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Millennials: Why do they spend so much time on Facebook?

A young woman compares two smartphones, an iPhone and a Samsung Galaxy, at a trade show (Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar)As an American traveling abroad and trying to communicate across a language barrier have you ever felt the temptation to speak slowly and loudly as if that is going to help them understand your urgent request to find the nearest bathroom?  They look at you with that befuddled stare, shrug, smile, and walk away.  Why are we the ones that get frustrated?  We are immigrants in their native land yet we expect them to understand our language.

I am sure you have experienced the same frustration in dealing with younger adults and their apparent obsession with social media.  Have you attempted to have a conversation with them and they seem unable to lift their eyes from their iPad?  Or perhaps they roll their eyes when you ask them to put their phone down for a minute? This young "Millennium" generation was born after 1980.  Facebook and social media aren't new or confusing technology to them.   They are "digital natives" and you are the "digital immigrant."  For example, 89% of "millennials" use social networking sites, less than 40% of their parents and grandparents do.  On average a millennial spends nearly three hours a day on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.  While this may seem high, it is still less than the five hours a day the average older adult spends watching television!

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To Tinder or not to Tinder: what does the Bible say?

Tinder presskit (Credit: Tinder)Tinder, similar to Voldemort from Harry Potter, is a name one does not utter in public. Just the mention of this new dating app causes faces to blush, heads to turn, and judgments to be handed down. Like opinions of Taylor Swift, everyone has a stance they take on Tinder. They are either the biggest fan, think it is single handedly destroying all things good, or they are embarrassed by it but secretly love it.

So what is this "sparks flying," "love story" telling, dark magic app for your phone? Tinder is the fastest growing dating app that is sweeping (or you might say swiping) the nation. On Tinder, a person's picture appears, and if it is easy on the eyes (as my papaw says and as Laban's daughter Rachel is described (Genesis 29:17)) you swipe right. If this person is not to your liking, you swipe left. If both individuals swipe right on each other's pictures, then you are each notified and have the opportunity to text each other on the messenger portion of the app.

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Your attitude is contagious--is it worth catching?

First 15: Fruit of the Holy Spirit (Credit: Denison Forum)You can catch the flu, but you are better for missing it. You can catch a salmon at Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, but I have a fishy feeling your travelling companions would prefer you not.  As the Dallas Cowboys remind fans every week, you can't catch everything.

However, there are some things you can catch. Not only can you catch them, but they are worth catching. In a recent New York Times article, Arthur Brooks writes on the phenomenon known as "moral elevation." Psychologists define this as "an emotional state that leads individuals to act virtuously when exposed to the virtue of others." Citing one study published in 2010, Brooks writes how psychologists divided a group into three sections. One section watched an episode of a comedy program, another a nature documentary, and the final group watched an episode of Oprah. The episode of Oprah consisted of guests expressing gratitude to their mentors. Those who watched Oprah reported "feeling more uplifted, optimistic about humanity, and warm in the chest. "  This internal warmness resulted in a desire to externally extend warm acts of charity to others.

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Janet's Blog

  • Is fear a modern idol?

    Is fear a modern idol? Relevant Magazine is an online resource that I enjoy reading.  The target audience is much younger than I am and I really enjoy hearing their perspectives on the issues of the day.  I often am convicted by what I read[…]

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