson Toole, a PhD candidate in MIT’s Engineering Systems Division, and a co-author of the new paper. “People’s social behavior diminishes, and that might be one of the ways layoffs have these negative consequences. It hurts the networks that might help people find the next job.”

Aziz Ansari’s guide to dating by text: ‘We shud hang out sumtimez’ is a bad start

Aziz Ansari … to text or not to text?

Photograph: Reed Young for the Guardian

Excerpt from this article:

1. The generic ‘hey’ text Want to know what’s filling up the phones of nearly every single woman? It’s this: “Hey,” “Hey!” Heyyy!!” “Hey what’s going?” “Wsup,” “Wsup!” “What’s going on?” “Whatcha up to?” It seems like a harmless message to send, and I’ve sent a good number of them in my own dating life. However, seeing it from the other side is eye-opening. When your phone is filled with that stuff, generic messages come off as super dull and lazy. They make the recipient feel like she’s not very special or important to you

2. Endless back and forth So many people trying to make a connection wind up spending so much time typing and typing and trying to schedule things that, eventually, whatever spark may have been there diminishes. They go from enjoying the banter to trying to schedule something concrete, and all of a sudden they’re acting like secretaries. Another form, which is especially common among the younger gentlemen out there, emerges when a dude is just too shy to actually ask the other person to do something… I can’t tell you how many girls I met who were clearly interested in a guy who, instead of asking them out, just kept sucking them into more mundane banter with gems like, “So where do you do your laundry?” What follows are 10 back-and-forths about laundry detergent. (“Yeah, I recently switched to fragrance-free detergent. It’s been fantastic.”)

Update: Aziz Ansari and this research were recently featured on an episode of the popular podcast This American Life, which you can listen to here.

Romancing the Phone: Comedian Aziz Ansari has been touring the country collecting people’s text messages from when they first say hi, and ask each other out. Sociologist Eric Klinenberg wanted to study this raw data of the initial approach a man makes to a woman over text. So the two of them did a focus group at a comedy club in New York. Jonathan Menjivar tells what happened. Aziz and Eric co-wrote a book called Modern Romance. (12 1/2 minutes)

Another Update: Review of Aziz Ansari’s book here.

We learn the answer to one of the puzzling questions of our time: Why millennials do not like to answer the phone. Here it is, according to a woman they talked to: “Phone calls suck and they give me anxiety.”