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Does Your Family Need a New Years’ Media Resolution? Here Are Some Tips

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Maybe your teen got the latest model smartphone for Christmas, or your toddler got a tablet that you swear you’ll only use for educational purposes. After what was hopefully a joyful holiday season, now is the perfect time to consider how you can make the most of the time you have in the new year with your family—especially when it comes to media use.

Common Sense Media, who seeks to “empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.”

In a helpful blog post for Common Sense, Caroline Knorr offers a list powerful yet simple New Year’s resolutions every family should consider if they want to be intentional regarding the media that permeates their lives and “raise kids with a healthy, balanced relationship with screens.”

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“Be curious — not judgy — about your kid’s media.”

There’s no doubt about it, it seems almost every new trend our kids seem to catch onto is just plain weird. “…Often, when kids get into things we don’t know about or understand, we worry,” Knorr writes. “And that makes us clamp down, when we really should be opening up.”

Instead, Knorr suggests doing something your kids are into: “Play Fortnite, watch Good Mythical Morning, read a Rick Riordan book, download Snapchat or Tik Tok. Talk to your kids and see what they like about the most popular apps, YouTube shows, and social media. They’ll respond better to your concerns if you’ve experienced these things for yourself.”

 

“Help your kid learn to manage themselves.”

“Two things make it really hard for kids to get off their devices,” Knorr explains. “First, they’re not great at self-regulating yet. And second, games, apps, social media, and even streaming services are all designed to keep them hooked as long as possible.”

Listen, technology isn’t going away, and our goal as parents shouldn’t be to make it go away. Instead, we want to put in the effort, even through the hard days, to teach our kids balance.

“Use tech such as screen-time settings and parental controls as tools to help your kids gain the skills they need to draw limits,” Knorr suggests, even if it means occasionally taking the “blunt-force” approach and turning off the internet for a spell.

“If they prove they’re good at sticking to limits, ease off a bit,” Knorr writes. “If they falter, keep your eyes on the prize. With your support, encouragement, and guidance, they’ll get there.”

 

“Have a family movie night.”

It might seem like a cliché, but nothing can possibly replace quality time with your kids, especially when consuming any kind of media. Exposing you and your children to countless teachable moments (from appropriate, ideally pre-viewed films and shows), the family movie night is a powerful tool.

“You can talk about issues, characters’ strengths and flaws, and themes,” Knorr suggests. And, if you’re a homeschooling family, holding a thoughtful conversation during a science- or history-themed movie definitely counts as a lesson!

 

“Take one small step toward privacy.”

Whether you are looking to protect your kids from peer pressure, online predators, or even just tasteless advertising, media privacy is crucial for families. “Lots of companies get around the Children’s Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA) and collect data on kids’ accounts,” Knorr explains. “This means they could be targeted with ads and other creepy stuff.”

Thankfully, you can control your privacy settings with any device or app you use, you just need to do some tweaking in your account settings.

 

“Embrace the “digital wellness” trend.”

Technology is meant to be a positive aspect of our lives, not a detriment, a stumbling block, or an addiction. If any of those are apt descriptors for tech use in your family, Knorr urges you to take a deep breath and evaluate the situation.

In response to the dark side of screen time, giants in the industry such as Facebook and Google are now offering several digital wellness features. Although they aren’t meant to replace personal discipline, Knorr says “they’re a good reminder to be more self-aware and ditch what doesn’t feel truly helpful or enjoyable.”

“If there’s something you’d like to cut down on, use built-in tools to set limits for yourself,” she continues. “Help your kids become more aware of their own online time and help them take control of their use, too. You don’t have to shut everything down. But really focus on what you’re doing, when you’re doing it, and why.”

 

God created humans with incredible capabilities, imagination, and creativity. Our use of technology can be a great gift, but it will take a healthy dose of responsibility for families to find a healthy balance. If screen time has become a beast in your family, try these simple steps today to tame it.

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Springsteen Disallows Fans Who’ve Had Certain COVID-19 Vaccines

Soon we’ll be queuing up by batch numbers…

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As the world races to reopen, there are some longstanding concerns that those who’ve chosen not to be vaccinated could wind end living their lives as second-class citizens. We’re already seeing a number of major industries treat Americans differently based on their choices in regard to bodily sovereignty.  Baseball parks are talking about having unvaccinated “sections”, for instance, and the cruise industry is already looking to break the law in Florida by requiring proof of inoculation to ride. Now things are getting even more segregated and specific, as Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway show will not allow guests who’ve had a specific brand of COVID-19 vaccine. Rabid rock fans looking to celebrate a return to normalcy by taking in Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway show later this month will be on the outside looking in if they’ve received the AstraZeneca vaccine, which hasn’t yet been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. The show at the St. James Theatre, set to run June 26 through Sept. 4, has a lengthy Q&A page detailing the vaccination protocols in place — including a mandate that all guests must be fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved shot to get in. Guests will meet that criteria if they’ve received a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna vaccine at least 14 days earlier, or that same span with a Johnson & Johnson jab prior to the Boss’s latest Broadway run. “At the direction of New York State, Springsteen on Broadway and the St. James Theatre will only be accepting proof of FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson),” the website reads. There is but one exception: The lone exceptions to the vaccine policy will be for children under the age of 16 who have had a negative antigen COVID-19 screening six hours prior to the show, or…

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Chris Cuomo Gets Roasted on Twitter After Asking for Examples of His ‘Bias’

Chris Cuomo’s backside is likely a little tender after that.

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With Americans’ faith in the mainstream media continuing to falter in recent years, it appears as though some within that ecosystem are growing desperate. The nation is beginning to learn their tricks.  We know all about their sensationalism’s dopamine-inducing addiction, and how they ride this wave of fear and emotion into ever-larger paychecks. It’s not so much the news as a brain-chemical feeding frenzy interrupted every few minutes by some ad for car insurance.  The funny thing is that the pundits themselves are still attempting to keep up appearances, and pretend as though their programs aren’t the gluttonous chaos-porn that they are. Chris Cuomo, of CNN fame, seemed to challenge Twitter to find instances of bias in his work this week, in the sort of “jump the shark” moment that often predates the imminent end of someone’s career. Twitter did not disappoint. https://twitter.com/ChrisCuomo/status/1405513427192356869?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1405513427192356869%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.breitbart.com%2Fthe-media%2F2021%2F06%2F18%2Fchris-cuomo-trashed-twitter-asking-evidence-bias%2F https://twitter.com/ArthurSchwartz/status/1405722621669433347?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1405722621669433347%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.breitbart.com%2Fthe-media%2F2021%2F06%2F18%2Fchris-cuomo-trashed-twitter-asking-evidence-bias%2F https://twitter.com/DrewHolden360/status/1405524870864150542?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1405524870864150542%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.breitbart.com%2Fthe-media%2F2021%2F06%2F18%2Fchris-cuomo-trashed-twitter-asking-evidence-bias%2F https://twitter.com/karol/status/1405532964461547523?s=20 https://twitter.com/NewsPolitics/status/1395427627431866369?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1395427627431866369%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.breitbart.com%2Fthe-media%2F2021%2F06%2F18%2Fchris-cuomo-trashed-twitter-asking-evidence-bias%2F There is little deniability of bias when you’re actively working with a Democratic governor and using you media connections in the process.

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