How Are Devices Changing How We Think & Live?

Did you spend Easter dinner (or any other family meal) with certain members disengaged in conversation because their heads were buried in their phones or tablets? Certainly our digital devices are changing how we think and interact with each other. But it’s too early to tell how or to what extent. As one who teaches a college interpersonal communication course, I see that young people (and some not so young) struggle with saying no to immediate communication. I stress over and over how it’s ok to go against culture and to ignore texts, especially while in class, during face-to-face conversations (yes, we have to use that term now to differentiate), and most especially, while driving. Many have underdeveloped interpersonal skills, so the course is great for them. We can point to two or three major shifts in history that altered communication and how the mind works. The first two are related: written language and literacy. Before the moveable printing press, books were hand copied, so were only in the possession of the wealthiest. Once the printing press starting churning out inexpensive books, the masses began to learn to read. We know that when someone learns to read, there is a fundamental shift in the way their brain works. Consider all the things people no longer had to remember! Instead they had the possibility to write things down and look them up later. A great burden was lifted from the human brain. The third major shift we can attribute to the digital age, which is generally considered to be about the year 2000. Though we had radio, film and television in the last century, around 2000 is when the internet started to reach critical mass as well as an explosion of new delivery media and methods. These, of course, include things we can’t image living without, such as mp3 players, smartphones, tablets, inexpensive laptops, video games, video on demand, and the development of the cloud (where software and data are stored somewhere besides on your devices). The future will likely be all about the cloud. Sony and other companies are committed to this model because it’s cheaper and faster to deliver content digitally rather than by print, disc or other hard media. I focused on media effects in my doctoral studies; that means I studied how media affects people, or more importantly, how people interact with media. If you saw my interview, Do Movies Make People Kill Others?, you know that research shows that movies or other media do not make people do bad things. Or restated, they might encourage some predisposed people to do bad things some of the time. So when I came across the following article, I knew I wanted to share it with you. The Child, the Tablet and the Developing Mind is an piece by New York Times writer Nick Bilton. It’s worth keeping an eye on this developing topic. However, I can think of many instances when I’ve been in family settings where people were not communicating, devices or not! There was a day when children and young adults were educated in the art of conversation. I think we would do well to revive some of that. If kids knew how to engage in interpersonal communication, maybe they wouldn’t default to their devices. Be sure to click on the...

I love Kindle

I love my Kindle. Of course I would rather have an iPad Mini, but I can’t afford one just yet. So in the meantime, I was able to pick up a Kindle Fire, not the latest HD version, but the one that was released in 2011. I got it just before Christmas for $129. My parents, however, got the HD version for Christmas! And despite their ages (79 and 81), they are adjusting nicely to the ease of downloading books in seconds, the touch screen, and not having to hold a heavy book with arms that don’t work like they used to. I love the possibility that the Kindle can read to me. OK, I have cases full of books, and I did do the work for three degrees (so I know how to read). But at times I have trouble focusing (think of the dog in the movie, UP–“Squirrel!”), so having the text read as I follow along is sometimes great, especially when I’m tired or feeling ADD. I can also read for awhile, then continue “reading” while doing other things (like dishes) by having the text read to me. (I have noticed this feature does not seem to be available while using the Kindle reader on other devices such as the iPhone and iPad.) While the computer-generated voice is not as nice as a recorded voice, it’s not bad. I just got back from the first trip with my Kindle. How cool it was to travel lighter yet have access to loads of reading materials, including books, web sites, and the bible. When you get a Kindle Fire or Kindle Fire HD (the color models), you get a month of Amazon Prime, which gives you access to free TV and movie downloads, a Kindle lending library,...

Career Goals Mar21

Career Goals

“ If you don’t set goals for yourself, you’re doomed to achieve the goals of someone else.” – As cited by Dan Miller in EntreLeadership podcast, Dec 19, 2011 Miller is a life coach and the author of 48 Days to the Work you Love: Preparing for the New Normal, and No More Mondays: Fire Yourself and other Revolutionary Ways to Discover Your True Calling at Work. Both books are available in print, Kindle edition and audio....

Goals for 2013 Mar11

Goals for 2013

Link – How are you doing on your 2013 goals? I’m a big fan of financial guru, Dave Ramsey. He is the author of multiple books including the best seller, The Total Money Makeover. I listen to Dave’s radio show and audio podcasts as often as I can because it helps me keep on course to make wise financial decisions. Most of us live in cultures where the predominant messages are, “SPEND! SPEND! SPEND” Ramsey teaches God’s way (which turns out to be the best way–go figure) for handling money. Here is a short article he released titled, How to Set the Wrong Goals. Check it...

Quote of the Day

“Only dead fish swim with the stream.”

Take the Test!

How are your finances, relationships, career, health and spiritual life? Are you growing and developing as a person? Do you feel you are stuck or have areas to work on? Click on the Take the Test! link above to conduct a personal assessment on 6 areas of your life.

They were wrong: How one guy got his grove back...

Video – You think you got it bad with challenges to overcome? Maybe you do. To get a little perspective and inspiration, watch this video about a war vet who was told me would never walk again. He proved everyone wrong....

Does God Think I’m an Idiot?

“God takes great pleasure in us living as we were meant to live; He even commands it in the Psalms: ‘Take delight in the Lord.’…Very few set out to live such a focused, beautiful life. Narrow is the way and only a few find it.” – Rob Bell in Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith.

Are You Being True To Who You Are?

The five biggest regrets of people when they’re dying and asked what would they do differently? The #1 regret is, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” – Bronnie Ware, author of The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing.

Do Movies Make People Kill Others?...

Video- Do movies make people kill others? Mass killings are nothing new; history is full of them. But today, when unstable people unleash their mental illness and problems by killing others, we hear about it almost instantly. Cable news outlets–that have to fill 24 hours of programming every day–spend hours interviewing experts and trying to understand the insanity. And politicians try to pass new laws to prevent it from happening again. Since the beginning of the film industry and most especially television, a lot of research has been done to try to understand its effects. Do media messages make people do things? How media affects viewers was the focus of my doctoral studies, and most especially, my dissertation that looked at the positive (prosocial as opposed to antisocial) effects of media. The following interview is one I did after the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting in 2012 to contribute to the discussion on the...

Dr. Lewis Challenges Her Mind & Body...

Link – Dr. Regina Lewis has a Ph.D. in Leadership and is the Communication Department Chair at Pikes Peak Community College. She is a popular public speaker and about to release her first book, How to Raise a Prince on Food Stamps. But Dr. Lewis is not content to live without a challenge, so she been training as a body builder and entered her first contest, taking trophies home! Now she’s working on going national. Read her inspiration story here: http://www.kktv.com/blogs/headlines/FIT_LIFE__191045911.html...

Page 10 of 10« First...678910