Posted in Documentaries, Entertainment, Family, friendship, social media

Technology’s Effect on our World

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve been busy working and writing this week and I’m making progress on my WIP. I’m seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

But enough about that. Today, I’d like to talk about technology and it’s impact on our society. I had a class reunion this weekend and I got to see friends I haven’t seen in a long time. It was nice to catch up and walk down memory lane with them. Some of them, I’ve been able to connect with on social media and chat via messenger with them. It’s a great way to reestablish old connections.

With social media it’s easy to stay connected and catch up via chats, but there’s nothing like face-to-face interaction. I worry about our future generations where most communication will take place via the computer. I’m worried because I feel they won’t have the ability to read facial cues when talking with their peers because they won’t have enough practice with real life communication.

I’m also worried because I feel our young people don’t get enough physical activity. I see my kids and their friends spending so much time in front of a computer that they’re not getting enough exercise. Childhood obesity is on the rise and I feel the main reasons are the added sugars in our processed foods and the fact they’re not physically active.

So, even though technology has given us the ability to make connections over many thousands of miles, it has had a negative effect on our health, and it has also made our in real life connections more fragile because social media’s main goal is to keep us engaged.

They don’t want us to leave their site. So, they place items in our feeds to keep us there. Different articles on things we’ve liked. For example, if I like a random picture of an elephant, I’ll find more elephant pictures and articles showing up in my feed. There’s a documentary on this phenomenon called “The Social Dilemma.” If you haven’t seen it, you need to watch it. It’s on Netflix and it explains this whole process.

How about you? Do you feel technology has had a negative impact on our physical and mental health? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in mental-health, Parenting, Teen

Could Gaming be the Reason Teen Depression is on the Rise?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a busy week with working and Christmas shopping and writing. So, it has been productive. I had lunch today with a couple of friends from my writer’s group. I haven’t seen either one of them in a long time and it was good to see them.

Oddly enough we didn’t talk about writing. We talked about personal struggles and dealing with life. It was good to talk with them and open up about our fears for our kids and the trials we’re dealing with in our daily lives.

 

Photo on Visual Hunt

It made me think about how different my childhood was compared to my own children’s. With the advances in technology, I find my kids spend more time in front of a computer screen than they do running around outside playing games like Kick the Can or Capture the Flag. This got me thinking about how teen depression is on the rise and it wasn’t a huge leap for me to think the advances in technology are to blame. Is that a fair conclusion for me to draw? Click here to see a study regarding this question.

The answer isn’t quite as simple as a definitive yes or no. Because there are some positive aspects to video games. Gaming is a great coping mechanism and it improves hand eye coordination and teaches teamwork when teens must work with another player to accomplish a goal. However, there are some negatives. Gaming can become addictive and it is isolating. It doesn’t provide the physical activity a young person needs to develop a strong body and physical activity, or exercise is a great way to combat depression.

Photo on VisualHunt.com

Especially in the Midwest, where it’s winter for nine months of the year, it’s important for kids to get outside and get that Vitamin D from the sun, and it’s equally important that they get outside and move their bodies.

Photo on Visualhunt.com

Statistics show that teen depression is on the rise. Exercise and getting out into nature are excellent ways to combat depression. Gaming doesn’t have the positive physical effects that exercise does. Exercise and getting out into nature are not only good for your soul they’re good for your body as well.

So, what is the answer? The answer is two-fold. I believe moderation is the key when it comes to gaming. Limiting the amount of time kids are on the computer is a key component to combating depression, but we need to also teach teens other coping mechanisms as well. We need to teach them to value nature and to respect our connection to it, and to get them into the habit of exercising at least one hour a day.

Photo on Visualhunt

This summer, I’m planning on taking my kids for a hike at least once a week. It will be a great way to stay connected to them and hopefully will develop some excellent ways for them to cope with the turbulent teen years they are about to start. They’ll be getting out into nature and exercising at the same time. I’m also going to insist they get outside for at least one hour during the day. We are fortunate that we have neighbor kids near us, and they do get together and play football or basketball when the weather permits.

Photo on Visualhunt.com

What about you? How do you feel about gaming? Do you think it’s the cause for the rise in depression? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Posted in Parenting, Uncategorized

Technology: Friend or Foe?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a busy week of writing and vacationing. There’s nothing like heading to the lake when you’re experiencing a heatwave. My kids invited a friend along and that made it a little more special because they’ve been friends since my oldest was in kindergarten.

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I was happy the weather cooperated because the kids were able to get out and swim. Physical activity is so important for our young people. I remember when I was growing up we were outside early in the morning and only came home for meals. We rode our bikes everywhere.

