Monday, November 16: Prepping for the Holidays

Prepping for the Holidays

When: TODAY, Monday, November 16, 2020
3:00 – 4:00 pm ET
12:00 – 1:00 pm PT
2020 will forever be remembered as the year that threw our normal routines out the window. It has totally changed the way we live, work, play, learn and shop. Now with the final weeks of the year upon us, we have a whole new set of challenges, as we figure how to navigate our holiday celebrations and shopping.
Join host Zippy Sandler (@zipporahs) and the team at 3 pm ET (12 noon PT) on Monday, November 16 as we offer tips and share ideas for Prepping for the Holidays!
RSVP and attend the chat for a chance to win one of TWO $250 Amazon Gift Cards AND a #CareSmart Watch activated for 6 months!
Click here to learn more about our Twitter chats. (You must RSVP and attend the party to be eligible for a prize.)
To RSVP:
  1. Email RSVP@theonlinemom.com (subject line: CareSmart) indicating your Twitter ID.
  2. Spread the word and RT this link on your Twitter feed: https://bit.ly/2IrHDEr
  3. Join us on TweetDeck or HootSuite (#CareSmart) on Monday, November 16 between 3:00 – 4:00 pm ET.
  4. Tell your Twitter followers!
PRIZE WINNERS will be announced during the Party!

Photo Book Deals In Time for the Holidays 

By Tracey Dowdy

Remember the fun of flipping through family albums reminiscing over holidays and parties, or laughing over bad haircuts and questionable fashion choices? Sure, you can scroll through photos online thanks to cloud-based storage like Google Photos, Livedrive, or Amazon Photos. Still, there’s something transformative about physically holding an album in your hands.

The one good thing to come out of the coronavirus lockdown is when many of us have added back into our schedule, so there’s no time like the present to get those photos organized and into a photo book.  

Probably the best known is Shutterfly, a site that does everything from photobooks to wallpaper. It offers free, unlimited storage and will never delete your photos, so you have plenty of time to sort through all those years of photos. You can choose from templates, or use Simple Path, a tool that automatically lays out your photos but allows you to rearrange, decorate, and add captions to customize your book. Pre-tax, an 8- by 11-inch 20-page hardcover photo book costs about $40 before shipping and tax, but they almost always have a sale or coupon available, so look for deals before you order. 

Suppose you’re looking for more design choices. In that case, Snapfish offers dozens of templates and themes like Moments with Mom, Grad Nostalgia, Family Farmhouse, Summer Snapshots that extends through their catalog of products – think aprons, mugs, calendars, photo tiles – so it’s easy to create a unique and themed gift. You can add photos manually, and if you’re unhappy with your design, it’s easy to swap out the background or theme. The price is similar to Shutterfly, with an 8- by 11-inch hardcover 20-page photo book for $40. And, like Shutterfly, they continuously run deals, so be on the lookout for special offers. 

Walmart may not be the first name to come into your mind when you think of high-quality photo books, but you may be pleasantly surprised. Their site allows you to upload digital photos from your computer, social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Dropbox, or Google Photos, but there are fewer editing options than Snapfish or Shutterfly. They allow you to add stickers, but customization is limited compared to other sites. 

Google Photos is the most stripped-down choice on this list with a minimalist, plain white background with the option to caption your photos. Google will format a book based on your uploaded albums, or you can customize it by choosing an album you already made. If you want a more creative look, Google Photos has editing options within its app that allows you to add filters. A 9×9 photo book costs $20 before shipping, and each additional page costs 65 cents. If you’re looking for something less expensive, a softcover 7×7 book costs $10, and it’s 35 cents for each additional page.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

Friday, November 13: Everything You Need to Know About 5G

Everything You Need To know About 5G

When: TODAY, Friday, November 13, 2020
3:00 – 4:00 pm ET
12:00 – 1:00 pm PT
Thanks to the roll-out of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network, the future is finally here! Still, it can be difficult to wrap your mind around the way this ground-breaking technology is poised to transform our lives – now!
Join host Marv Dorner (@bebizzy) and the #5GBuiltRight team at 3 pm ET on Friday, November 13 as they share Everything You Need to Know About 5G in this super-informative 5G Workshop and Twitter chat. We will explore this exciting next-generation technology and how it is already impacting the way we live, work and play!
RSVP and attend the chat for a chance to win a brand new iPad or a $250 Amazon Gift Card!

(Click here to learn more about our Twitter chats. You must RSVP and attend the party to be eligible for a prize.)

