It’s #ManCrushMonday: Can We Redeem Even the Shallowest of Hashtags?

“...the secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt He is.”-- Ann VoskampSocial media has offered up all kinds of fascinating trends in recent years, from the cute and entertaining (Grumpy Cat, poor Charlie’s brother’s finger, breaded animals) to the weird and bizarre (people of Walmart, Harlem Shake, planking, Baby Cha-Cha). For the most part, the memes and remixes that populate our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest feeds are all in good fun.Lately, though, the Chri … [Read more...]

Facebook “Likes” Aren’t Enough, But Would a “Sympathize” Button Make it Worse?

Poke, Like...Sympathize?Facebook engineers discussed a previously developed “Sympathize” button to add to the ubiquitous “Like” button with which we’re all familiar. Isn’t it about time we have an option other than “Like” for maintaining our social relationships? For years Facebook’s Like button has performed much more for our online lives than its simple name implies. For example, I Like funny posts because I share in the humor. I may Like a friend's article because I agree with what's been … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Christopher Lasch Wouldn’t Call Narcissism a Millennial Novelty

Lots of people like writing about Millennials, and lots of people who like writing about Millennials like pointing out how unprecedentedly narcissistic all of the Millennials are.Over at A Common Vision, Daniel Saunders reexamines the phenomenon of narcissism through the lens of Christopher Lasch's still-prescient book on the topic. It seems narcissism as a cultural pathology predates the dawn of the internet and social media and even Millennials, hard as that is to believe. The roots of the … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Facebook Can Bring About Forgiveness (No, Really).

You can find all sorts of people on Facebook. If you're Alix Wall, it can even help you find the man who turned you into a drug mule without your knowledge to smuggle 'shrooms into Israel. And, it might even help you to find forgiveness and healing, decades after the fact. … [Read more...]

How Concerned Should We Be With How 14-Year-Old Girls Use Technology?

It seems like an article comes out every other week about how teens and young adults are using technology: what devices they're using (and not using), what social networks they're using (and not using), etc. Companies certainly have a vested interest in this information. After all, the earlier they can sink their "hooks" into consumers, the more money they potentially stand to earn from those consumers. What's more, teens are particularly fickle and can help identify new and upcoming trends -- … [Read more...]

How Should We Handle Tragedy In The Digital Age?

Tragedy is everywhere. The first notable one for me was 9/11. I was living in Hawaii and had just woken up to find my mom freaked out because of some attack in New York.  I was 9, and so it just didn't matter to me at the time. All I knew was that I got the day off from school because of it. When I was younger, I was oblivious to the conflicts and events of human history. My parents rarely talked about the news; our life revolved around us flying to this thing or that church event. I learned the … [Read more...]

What Do Teens Hope to Gain When They Leave Facebook?

As a social media user, I love Facebook and its capabilities to increase community, communication, and connection. For the last 8 years, it's been one of the primary tools for those things, and has stood the test of time and of use and misuse. But, if modern reports are to be believed, teens -- once considered Facebook's primary audience -- are abandoning it for other social media services.The Verge recently broke a story that data reveals that services like Snapchat, Instagram, and Tumblr a … [Read more...]

Why I’m Not Giving Up Facebook for Lent

“Goodbye, Facebook! I’ll see you after Lent.”A number of my friends have posted sentiments such as this in recent days, as sites like Facebook and Twitter now regularly sit in the top ten lists of what to sacrifice for Lent. Apparently engaging in social media is a more tempting vice for some people than fast food, sex, and sweets, and thus needs to be excised from one’s life for 40 days.I wouldn’t disagree with anyone who feels that fasting from social media can be beneficial for their s … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday from Facebook

Yesterday was my birthday. For real. (Please do not use that information to steal my identity or something nefarious like that.) I announce this because I love birthdays. I stay up until midnight for my birthday each year just so I can see when I get a year older. I'm a bit of a birthday weirdo like that.But enough about me and my awesome birthday! I want to write about a real birthday wonder that affects you if you have a Facebook account: that is, the "Happy BirthdayPalooza" that spams up … [Read more...]

Resisting Facebook is Harder Than Resisting Sex

We all know how addictive it is to grab your smartphone and check up on what's happening in in our Facebook and Twitter feeds. But just how addictive? A recent study in Germany, in which participants were given a Blackberry and told to frequently report how often they were tempted to check Facebook and how often they gave in, revealed that social media was harder to resist other things, including sex. The reason that cigarettes, alcohol and even drugs can be less addictive than using social … [Read more...]