Overcoming Your Biggest Fears with Gaming Technology

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What are you most scared of? Snakes? Spiders? Heights? If your phobias are the run-of-the-mill variety, there’s a very good chance you’re in luck. Why? Therapists are treating these sorts of fears now in the safety of their own offices—courtesy virtual reality gaming technology. Take the case of a man named Dick Tracey (not be […]

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Culture Clips: The Facebook Trauma Edition

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Culture clips facebook

Perhaps it’s not exactly news anymore when Facebook announces a data breach. The ubiquitous social network has been as leaky as a perforated garden hose lately, so what’s another 50 million users? Still, it made the virtual front pages of a lot of virtual newspapers, and what might’ve gotten lost in the week’s Facebook headlines […]

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Speaking of Speaking …

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speaking of speaking

In my 2011 book, Plugged-In Parenting, I included a chapter titled, “Ten Things You Can Do to End Fights Over Family Entertainment.” One of those suggestions was to get your pastors involved. Here’s what I said: When your kids hear other people—pastors, parents, teachers—echoing your advice on media, they may be more willing to listen. […]

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When Social Media Bullying Turns Uglier

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cyberbullying word cloud

When I was in elementary school, I was frightened terribly by a boy named Winfred. Winfred was a huge (I thought) fifth-grade bully. Somehow I had crossed him and as a result, he had threatened several times to beat me up. I worked hard to take different routes home from school (hiding a lot along […]

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Culture Clips: Adults Spend 11 Hours Daily on Screens!?

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screentime

Does it feel like screens are eating your life? Maybe they are. At least, metaphorically speaking. In the first quarter of 2018, the data hawks over at Nielsen report that the average American adult spent an average of 11 hours and 6 minutes a day watching screens. (And for those really good at math, that […]

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Culture Clips: State of the Teens, Summer 2018 Edition

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Are the kids alright? It’s a question that many in our culture return to again and again. Rightly so: Today’s children represent the future of our society. But while the question itself seems a simple one, answers almost never are. And so it is today. The news about what’s happening with young people—mostly teens, but […]

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Culture Clips: The Kanye by Kanye West Edition

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Kanye West

For years, faith-based films have been largely ignored in the secular entertainment establishment. They never— I’ma let you finish, faith-based film guy. But first, we have to talk a little about Kanye West. Love him or not, the influential rapper sure says some … interesting things. And with his new album, Ye, out, West is […]

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Culture Clips: The Chris Pratt Talks About God on MTV Edition

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Awards shows on MTV have often offered celebrities big stages for bad behavior. (We could start with Miley Cyrus and work backwards from there.) But perhaps the biggest story at this year’s MTV Movie & TV Awards is something Monty Python might have introduced with the disclaimer, “And now for something completely different.” Really different. […]

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Vodcast: Connecting With Our Kids in a Wireless World

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vodcast with Dr. Kathy Koch

For a long time—longer than maybe I want to admit, even—my professional life has revolved around helping families navigate this bewildering world of entertainment and technology we live in. Those twin influences are only getting stronger as time goes on: Kids and teens have so many shows to watch, music to listen to, games to […]

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Culture Clips: Yeah, Being a Couch Potato is Bad For You

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cat couch potato

We’ve always known, deep down, that sittin’ on the couch to do nothin’ but watch TV probably isn’t the best way to spend one’s day. Or month. Or year. But now, thanks to Scientific American, we have some indication of how bad the sin of sloth can be for us. It’s not just that couch […]

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The Clanging Cringiness of Musical.ly

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Musical.ly

We’ve all heard about Facebook and Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. Certain apps and social media platforms are as ubiquitous as, well, the smartphone you’re probably clutching in your hand right now. But kids flock to some apps that we parents are sometimes woefully unaware of. The Musical.ly app may be one of those. On the […]

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Culture Clips: Siri, Who’s the Smartest Digital Assistant?

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These days, digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s, erm, Assistant can deliver answers, directions, pizza and tons of other stuff just by asking. So USA Today set out to find out which of these virtual answer bots was the most accurate. The short answer probably shouldn’t come as a surprise: “We […]

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