To RSVP:
  1. Email RSVP@theonlinemom.com (subject line: 5GBuiltRight) indicating your Twitter ID.
  2. Spread the word and RT this link on your Twitter feed: https://bit.ly/3liO6zK
  3. Join us on TweetDeck or HootSuite (#5GBuiltRight) on Friday, November 13 between 3:00 – 4:00 pm ET.
  4. Tell your Twitter followers!
PRIZE WINNERS will be announced during the chat! 

Wednesday, November 11: Saluting Our Veterans & Military

SALUTING OUR VETERANS & MILITARY

 

When: TODAY, Wednesday, November 11, 2020
3:00 – 4:00 pm ET
12:00 – 1:00 pm PT

Join host Pam Rossi (@always5star) and the #VerizonSalutes team at 3 pm ET on Wednesday, November 11 as we celebrate Veterans Day by saluting our Veterans, our military service members and their families. We’ll be expressing our heartfelt gratitude for their sacrifices in keeping our country safe!
RSVP and attend the chat for a chance to win a brand new iPad or a $250 Amazon Gift Card!

(Click here to learn more about our Twitter chats. You must RSVP and attend the party to be eligible for a prize.)

To RSVP:
  1. Email RSVP@theonlinemom.com (subject line: VerizonSalutes) indicating your Twitter ID.
  2. Spread the word and RT this link on your Twitter feed: https://bit.ly/38qVrJS
  3. Join us on TweetDeck or HootSuite (#VerizonSalutes) on Wednesday, November 11 between 3:00 – 4:00 pm ET.
  4. Tell your Twitter followers!
PRIZE WINNERS will be announced during the Party!

Tuesday, November 10: Navigating the Challenges of Virtual Learning

Navigating the Challenges of Virtual Learning

When: Tuesday, November 10, 2020
8:00 – 9:00 pm ET
5:00 – 6:00 pm PT
The challenges of 2020 have drastically changed our normal routines – the way we live, work, play and learn. It has been particularly challenging for parents who have school-age children to create an environment conducive to learning at home.
Join host Marybeth Hamilton (@BabySavers) and the team at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT) on Tuesday, November 10 as we offer tips and advice for Navigating the Challenges of Virtual Learning and why having reliable #AlwaysOn Internet is more important than ever!
RSVP and attend the chat for a chance to win one of TWO $250 Amazon Gift Cards!
Click here to learn more about our Twitter chats. (You must RSVP and attend the party to be eligible for a prize.)
To RSVP:
  1. Email RSVP@theonlinemom.com (subject line: AlwaysOn) indicating your Twitter ID.
  2. Spread the word and RT this link on your Twitter feed: https://bit.ly/3n9rzFV
  3. Join us on TweetDeck or HootSuite (#AlwaysOn) on Tuesday, November 10 between 8:00 – 9:00 pm ET.
  4. Tell your Twitter followers!
PRIZE WINNERS will be announced during the Party!

Best Ways to Sell Your Used iPhone 

The iPhone 12 has been released in all its glory – or not – depending on whether you’re an Apple products fan. Most carriers will give you credit towards a new phone with a trade-in, but you may do better selling it yourself depending on the condition. 

Here are some of your best options. 

One of the fastest and most straightforward options is to sell to a buyback service like BuybackBoss, Decluttr, or GadgetGone. All three have a TrustPilot score of 4.6 out of 5 or higher, with a streamlined process for getting a quote. Keep in mind that if the phone quality isn’t quite what you stated or doesn’t match their criteria, the quote may not match the actual buyout, so be brutally honest when describing your device. Before you start getting quotes from multiple sites, check out Flipsy, which compares US trade-in values at multiple buyback stores. Flipsy will show you payment methods, price-lock duration (the window of time you have before you need to send your phone in), and a price based on the old device’s condition. Another option is SellCell that compares buyback prices from over 35 Buyback Companies to ensure you get the most for your device.

Another option, though not a buyback service, is Swappa. They connect buyers and sellers – like eBay but exclusively for devices. A marketplace is almost always going to net a higher price than a buyback, but it means more work on your end. You’ll need to create a Swappa account and connect your PayPal account. You set the asking price (including a sale fee), but no additional PayPal fees may apply.

You can always trade-in your device at Apple for store credit or trade it in for a store gift card at Best Buy, but note neither puts cash in your pocket. 