Photo on Visual hunt

Unfortunately, it’s not like that in today’s world. Kids can’t ride their bikes all over the place because the traffic in our streets is heavy and the streets aren’t as safe as they were twenty years ago. Kidnapping and human trafficking are real issues and it’s happening in every state not just those close to the borders.

So we as parents keep our kids close to home because it’s safer. We have to arrange play dates and take our kids to trampoline parks so they can get exercise and develop face to face social skills. The internet has allowed us to connect to people from all over the world, but it has made our relationships weaker on the home front.

 

Photo credit: ldodds on Visualhunt /CC BY-NC-ND

Because of technology, our children are moving less, reading less, and losing opportunities to develop valuable social skills.  Parents need to be cognizant of this. Exercise, Reading, and Face to Face Social Interaction are good for our brains and our bodies. We need to help our kids develop good habits that include all three of the above and they need to do it every day.

Photo on Visual Hunt

I make sure my kids get out on the trampoline at least a couple times a day when we’re home. I also try and get them to read for half an hour a day, and I try and make sure they have opportunities for social interaction. Some days I do a better job than others. Luckily, we do have neighbor kids they play games with outside where they’re getting their vitamin D.  I haven’t taught them the game Kick the Can, yet. But I will. 😉

Photo on Visual hunt

 

How about you? What do you do to make sure your kids are developing healthy habits? Do you have any suggestions for me? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Future, Parenting, raising kids

What does our Future Hold?

 

Photo via VisualHunt

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’ve been working hard on my current WIP. I’ve restarted it twice. I know. Crazy. But what can you do when you come up with a better beginning, right? Anyway, I have about 24,000 words into it and I feel good about them. They’re solid.

Anyway enough about that. Today I’m talking about the future for our kids. I just read an article that paints a dismal picture. Click the link to read: You Will Lose your Job to Robots

According to the article, the majority of the jobs we do will eventually be taken over by robots. This will result in mass unemployment for many people. The article focused on truck drivers and how we’ll soon have automatic pilots for our vehicles like many planes do.

Photo via Visual hunt

I’ve also heard jobs like Insurance agents and travel agents will be a thing of the past as well. Even doctors are going to be feeling the heat. Has anyone seen the movie, Big Hero Six? We’re going to have robots handling our health care. Robots will be asking, “On a scale of one to ten, how do you rate your pain?” Then administering medication for us.

 

So this leads me to the question. How do I guide my children to a career that will support them and their families when they get older?

Are we destined for a future like the movie Walle?

Where all the humans are overweight and all they do is eat and ride around on motorized chairs? I sure hope not.

 

I’ve heard  Intellectual Capitalism will be where the jobs are. Check out this post: Intellectual Capitalism

Writers, artists, and creators will be in demand, but the first article tells a different story. That author feels that Artificial Intelligence will become better and better surpassing its human counterparts as fast as 2045.

Yikes! That sounds scary to me. Technology has grown by leaps and bounds. It changes so fast we can’t keep up. What does the future hold for the next generation? How can we prepare our kids for the future?

Should I be steering them toward a career in Artificial Intelligence Mechanics? After all, someone’s got to keep those robots running.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. How do you feel about the future? Optimistic? Or do you feel as if we’re putting ourselves out of business fast? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Health, Reading

Reading: It’s Cheaper than Therapy

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about the future of reading in our society. According to this article, reading is on the decline. Washington Post Article

Like the article states, we readers have many distractions pulling us away from our beloved books. There’s the internet, movies, and video games. Now, I’m not big on video games. In fact, the only time my boys want to challenge me to a game is when they need an ego boost because I suck at video games. However, I can attest to the fact there are more things demanding my attention so I don’t read as much as I’d like to.

Photo via VisualHunt

I’m sure you’ve heard many educators claim that reading teaches empathy, and with reading on the decline so is our ability to empathize with our peers. This is evident in the arguments I see on social media. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but it just seems like we have less tolerance for people who are different than us.

 

Photo credit: Bikes And Books via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Not only is reading linked with empathy but there are other benefits we need to pay attention to as well.

For example, reading is an incredible stress reliever. Did you know by picking up a book and reading for just six minutes you can reduce your stress level by sixty eight percent?  I don’t know about you, but I’m teaching this to my kids. Exercise and reading are better ways of handling stress than drinking alcohol or taking drugs, wouldn’t you agree?

As a parent, we need to teach our littles how to cope with everyday stress and one of the cheapest ways is to pick up a book and read. It sure beats the alternatives and is less expensive than therapy.

