Plugged In Author: Meredith Whitmore

Meredith has had two careers: one as a writer/editor for both Focus on the Family and The Navigators, and one as an English teacher trekking far-flung corners of Europe, Africa and Asia. She now rejoins Focus, but with souvenirs—including new eyes with which to better view American culture.

The Formula for Fame


Some silly things in life make me wonder why. Why, for example, does one of my coworkers love Mountain Dew so much? Why do I always get lost in the Bangkok airport, despite plotting my course with a map and having been there multiple times? And just why, exactly, is mechanically separated chicken necessary? (On […]

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Funny Lady


I recently had the pleasure of talking to comedian Chonda Pierce. If you’ve heard of her, you know the girlfriend is funny. If you haven’t, then you’re missing out. Chonda recently hosted the fifth installment of the long-running comedy event Thou Shalt Laugh—adding, by the way, that it was high time they finally invited her […]

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Are Kids Less Creative?


What seemingly grouchy adults have suspected for years is actually true—at least according to a new study. Overall, kids today are less creative than they used to be. Kyung Hee Kim, a creativity researcher at the College of William and Mary, examined around 300,000 creativity tests going back to the 1970s, according to an article […]

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Digitally Distracted


It sounds like angels are bowling five feet above my head today. OK, it’s actually roofers working on our office building. But the distracting racket is enough to bring everyone’s productivity to a near standstill every few minutes. Truth be told, though, I’m already pretty distracted. Deadlines. Email. Voice mail. Facebook. It’s a litany of […]

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Get Your Hollywood Rant On


Do you hate anyone enough to post a vicious YouTube video rant against them? (Please say no, even if you’re lying to me. It’s already been a traumatic month.) In our strident, express-yourself-even-if-you’re-being-a-jerk culture, there are plenty of people who do. Repeatedly. Especially when they dislike celebrities. And it seems The CW believes that giving […]

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Family Media Surprise


For generations, parents have told their kids, “Shut off the TV and go outside!” And in the last decade or so, we can add iPods, the Internet, cell phones and video games to the “Turn it off!” list as well. But a recent study from The Barna Group (a Christian research and polling firm) suggests […]

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A Zettabyte Is Big. Really Big.


A colleague and I sometimes laugh about weird headlines. My favorites from the past week or so include “Fearsome Lawn Ornament Shot Dead by Cops,” “Proven: Sharks Love AC/DC” and “Roads to Close for Zombie Mayhem in Atlanta Suburb.” But this headline got me not for its humor, but for being totally and completely unfathomable: […]

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Chasing Death for 15 Minutes of Fame


There are professional storm-chaser videos, and then there are WHAT-are-you-thinking-you-lunatic storm–chaser videos. Not long after the most recent siege of devastating tornados ripped across the country, I saw the latter, amateurish type of video on a news site. The camera is focused on a deadly twister, and background noises include violent wind and the voices […]

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