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10 Ways Parents Can Help Prevent Cyberbullying

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

10 Ways Parents Can Help Prevent CyberbullyingThe brave new world of technology has spawned a monster: the cyberbully. According to the website stopbullying.gov, cyberbullying is bullying that uses electronic methods such as cell phones and computers. It can include hurtful text messages and photos, among others. Most children are aware of cyberbullying. Thanks to the efforts of many school districts in America, most parents are as well.

In just one example of the pain it can cause, a 12-year-old girl in Florida leapt to her death in September 2013 after having been cyberbullied by two girls, one 12 and the other 14.

Despite the conveniences of modern technology, it seems also to have a sinister side. The statistics on cyberbullying are increasingly alarming.

Cyberchondria: Do Medical Websites Hurt More Than They Help?

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Cyberchondria: Do Medical Websites Hurt More Than They Help?Welcome to the world of online medical sites and diagnostics — WebMD, Mayo Clinic, MedicineNet, take your pick. While it’s tempting to easily type in symptoms and research potential illnesses when feeling under the weather, I advocate that these sites do more harm than good and only propel worries further.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m prone to anxiety as it is when sick, so it’s not exactly mentally healthy to Google “headaches” and then proceed to read that I have a brain tumor. Or I’ll type in “back tightness,” where I’m led to a page that speaks of muscle cramping (okay, fair enough), but then look on to see the mention of tetanus. Oh, great. No thanks.

There’s even a term for it now: “cyberchondria.”

Why You Shouldn’t Text Your Argument

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Why You Shouldn't Text Your ArgumentTexting — or textese, as some call it — is a wonderful shorthand method for communicating with others, especially your partner or special someone. What better way to let them know you’re thinking of them, that you love them, that they are the highlight of your day?

Which is a great thing you should be doing (if you’re not).

What texting is absolutely horrible for, however, is an argument or an in-depth discussion about any kind of serious issue. You shouldn’t do it — here’s why.

3 Reality-Based Tips for Raising Your Digital Native Children

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

3 Reality-Based Tips for Raising Your Digital Native ChildrenA lot has been written about the effects of screen time and a child’s healthy development.

Now the American Academy of Pediatrics, a professional guild association of pediatricians who like to promote fears about Facebook usage and suggest kids’ violence comes from too much TV watching, has updated its guidelines for how children and teens should consume digital media.

But here’s the thing — guess how many teenagers and children they talked to in the creation of these guidelines?

If you guessed “zero,” you would be right. In this day and age where our children and teens know more about living online than most adults, this seems like a gross oversight. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg with the guidelines’ problems.

Why Your Smartphone is Trying to Kill You — And What You Can Do to Stop It

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Why Your Smartphone is Trying to Kill You -- And What You Can Do to Stop ItYour smartphone — whether it be an iPhone or an Android device — is trying to kill you.

It’s not doing it in any kind of obvious way. There’s no “Murder My Owner” app that it downloads in the middle of the night, and then electrocutes you any time you reach for it (or failed to check it in the last 5 minutes).

No, it’s far more subtle — and effective. Because your smartphone is trying to kill you by creating hard-to-break habits of checking it. Even while you’re doing life-and-death kinds of things, like driving a two-ton vehicle at 65 MPH down an interstate.

The Challenges of Accurate Reporting on Video Game Research

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

The Challenges of Accurate Reporting on Video Game ResearchRecently, a group of approximately 230 media scholars, psychologists and criminologists sent an open letter to the American psychological community asking them to retire their flawed policy statements on media and video game violence, and refrain from similar statements in the future.

This effort is an expression of concern with the way in which research in this field has been communicated by professional advocacy groups such as the APA to the general public.

In short, previous policy statements have exaggerated the strength and consistency of media effects, implied scientific consensus where there was none, and arguably done much damage to the credibility of our field in the process.

Gamer Stereotypes Just Aren’t True

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Gamer Stereotypes Just Aren't TrueYou know gamers… They’re teenagers or young adults, slothful, lazy, without motivation and spend all of their time, well, gaming. They’re also typically unattractive, probably fat, and are pale from spending so much time indoors playing video games.

Well, if this is your idea of someone who plays video games, unfortunately your idea is pretty much completely wrong. Sorry.

So says new research just published from German researchers who examined 2,550 actual video game players.

Top 10 Free Mental Health Apps

Friday, September 20th, 2013
Top 10 Free Mental Health Apps

If you’re looking for good mental health apps, those selected here are all solid. But the really great thing about the apps on this list?

Not only are they useful for your personal mental health mobile toolkit, and for referring to clients, they’re all free.

Violence & Video Games: A Weak, Meaningless Correlation

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Violence & Video Games: A Weak, Meaningless CorrelationDo violent video games lead to greater violence amongst those who play them?

While the actual answer is complex, the simple answer is easy — of course not. Just take a look at the graph at the overall decline of youth violence rates to the left (and the larger version below). Even as video game sales across the board have increased, rates of violence amongst youths has declined.

But a 2010 meta-analysis (Anderson et al.) on violent video games (VVGs) can’t be ignored. So let’s take a look at what they found.

Put on a Happy Face(book)

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Put on a Happy Face(book)I’ve heard a lot about how Facebook causes depression. It appears reading all those updates about our friends’ super-duper fun lives brings us down. Our own lives seem mundane and lonely in comparison.

Been there. Oh yes… Been there real bad.

So, first of all, reality check: People are likely to post the most super-duper fun stuff they do, so what we see in Facebook posts (aside from photographs of people’s lunches) is a skewed view of people’s lives. It’s life through rose-colored computer screens.

Not that it’s all hogwash, though.

How to Write an Effective To-Do List

Monday, September 9th, 2013

How to Write an Effective To-Do ListI remember trying out my first hour-by-hour schedule to help me get things done when I was 10. Wasn’t really my thing. I’ve since retired the hourly schedule, but I still rely on a daily to-do list.

I went through the same motions every night in university. I wrote out, by hand, my to-do list for the next day, ranked by priority. Beside each task I wrote down the number of hours each task should take.

This was and still is a habit and finding a system that works has been a struggle for me. I’ve tested out a variety of methods, bought a number of books on the subject, and experimented: color-coded writing, Post-it note reminders in the bathroom, apps, Day-Timers — you name it, I’ve tried it. So I went on an adventure to figure out the most effective way not only to write my daily to-do list but to get more things done.

Commenting on Those Who Comment

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Commenting on Those Who CommentOne thing I’ve learned while publishing my writing is that I’ll have to acquire a ‘thick skin’ (and since I’m generally sensitive, this is easier said than done).

And it’s needed not because there are those who don’t particularly like my style (whatever it may be), or due to the fact that some may simply disagree with my content or thoughts — that all happens anyway and is par for the course.

You see, the reason why a thicker skin comes in handy is because the comment sections (for certain online publications) have the potential to transform into an explosive minefield of rudeness.

Recent Comments
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  • april: I spiralled into a depression and my partner did not understand and could not support me. I could not even...
  • His Back: This is a reasonable article but like many I have read it falls short of a few key points. But first my 11...
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  • Terry: I agree. How about the old “Count your blessings garbage. Or look to the future. What for?
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