A third option is to sell it yourself via Marketplace, Craigslist, or eBay. While it may bring the highest price, there are risks and hassles involved.

If you go old-school Craigslist, be prepared for lots of “Will you take (less than you’re asking)” and buyers that flake and don’t show up. I highly recommend choosing a SafeTrade location like a police station or law enforcement parking lot. Avoid having the individual come to your home, if at all possible. 

Facebook Marketplace allows an added security layer because you can check your buyer’s profile before committing. You can also control where your listing is seen and by whom. 

eBay is another option but be prepared for additional fees and shipping if you’re selling outside your immediate area. eBay charges a sales fee of 10% of the final selling price for products sold through its platform. If you accept payment through PayPal, it charges an additional fee of 2.9% (4% if sold internationally). The upside is that eBay offers buyer protection, so there’s an added layer of credibility Marketplace and Craigslist lack. 

Whichever you choose – Marketplace, eBay, or Craigslist, make yourself very clear before you meet up with your buyer. They should know the exact price, bring cash only, the phone’s condition, and its wireless carrier – especially if the phone isn’t unlocked – in advance.

Whatever you choose, do a little homework before you start. Take your time and weigh your options, and be aware of the value not only of your device but your time. Happy selling! 

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

Talking to Your Kids About Politics

By Tracey Dowdy 

For better, for worse, in richer and poorer, Election Day 2020 is here. This has been one of the most contentious races in recent history, and no matter who sits in the Oval Office for the next four years, many Americans will be unhappy and feel uneasy. If that sounds familiar and you’ve been stressed about where the country is headed, there’s a good chance your children have noticed and are uneasy too. 

Opening a political conversation with your kids may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Your politics represent your values, and you want to instill them in your children so they’ll make wise decisions as they grow up. Think of it this way; you’re not raising children; you’re raising future voters. 

Instead of talking about political parties, talk about the policies and issues that matter to you most. Health care, immigration, the environment, and Black Lives Matter have played significant roles in this year’s presidential race. As a parent, you can say, “In this family, access to health care is important to us. Here’s what both candidates believe about that issue.”  

You may think your children are uninterested in politics, but a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development says otherwise. Researchers interviewed 187 kids ages 5 to 11 who lived in Kentucky, Kansas, Washington State, and Texas before and after the 2016 election. Twenty-three percent said they cared “somewhat,” and 58% of respondents said that they cared “a lot” about the election. Yet, of those polled, 68% said their parents hadn’t discussed the election with them. Their primary sources were peers and social media. As a result, much of the information they had about candidates was skewed and inaccurate. 

Christia Spears Brown, a developmental psychologist at the University of Kentucky, says, “In the same way that we talk about other complex issues, we need to help kids understand the messages and the sound bites that they’re hearing. They’re interested, but yet there’s gaps in knowledge, and they’re using their own inferences to fill in those gaps.”

Try to avoid demonizing the other side. It’s important to teach our children that civil discourse and disagreement are not equivalent to hate speech. Ashley Berner, a professor at Johns Hopkins who studies how schools teach civics, says, “It’s so important for young people to be engaged in conversations about meaning and purpose and different political viewpoints.” She says, historically, “civic formation is the prime reason why modern democracy started funding education in the first place.”

Though they may not keep up with current events as often as you do, introduce your kids to credible websites targeted at them. Common Sense Media has a great list of news sources for kids categorized by age group. 

Since today is election day, check-in with your kids and see if they’re interested in following election results. Any other year, you could have them go to the polls with you and watch you vote, but that may not be feasible this year. 

If you’re concerned about the impact a particular candidate may have on your demographic, work together to create a Family Safety Plan and emphasize that their safety is of the utmost importance to you. Reassure them that you will always do everything to protect them physically and emotionally and let you know any time they feel threatened or unsafe. 

And, if the candidate you support loses, remind your child that this is one man in one office. Local and state elections impact our country too, and many offices have term limits. There’s always hope for change in the next election. In the meantime, look for ways to engage in the issues that your family values. If the environment is a priority, look for opportunities to engage in projects like community clean-ups or recycling initiatives. If caring for immigrants and the disenfranchised resonates with you, look for local food pantries or shelters you can support. 

Hasan Kwame Jeffries, a history professor at Ohio State University, says, “We’re afraid to talk about politics … As my 5-year-old says, ‘That don’t make no sense!’ You got to let people know where you stand. Provide children evidence. Provide them with stories.”

Why? Because we don’t want to raise voters, we want to raise informed voters. 

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.