Archive for the Technology Category

2014 Tech Buying Guide

If Christmas weren’t daunting enough, the overwhelming amount of tech ads (especially on Black Friday) can be enough for any parent to throw in the shopping towel. Given the massive amounts of technology available for our children, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices. Our goal is to take out some of the mystery of available technology, especially the ones most promoted for gifts during the next few weeks. While you’ll see a lot of sales on these items, it’s important to be informed about what exactly you’re buying for your kids. Read on. Tablets Cheaper, lighter weight and generally trendier (think fun cases and multi-colored keypad options) than laptops or traditional desktops, tablets like the ones listed above are often considered great gifts for children and teens. It’s important for you to realize that a tablet is capable of doing anything a computer does, and because

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6 Reasons a “Social Media Contract” Will Make Your Life Easier

Most adults know breaking a contract is a messy business. Recently I made the switch from AT&T to T-Mobile, but as I was still under contract with AT&T, was forced to pay a hefty fine for leaving my contract a year early (hey, T-Mobile has killer international data plans. Spread the word). Recently my husband and I moved into a home where the previous tenants had broken their contract by having multiple pets. In the end, to avoid a lawsuit, they had to pay for re-carpeting the entire house. Contracts are binding, and when broken, always have consequences, often expensive. When it comes to social media, you need a contract with your teens. Why do I only say “teens”? Because many of the most popular social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) require users to be at least 13 years of age, due to the “Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act”, which doesn’t

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“LOOK AWAY” – 3 Ways To Keep Your Teens From Porn

  In the world we live in today, it’s a likely reality that your children will inevitably see porn one day – but whether or not they take a second look, or ever seek it out, is a decision only they can make. There is so much you as a parent can do to equip them to make the choice to look away. Here are our top 3 things every parent needs to do with their teens. 1. Teach them to avoid soft porn 2. Study the effect pornography has on the brain 3. Dialogue Soft porn How do you define soft porn? Partial sexuality and nudity. It’s literally everywhere. This includes some of the newest Guess brand ads, teen flick sexual encounters and even the lyrics of roughly half the top 40 songs charting the billboards. The trouble with soft porn is quantity and availability, and that it’s a precursor

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Do You Really Need Filtering Software?

  Well yes. And…no. But mostly, yes. And when do you need it? Yesterday. The internet has never been more dangerous for kids. Researchers are a little uncertain as to how much of the worldwide internet usage is to view porn, but the numbers go between 30-50%. And while Google made some great changes to their Adwords program by not allowing porn in their advertising, you can still find porn in the search results (just not in the ads on the side). The average boy sees pornography for the first time at 10 years old – but we’ve met more parents than we can count whose child saw it closer to 7. Here’s the scoop on children and pornography: kids are curious, and they usually see inappropriate things for the first time by accident.  But what’s really sick, is the content is typically created to be addictive, and young kids are

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5 Ideas for Fathers

Fathers sometimes get a bad rap. It feels like there are more negative statistics surrounding fathers and their influence (or more accurately – lack thereof), yet again and again the research proves that parents are the number one influence in their child’s life. So use your influence for good, Dad! Simple acts of reaching out to your children can make a significant difference in their lives. One area I see a disconnect between parents and kids is in the realm of technology. Parents feel like they can’t or don’t want to understand it, and kids feel like it is free game. In February, I was ministering in Australia, and one gentleman shared an excellent concept with the group during my team’s Tech Talk. He said in his house, tech world is open world. Meaning, his children (who were a little older – I don’t suggest this approach if you have

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Media’s Impact: Our Thoughts and Future

Connecting the pieces between our negative thinking and the movies, music and social networking we consume allows us to deliberately tailor our potential and opens up new opportunities to come in the opposite spirit and use media of all kinds for the glory of God. Focusing specifically on the countries I’ve visited in the past few weeks, Australia and Singapore, media defines opinions and shapes personalities. The fact that this media is often Americanized and highly hyped to an unrealistic level is often detrimental to expectations, personally and culturally. The prevalence of specifically American Media in Australia and Singapore gives testimony to the tenacity of western marketing in the eastern hemisphere and it’s willingness to adapt to attain customers- more so in Singapore than Australia. While both countries enjoy their own celebrities, the west’s influence speaks heavily into the lives of their citizens, particularly the youth. Statistics state consistently that the

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Why Dylan Farrow Impacts You

Maybe you’ve read Dylan Farrow’s open letter to her adopted father, Woody Allen. Or very possibly, passed by it as just more celebrity gossip and drama. Yet this situation is different, because it shows a very real dynamic in the entertainment industry that you need to be aware of. Often we forget there are real people behind the movie sets, glamour and lights of the red carpet. It would be easy to write off Hollywood as a corrupted industry, and be thankful we aren’t a part of that world. But what if Katy Perry was the daughter you raised in the church, loved and cared for? What if it was your child who was abused at the hands of one of these hurting celebrities? It’s important for us not to become calloused as Christians, self-righteously turning down our noses at the sins of others. Why you should take notice of

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How do I talk to my daughter about the Grammy’s?

By:  Dannah Gresh | Published:  January 29, 2014   Hopefully, you’re daughter was all tucked into bed when the Grammy’s started out with grinding Sunday night, but it’s likely that some girls her age—perhaps friends at school—were glued to the television. Pre-show media touted the 2014 Grammy Awards as a family affair. Huffington Post even offered a table talk guide and ideas to help kids ”cultivate the understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture.” But what the world saw—from grinding to explicit lyrics to darkly themed performances to a “church” service— was not appropriate for young viewers, and you may need help navigating post-show conversations with your kids whether they saw the show or are just hearing about it from friends. And—whether you realize it or not—there really is something worth talking about. Her name is Natalie Grant. Grammy-nominated, five-time Dove Award winning recording artist Natalie Grant

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Miley Cyrus and the Moral Gag Reflex

De-Pornifying Culture By:  John Stonestreet | Published:  January 7, 2014   Looking at culture, it’s tempting to give up in despair. As the dad of little girls, for example, when I see the relentless objectification of women by celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, I’m tempted to think that any attempt in what William Wilberforce called a “reformation of manners” is futile. It seems that instead, in the words of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, we have to “define deviance down.” But lately, there have been encouraging signs. It’s too soon to call it a “reformation of manners” but a backlash to what one recent author called our cultural vulgarity is already asserting itself—not via the boycotts of angry culture warriors but by some of the unlikeliest cultural allies in politics, the media, and the music industry. For example, several celebrities have spoken out who’ve been repulsed by the shameless pornification of “entertainers” such as

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Christmas Tech Buying Guide

If Christmas weren’t daunting enough, the overwhelming amount of tech ads can be enough for any parent to throw in the shopping towel. Given the massive amounts of technology available for our children, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices. Our goal is to take out some of the mystery of available technology, especially the ones most promoted for gifts during the next few weeks. While you’ll see a lot of sales on these items, it’s important to be informed about what exactly you’re buying for your kids. Read on. Tablets Cheaper, lighter weight and generally trendier (think fun cases and multi-colored plug-in keypad options) than laptops or traditional desktops, tablets (Android, iPad, Kindle Fire, etc) are often considered great Christmas gifts. It’s important for you to realize that a tablet is capable of doing anything a computer does, only because of it’s handy size, the

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