There are still more benefits to reading for pleasure. Like running is exercise for the body, reading is exercise for the mind. It improves focus, improves memory, and analytical skills. To read more about this check out this post: The Benefits of Reading

I don’t know about you, but I feel we can’t let this decline continue. If we do we’ll be seeing our young people resorting to other stress relievers that aren’t as beneficial.  We don’t want that to happen. You realize there’s an opioid epidemic happening don’t you?  I don’t want one of my kids to end up as part of that statistic, do you?

So teach them healthy coping mechanisms like reading for pleasure and exercising. They’ll be happier and healthier because of it.

Photo via Visualhunt

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share? Leave a comment. I love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Posted in Future

Intellectual Capitalism

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about a term I heard this week. It’s called “Intellectual Capitalism.”

Photo via Visual Hunt

What is intellectual capitalism? That is a very good question and below is the definition.

 

Intellectual capitalism (IC) can be interpreted as a convergence of a capitalist economy and a knowledge or information economy. It refers to an economic system with basic capitalist institutions in which productive assets and processes, as well as commercial transactions and products, are predominantly intellectual or non-material rather than physical in nature.

 

Watch the video below from BigThink.com. They explain it in layman’s terms.

 

https://www.facebook.com/BigThinkdotcom/videos/10154081233018527/

 

So what does this mean? It means intellectual capital is where the future is headed. Repetitive jobs are going to be wiped out, taken over by robots. But there are still some things robots can’t do, like interpret human behavior or analyze emotions. So there’s still hope for the human race!  My interpretation of this is any person who’s creative and has analytical skills will be in high demand. That’s where the jobs are going to be.  So the future looks bright for us writers and artists.  We’re creative and analytical, wouldn’t you agree?

Photo via Visual hunt

 So brush up on those writing skills my friends they’re going to be in high demand!

Thanks for stopping by this morning and reading my post. Sorry to say, but I had a birthday this week so my post is short and sweet. I’ll return next week with a longer post!

What do you think about the future? Do you agree? Let me know. Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Posted in Slice of LIfe

The Impact of Social Media: A Slice of Life Post

 

Write. Share. Give.

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back with another Slice of Life Post after a brief hiatus. We’ve been so busy with the kids and getting our basement put together I had to take a break. I’ve also been writing. My story is coming together and I’m feeling pretty good about it. I’m hoping to finish it in the next couple of weeks. (crosses fingers).

Anyway, it’s good to be back today. I’ve been thinking about social media and how it has impacted my life. One of the ways it has had a positive impact is I’ve been able to reconnect with old friends I’d lost touch with. These reconnections have been incredible. We’ve gotten together and gone down memory lane, renewing old bonds and strengthening our friendship. I think our friendships change as we grow and some friends stay with us and some don’t.

Photo via Visual Hunt

          Another way social media has had a positive impact is I’ve been able to make contacts that help me with my writing. Research has just become that much easier. Social media has opened doors for everyone. Because of social media we can chat with our favorite celebrities and build relationships with people who can help us in our career, and maybe we can help someone else in their career. We’ve never had the ability to reach out and be this close to someone famous like this before. It’s kind of mind boggling when you think about it.

Photo via VisualHunt

          There are some negatives to social media as well. There are trolls out there who enjoy creating dissension. If you happen to run into one of these people it can make your experience with that platform unpleasant.

There’s also the situation where someone can stalk you via social media. I’ve had friends who’ve experienced this. These stalkers try to create a rift between the person they’re stalking and some of their more loyal followers. It’s not as dangerous as real life stalking, but it is disconcerting.

I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the fact bullying happens on social media as well. It’s unfortunate, but true. Especially these days with all the political division among people, things can get out of hand fairly quickly.

Photo credit: Lisa monster via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

          Social media is an awesome tool for reconnecting and staying in touch, but like everything else it has a dark side too. We need to teach our children about this dark side and prepare them for it. We must teach them to choose their words wisely and teach them about the power our words have. They can be uplifting or they can be demoralizing. We get to choose.

Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers for organizing Slice of Life! To read other Slicers posts click here.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! How do you think social media has impacted your life? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Parenting, Uncategorized

Technology and Its Effects on our Lives

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m back today and I’m excited because I’ve finished my latest WIP. 🙂 Now the editing begins. My favorite part of writing. I love making my story stronger and better. I’ll share more details as I go through the process.

Today, I want to talk about technology. What an amazing thing it is. When I compare my childhood to that of my children, things are totally different, and I must say, I’m not that old! 😉

It’s incredible the changes that have occurred in the last thirty years (cough). Back in the day, we only had a landline phone, cell phones didn’t exist. Now, we’ve got phones that we can send texts, take pictures, and search the web with. It is truly amazing how far we’ve come.

