Technology and Social Media

Three Indications a Story is Becoming a Rumor

By | Communication, Leadership, Relationships, Technology and Social Media | No Comments
We’re drowning in stories. Whether you’re scrolling through your social media feed, or watching the news, it seems like every lead-in starts with: “you won’t believe this…”

There’s power in a story. Stories hook and keep our attention better than concepts or ideas alone. And they have a way of motivating us to action. Writers and content producers know that.

Think about the last few stories you read online. Chances are they pointed you in a direction. They led you toward a conclusion, or inspired you to take action.  And there’s nothing wrong with that… so long as the story is really accurate.

But what if the story isn’t completely true? What if the story is just correct enough to be powerful, but wrong enough to be misleading? Then we call the story a rumor. And, generally speaking, we all hate rumors.

But how do you know the difference? When does a story become a rumor?

I’ve reviewed some of the research, and I’ve developed this short list: Read More

The Unruly Child in Your Pocket

By | Kids, Life Challenges, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships, Technology and Social Media | No Comments
John has four children. Three of them are very well-behaved. John is one of those parents who believes kids should learn good manners and be polite. Because of this, he’s taught them not to interrupt other peoples’ conversations. He’s taught them to say please when they ask for something, and thank you when they receive it. And, he’s taught them that they can not always be the center of attention.

But he’s only taught these ideas to three of his kids.
His fourth kid is a rebel.

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Has Your Teenager OutGrown Having a “Lights-Out” Time?

By | Marriage, Parenting, Relationships, Technology and Social Media | No Comments
Has your teenager outgrown having a “lights-out” time? In a word, “no.”

Of course, as your kid starts becoming an adult, it might seem “not cool” to set bedtime guidelines.  But, let’s face it, most of us have given up on being a “cool” parent some time ago.

Here’s why you should care about your 15-year-old’s bedtime routines:

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What I Learned About Parenting from an Invisible Gorilla

By | Communication, Conflict, Kids, Life Challenges, Parenting, Relationships, Technology and Social Media | 2 Comments
I was watching TV the other night, paying attention to a documentary on a subject that I don’t even really care about, when my wife stepped between me and the big screen.  “Jonathan, Cheyenne’s been trying to get your attention… she’s called you twice.”

It turns out that my daughter had gone to her room, retrieved a craft that she had completed earlier in the day, brought it upstairs where I was watching TV, stood well within my line of site, said “Hey dad…” two times, and the truth is I didn’t hear her.  I didn’t even see her.  I was too absorbed in what I was watching. Read More

Should Husbands and Wives Know Each Other’s Internet Passwords?

By | Blog Posts, Marriage, Technology and Social Media | 13 Comments
Login credentials have become a significant part of our everyday lives.  They keep our information safe (supposedly), and allow us access to our accounts from almost anywhere.  But in many marriages, these passwords become a barrier to intimacy.

I know that we’ve all gone security crazy over the past couple of decades, and it’s quite possible you’re thinking I’m nuts to suggest married couples share their account info.  But security and privacy are two different things.  If a person tells me that they aren’t sharing their internet accounts with their spouse because they have reason to believe their spouse will harm them in some way, that makes sense.  You need to be safe.

But when a person tells me that they aren’t giving their spouse access to their Facebook account because they deserve their privacy, I’m calling a flag on the play. Read More

Five Tips to Help Your Family Survive Social Media

By | Marriage, Parenting, Relationships, Technology and Social Media | No Comments
“Dear Facebook, I want my life back.”  I saw this post show up on my news feed a couple of years ago.  I honestly can’t remember who posted it, but it’s pretty profound, don’t you think?

I’m 33, which means I’m just old enough to have watched the social media craze evolve from a clumsy and somewhat disorganized venture to a multi-billion dollar, technically mind-boggling machine.  And perhaps, like me, you’re growing just a bit wary of what the long-term effects of this will be.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with social media, I maintain pages on both Facebook and Twitter, but like any communication and entertainment platform, there are risks.  I could go into detail here, talking about the kinds of outcomes I’ve seen in those who’ve not set healthy limits with social media… outcomes like social media addiction, reduced work effectiveness, strained family relationships, diminished drive, disconnection from friends… and, of course, the list goes on.  But you already know this.  And I won’t bore you with more details and specifics.  The research is certainly out there if you’re interested.

The key question is: if you choose to engage with social media, as most of us will, how can you maintain healthy boundaries so that you don’t find yourself telling a computer you want your life back?  Here are a few thoughts about how you can do that. Read More

You Might Want to Say That in Person

By | Conflict, Life Challenges, Relationships, Technology and Social Media | No Comments
Part of being a couples’ coach is allowing couples to replay their arguments and fights. This allows them to explain what frustrates them, and how they would like to see things be different in the future. But a new wrinkle has developed for me in my coaching ministry over the last year or two. As of late, I don’t just get the replay, I get the transcript.

As one person is kind of explaining to me the gist of the battle, the other says… “You want to hear exactly what she said? I have it right here in my texts…” Read More

Digital Rage

By | Relationships, Technology and Social Media | No Comments
I suppose now that we’ve been formally inducted into the digital age, it’s bound to happen to all of us.  The angry email from a friend, relative, or co-worker who has an axe to grind about something we did or didn’t do.  The Facebook comment about how completely wrong you were to post a specific comment or status.  The text message with the angry eyes emoticon repeated several times in succession.  How do you handle it?  In many situations a face-to-face meeting to discuss the issue will be impossible.  Here are a few thoughts on how to respond wisely. Read More