You, Your Children and the Forcefield App

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Forcefield

The internet is everywhere. It wasn’t always so, believe it or not. I remember the days when the centralized home computer was all you had available when logging your Solitaire and Minesweeper hours. Now all you have to do is reach into your pocket, pull out your mini-computer, and browse the world with your fingertips. […]

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Vodcast: How The Last Jedi Is a Religious Movie

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Vodcast last Jedi

Star Wars has long been a cultural powerhouse, but the saga itself is powered by a strange, supernatural element that undergirds its universe: the Force. The Force, in Obi-Wan Kenobi’s words, “surrounds us and penetrates us” and “binds the galaxy together.” It’s been a central tenant of every Star Wars movie, and the very concept […]

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Television Tops 2017: Paul Asay’s Year-End Picks

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Most of television’s nicknames are severely dated. How can it be called the “tube” when most of our HDTV’s don’t even have tubes anymore? I’ve been known to call it the “small screen” too, even though there’s nothing small about most television screens today. There’s nothing small about the influence of television, either. Experts say […]

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What Parents Need to Know About Facebook’s Messenger Kids App

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kid with phone (possibly using the Facebook Messenger Kids app)

Facebook is coming for your children. On December 4, 2017, Facebook announced a new app targeted at 6-to-12-year-olds called Messenger Kids. The world will never be the same again… …but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe it is or, maybe, it isn’t. There are myriad opinions as to whether Facebook’s Messenger Kids app is […]

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Truth About the Truth or Dare App

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teens and phone

OK, let’s start with Truth, shall we? Many of us have probably played a game of Truth or Dare at some point in our past, right? Sure, we didn’t have all of today’s high-tech gadgetry to draw upon, but it’s possible that some of you still doled out those boundary-pushing teenage challenges in some antiquated […]

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The ‘Trespassers Will’ of Childhood

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Goodbye Christopher Robin

No offense, Walt Disney. But to really understand the magic of Winnie-the-Pooh, you need to read it. Open the book and you walk into a comfortable, wryly funny and beautiful world. You track Woozles. You attend birthday parties. You sail through the Hundred Acre Wood in an umbrella. My mom read A.A. Milne’s beloved stories […]

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The Great Television Content Rush Gets a Bit … Purer

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Hitting the Breaks

Way back yonder, folks came out West to find a new life, raise families and … well, who am I kidding, get stinkin’ rich. They’d travel to the gold fields of California or Colorado or the Yukon, visions of shiny yellow metal flashing in their nugget-hungry noggins. Some of them indeed struck it rich. Many […]

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Entertainment versus The Downers of Life

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Man with smoke coming out of his ears

Life’s just a downer, right? Well, maybe not totally, but it sure can feel that way—even here in the good old U.S. of A. A new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal reported just how pessimistic and deeply divided we Americans are feeling these days. Our country is roiling for a lot […]

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Culture Clips: An Expert Asks, ‘Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?’

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Culture clips and smartphones

How are the combined influences of smartphones and social media shaping the lives of children growing up today? In her new article “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” in The Atlantic, author and psychologist Jean M. Twenge (Generation Me, iGen) argues that these technological advancements are having a revolutionary—and mostly negative—impact on young people today. Twenge’s […]

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