And let’s not forget Social Media. Today, we can chat with someone from another country via the internet for the cost of an internet connection. I remember my days in college when we had to wait until after eleven pm to make long distance calls because the rates were lower, and I wasn’t even chatting with someone from another country. Those phone calls were expensive!

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Photo courtesy of Flicker Creative Commons and

https://mkhmarketing.wordpress.com/

It’s remarkable how far we’ve come and it makes me wonder how far we’ll go. What new technology awaits us over the horizon? What will social media evolve into and what effect will it have on our kids?

These are the questions I think about as I watch my children interact with their friends. I wonder how relationships will evolve. Will most of them be carried out over the internet? Will text messaging/instant messaging be the way our kids communicate with their friends and families? After all this type of communication is on the rise. Just take a look at these statistics. http://attentiv.com/we-dont-speak/

The reality is that our texting may be a detriment to face to face communication. According to this article, http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/texting-teens-adults-communication-0726126

Text messaging/instant messaging is a form of instant gratification, cultivating impatience in our teens which could lead to aggression. When I think of this, I think of road rage and the fact that it’s on the rise. To me, road rage is a person’s frustration when they can’t get to their destination fast enough or they’re frustrated by another driver. Could the instant gratification of text messaging be a contributing factor to road rage? In my opinion yes.

This is one of the negatives of our technological advancement. Just like everything in life, moderation is the key. I believe we need to set limits on cell phone usage especially while driving. Did you know that texting while driving is now a worse public hazard than drunk driving? Check out this article, http://www.alertdriving.com/home/fleet-alert-magazine/north-america/Texting-while-driving-now-a-worse-public-hazard-than-drunk-drivers

Right now, the responsibility resides with the individuals to monitor their own cell phone usage while driving. I believe, we’ll soon have laws that prohibit the use of cell phones while on the road, but how do we police it? As a parent, I say absolutely no texting while driving for teens. They’ve just learned how to drive, they don’t need the distraction of trying to text at the same time.

Our technological advancements have created some problems for our society. In my opinion, moderation is key. We’ll have to monitor and set limits for social media interaction and text messaging for our kids. After all, we don’t want them to lose the ability to communicate face to face. They’d lose the art of reading body language and emotional intelligence will decrease. These are vital skills they’ll need as adults, wouldn’t you agree?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today, I appreciate it! Leave a comment, I’d love to read your thoughts! 🙂

 

 

Posted in Blog tour, promotion

Emblazoner Opening!

It’s the official opening of the Emblazoner’s Website! And to celebrate we’re doing an awesome giveaway! Keep on reading and check it out!

Here is the link to enter the rafflecopter giveaway! 🙂

http://emblazoners.wordpresshttp://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4bcc3d2/com/rafflecopter-giveaway/

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about a brand new site and give you a chance to win some great tween books!

I recently joined the Emblazon group. As Indie authors, we know the importance of group support. I have been learning all of this firsthand since joining. Let me share with you some details about our group.

Emblazon is a blog maintained and written by a collection of indie and traditionally published authors who care about producing high-quality stories for kids. We have a particular focus on ages 11 to 14. We call them Tweens. The purpose of Emblazon is to celebrate tween literature. We want to draw attention to this fabulous genre, interact with other enthusiasts, whether child or adult, and encourage new writers.

Emblazon launches its first post on July 10. Please consider helping us spread the word by mentioning us on your blog today or later this week. You may cut and paste from this website and use our attached logo if you wish. All bloggers who participate are eligible to enter our $100 Amazon gift card drawing that will be held the following day.

To thank all those bloggers who help us announce Emblazon‘s launch, we will be giving away a $100 Amazon gift card on July 11, 2013, as well as a smaller second place prize.

To enter the drawing, you must post about Emblazon on your blog on Wednesday, July 10, our official launch day. Then tweet your Emblazoners post to @CassidyJonesAdv and include the hashtag #Emblazoners. (Note: You will not be entered into the drawing without your blog post tweet that includes @CassidyJonesAdv and #Emblazoners.)

@CassidyJonesAdv will confirm you’ve been entered into the drawing by “favoriting” your tweet. If your tweet wasn’t “favorited,” tweet it again.

We appreciate your help getting the word out about our new website!}

You can also treat your readers to our upcoming Sizzling Freebies bash that will be hosted on Emblazon on August 1, during which a great selection of ebooks will be free for one day only.

Thanks for reading this post and leave a comment we’d love to hear from you! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway and win some awesome books!