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Update: A second accuser emerges with misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavenaugh. Also on the Monday rundown: We take you to a state where more than 60,000 kids are chronically absent from school; and we'll let you know why the rural digital divide can be a two-fold problem.

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Expert: Tech Can Help Ring In a Safe, Healthy New Year

Transportation on demand is just one of the ways technology and social media are evolving in the lifestyle realm. (M. Shand)
Transportation on demand is just one of the ways technology and social media are evolving in the lifestyle realm. (M. Shand)
December 31, 2015

MIAMI, Fla. - As people across Florida prepare to ring in 2016, a consumer technology expert says a safer, healthier new year could be just a few swipes away.

New Year's Eve parties used to mean keeping the number of a cab company in your pocket and hoping they'd answer, but consumer technology columnist Jennifer Jolly says transportation on demand apps have helped put a safe ride at your fingertips, and continue to evolve.

For example, Jolly says a new partnership between Uber and Facebook allows users in some cities to order a ride from right within the Facebook Messenger app, meaning they can do so without leaving conversations with their friends.

"It really is a way to just kind of keep tabs on each other, keep an eye on each other, and help everyone have a super, super happy, and most of all safe New Year's," says Jolly.

The partnership between Uber and Facebook Messenger just launched in Miami and Orlando, with more cities expected to come online in the next few months.

Whether it's catching a ride, counting steps, counting calories, or comparing prices of products, Jolly says smartphones and other wearable devices have been shown to help many people maintain new habits. But, she says it isn't "one size fits all," and you might have to experiment with different apps to find what works for you.

"This is a great way technology helps enhance what's at our fingertips, and I always say technology is supposed to help you. If it's not, then something's wrong with that technology, not necessarily with you," says Jolly.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - FL