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.

Smell Like a Monster

Ads from Old Spice’s “Smell Like a Man” campaign have been among YouTube’s most-seen viral videos this year. And, always on the lookout for new ways to teach prepositions, Sesame Street has come up with “Smell Like a Monster,” brought to us by Grover, a grouchy clam and a cow with potential identity issues. The […]

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Guilty Is Good?

The MTV Video Awards aired recently. I didn’t watch them, but author and youth culture expert Walt Mueller did, and in his summarizing thoughts on the show, he mentioned a new ad for Gucci Guilty, a women’s fragrance I hadn’t heard of, let alone smelled. The commercial depicts a daring, take-charge woman driving a futuristic […]

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An Ode to Books

The last quote that made me stop, think and reminisce was from Ray Bradbury. A Time magazine writer recently asked the 90-year-old sci-fi icon if he owns a Kindle or another e-reader. He said: I don’t believe in those. They don’t smell. A book has got smell. A new book smells great. An old book […]

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Stupidity: Now Online!

The first (and only) time I saw the old MTV show Jackass, I figured society was in bigger trouble than I’d thought. Sure, the show’s producers posted disclaimers at the bottom of the screen (Yo! Don’t try this stupidity at home!) and host Steve-O would warn viewers not to be, well, stupid. After all, he […]

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Sliding the Chute to Incivility

Steven Slater. Hundreds of thousands of people seem to approve of this former flight attendant for losing his temper and cursing out passengers on a recent flight. Many consider him a role model. But I think his patron-saint-of-disgruntled-employees status is both ridiculous and … barometric. We’re all frustrated by the economy, our kids, our jobs […]

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Talk to Me, Baby!

Just in case you were looking for another generational bone of contention between baby boomers and millennials, here it is: the common telephone. Cell phone, smartphone or landline, most age groups are spending a lot less time yakking into a handset. Two years ago, 18- to 34-year-olds spent 1,200 minutes a month speaking into a […]

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Botoxic Wasteland

Even though “teen toxing,” as Botox use among teenagers has been dubbed, is still relatively rare, it’s on the rise. In 2009, 11,889 teenagers ages 13 through 19 used Botox, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. That’s a 2% increase since 2008. And the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports 12,110 Botox […]

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Fast Vacation

For the past week I’ve been looking for guinea pigs. No, pet rodents are not running around my house. I’m looking for people to help me with a study of sorts. I wanted someone—whether an individual or a family—to do a media fast for, ideally, a month. That means no television, video games, social texting […]

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Barefoot and Busted

You tell me. The world doesn’t make much sense anymore, and I need some guidance: Is Colton Harris-Moore a role model? Until his capture in the Bahamas on Sunday, this 19-year-old “Barefoot Bandit” from Washington state had been on a two-year crime spree that’s cost the public hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage […]

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