• Internet usage

Facebook and the Internet–Let’s Face It

A lot of online social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter in particular, rest on the human need for connection. For letting people into your life, no matter how insignificant the post may be.  Still,   regardless of how inane the post may be, it’s still not the same as being there.  There is no intimacy or sensory experience involved.  Only reading.  There is FaceTime,  a more intimate connection than the  phone time. And why is that? FaceTime provides hearing and visual pleasure at the same time. It is because, since we were babes in arms, the face and the  sensory experiences of...

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News as Political Agenda: Whatever Happened to Cronkite?

Our news programs have become promoters of a political agenda, no longer a broadcast of both sides of a position.  But isn’t that what Walter Cronkite did–present both sides?  Instead we watch Fox News or MSNBC, Bill O’Reilly or Rachel Maddow, hardly ever both.  When did our news become so one-sided? When did we start choosing which news to watch based on our predilections? It seems to date back to the landmark repeal by both Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush of the Fairness Doctrine, first in 1987 and then again in 1991. The 1949 Fairness Doctrine had required all TV news...

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Genealogy–Seeking Connections Past and Future

How much do we know about our own parents, let alone grandparents? To one degree or another the lives of our parents remain a mystery.  Some families assign the responsibility of “family historian” to a designated relative to create and maintain a family tree.  Our daughter, Maya,  has just been entered into her husband’s family tree, immediately after her wedding. We are at a loss ourselves about our family trees.  Keith, for a high school project about family history, found faces on the Internet that remotely looked like us and made up first names (and some last names) for...

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Social Networking–A Mixed Bag of Tricks

I received so many public and private comments from readers about my last post on Internet usage (see “The Current Digital Divide”–Instant Gratification Anyone?), that I started to think some more about how social networks have transformed our lives.  People (yours truly included) are spending more and more time on the computer. I set a timer so I don’t spend all day in one never-ending time-suck glued to the computer either web-surfing or social networking.  For discipline’s sake, I look at Facebook only once every other day or so. I do agree with social network...

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The Current Digital Divide–Instant Gratification Anyone?

When a link to my daughter’s online wedding registry was sent to some aunts and uncles, it created some confusion. They had never seen an online registry before and couldn’t figure out how to find the gift list or how to purchase something online. This made me start wondering–what is the digital divide between the young “worker bees” and their parents who have to become tech-savvy on the Internet? The current trend in wedding planning is creating a website–a sort of mini-Facebook page dedicated to posting photos, registering gifts, mentioning the “Save...

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