What Parents Need to Know About Hoop

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You might think that with social media options such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and others, teens would have enough online friends. But apparently you’d be wrong. In fact, an entirely new class of apps is emerging euphemistically called “social discovery” apps. These apps, such as Hoop, Wink, Yubo and Monkey, piggyback on Snapchat to […]

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More Screen Time, Less Sleep Time?

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looking at phone while in bed

You wouldn’t think that a biography of 19th president Rutherford B. Hayes would keep one up at night. In truth, it was one of the reasons I was reading said biography. Can’t sleep? Rutherford B. Hayes’ mixed record on reconstruction will knock you right out. But there I was, still reading—an hour after I’d intended […]

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Everything Right and Everything Wrong With Gaming Culture

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This past week, I reviewed Apple TV+’s newest show Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet for Plugged In. The show piqued my interest for a couple of reasons. Namely, because as someone who spends some free time playing video games, I want to see a broader representation of the modern-day gamer beyond the stereotypical “cute and lovable […]

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A Plugged In Conversation With Jessie Minassian

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Being a tween or teen has probably never been an easy thing. But the pressures faced by adolescents today—especially girls—are amplified in many ways by technology and social media. Author, speaker and regular Focus on the Family Broadcast guest Jessie Minassian has thought a lot about these issues. Her website, Life, Love and God: Where […]

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Culture Clips: TikTok Trouble

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tik tok culture clips

Parents of teens and tweens may be familiar with TikTok, a popular social media app that allows you to create videos by lip-synching or dancing along to songs. However, parents might not be as familiar with the problematic content on the app. When ABC News scrolled through TikTok’s content, they found videos of teens “talking […]

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What’s New and Streaming for Families in June (2019)

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Can you believe we’re slip-sliding into summer once more? Yes indeedy. So while you’re breaking out your shorts and T-shirts and waiting for the official start of the sunshine season on June 21st—not to mention anticipating the upcoming blockbuster movie season—let’s see what’s new in the realm of streaming this month. Netflix Netflix will be […]

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Entertainment, Media and Mental Health: Celebs Speak Out

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Demi Lovato mental health

Editor’s Note: If you’ve read anything from us here at Plugged In within the last few months, you’ve probably stumbled across an article or two that deals with mental health. Some have asked why this is such a big deal. Let me tell you. First, statistics show that mental health issues are on the rise, […]

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Culture Clips: The Dumb Side Effects of Smartphones

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culture clips phones and Madonna

You have a smartphone, right? Well, put it down. Right now. (Unless, of course, you’re reading this on your phone. In which case, finish reading, send us money and then put it down.) Because—news flash—our phones can mess with our real-world lives and relationships something awful. I know, I know. We’ve said this sort of […]

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Can a TV Show Kill? It’s a Complicated Question.

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13 Reasons study

Underneath the reviews, the blog posts, the vodcasts and Twitter missives, Plugged In is built on one basic premise: Media matters. The entertainment we consume—the stories we watch and read and listen to and play—impact us deeply, and on levels we might not fully realize. Obviously, the relationship between entertainment and its real-world impact is […]

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A Plugged In Conversation with Television Advocate Tim Winter

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PTC interview

Few inventions have reshaped culture the way television has. Since its mainstream emergence in the 1950s, television has both reflected cultural values and reinforced them, too. Since 1995, the Parents Television Council has sought to equip parents with information they need to better understand this medium’s influence, especially on children. The PTC has played strong […]

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Culture Clips: When a Shooter Streams a Massacre

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New Zealand

The world was horrified last week when news spread of the horrific shooting that claimed the lives of 50 people at two New Zealand mosques on March 15. And though similar mass shootings around the world have become a terrible recurring story over the last couple of decades, such wanton carnage increasingly has a disturbing […]

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