Get savvy for the silly season

2016 is coming up; who’s ready to party?

Whether you’re fixing to dance the night away and amp up for the big countdown or you’re just going to eat food and marathon movies with your friends, you’ve probably got something planned.

Depending on what you’re up to, you may encounter a few holiday hazards or social risks which would just be better if they could be avoided entirely.

If you need help to survive this silly season with your social status in tact, you might want to arm yourself with technology to keep the seasonal shame at bay.

Lucky for you, we know our tech, so we’ve rustled up some handy apps for to help you get prepared for the silly season.

Keeping it classy


Alcohol has always found its way into Australian culture, but the recent How to Drink Properly campaign from DrinkWise sends a clear message – sometimes it can be a problem. Even if you’re usually pretty poised and responsible, the temptation of a big celebration like New Year’s Eve may see you having one too many.

To keep track of your alcohol consumption, try the Boozed? widget for iPhones. Although you hop into the app to change your settings, it’s actually accessed from the “Today View” when you swipe down from the top of your screen, which means you don’t even need to unlock your phone to use it. You just add the type and size of your drink and the app will give you a rough estimate of your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) over time. According to the Australian Drug Foundation, a good BAC to keep under is 0.05.

Android phone users don’t need to feel left out – just grab the AlcoDroid Alchohol Tracker app.

It’s important to keep in mind that the figures provided are only an estimate. Just like the app disclaimers state, you should never use them to tip the balance in a “to drive or not to drive” scenario. If you’ve been drinking, seek a safe way home like a designated driver, public transport or an Uber.

Sticking together


Getting lost is a hundred times worse when it’s dark, especially if you’re a bit tipsy and a party or local event takes you to an area you’re not familiar with. Sometimes it’s not just about finding a certain place, but rather a specific person, so how do you know where they are?

Send Help (iOS) or Find Me (Android) can send out your GPS co-ordinates to a friend or family member, and they can use these in Google Maps or a similar app to suss out your location. If you somehow get separated from your group, these apps can help you find your way back to each other.

Don’t drink and dial


Everyone knows to stay away from the wheel once they’ve had a few, but smartphones can be a different story. Although there’s probably no physical danger when texting, you can suffer some serious shame depending on what you say.

The last thing you want to do is kick off the New Year by telling your ex what you really think of their new partner, so if you tend to be a tipsy texter, consider Drunk Mode. It has a number of features designed to help your night out, but its namesake “Drunk Mode” allows you to block selected contacts for a certain number of hours. If you try to disable the block while you’re still feeling upset, good luck; you have to solve a math problem to do it.

First aid first


Hopefully the only thing that hits the floor at the Christmas party is a hot dance track, but if someone does take a tumble, you’ll know what to do thanks to the help of the Australian Red Cross. Their First Aid app is a powerful pocket guide to dealing with injuries and medical distress, including everything from a sprained ankle to sunstroke. I know it’s not Y2K, but it’s also got some good information on preparing for an emergency or evacuation, which can be crucial if you live in an area at risk of fire or floods.

Some things are a little tricky even with a guide. If you’re looking for a good New Year’s resolution, consider taking a first aid course. There’s a lot of swimming to be done in 2016 and you never know when you’ll need to resuscitate someone or provide other kinds of first aid.

So there you have it; some handy tools to keep things fun, safe and save the “fooling” for April. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from everyone here at the iiNet office!

What are your party plans for the holiday season? Tell us in the comments.