You are in DISNEYLAND, PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN

I get it. Some of life’s tasks are boring.

Standing in the grocery line. Boring.
Waiting for an elevator. Boring.
Riding public transportation. Boring.
Waiting rooms. Boring.
Disneyland. Boring.

Wait. Did I say, Disneyland?

I did. I mean, what other logical conclusion could I come to after spending three days in the happiest place on Earth? A place that has been ENGINEERED to delight the senses?

Because all I saw were people, necks bent, immersed in their screen.

Regardless of whether you hold a season pass and are a local, or have crossed continents to get there, a trip to Disneyland is a financial feat. You’ve shelled out a fair amount of cash and precious vacation time to be there with your beloved offspring…perhaps you could PEEL YOURSELF AWAY FROM YOUR PHONE for a few minutes?

That tiny screen is still pumping out the same stuff…why drag yourself out of your basement and into the bright California sunshine if you’re still going to live and die by that tiny screen?

Do I sound like a judgmental hag?

I do.

Because at Disneyland, I saw a child riding in a stroller…watching a movie on an iPad.

I think we’re taking our FOMO, our discomfort with boredom, and screens-as-a-babysitter too far.

A big topic of conversation around these parts has been the startling information that has emerged about social media and tech usage among young children. The bullying. The pornography. The staggering amount of time they spend on it. The way it’s diminishing the social development and mental health of our children.

And yet. As adults, we’re doing a terrible job at showing our kids that there are more important things in life than that little screen.

I saw so many families seemingly completely disconnected from each other, all engrossed in their personal screen, shuffling along in line, walking through the park, as they ate, always staring at that tiny, addictive screen.

WHILE DISNEYLAND MAGIC LITERALLY SWIRLED AROUND THEM.

Golden opportunities to connect with their kids, completely missed because they had to play Candy Crush, or cruise through Instagram.

I find my phone and social media platforms to be a TREMENDOUS source of inspiration and value. I do. But I can’t actually ACT on any of that inspiration if I DON’T GET OFF MY PHONE.

I also absolutely treasure the photos of moments I’m able to capture on the fly because my camera is handily located in my phone.

So I get it. The chance to capture moments and communicate is super useful. That little screen is compelling.

But not as compelling as my kids.

Or whatever the heck you’re posting on Facebook that day.

That can wait until I get back.

Phone Addiction

Other posts you might enjoy…

8 NEW Pixar Fest Foods at Disneyland You Can’t Miss!

3 Must-Do Experiences During Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort

The post You are in DISNEYLAND, PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN appeared first on TodaysMama.

You are in DISNEYLAND, PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN

I get it. Some of life’s tasks are boring.

Standing in the grocery line. Boring.
Waiting for an elevator. Boring.
Riding public transportation. Boring.
Waiting rooms. Boring.
Disneyland. Boring.

Wait. Did I say, Disneyland?

I did. I mean, what other logical conclusion could I come to after spending three days in the happiest place on Earth? A place that has been ENGINEERED to delight the senses?

Because all I saw were people, necks bent, immersed in their screen.

Regardless of whether you hold a season pass and are a local, or have crossed continents to get there, a trip to Disneyland is a financial feat. You’ve shelled out a fair amount of cash and precious vacation time to be there with your beloved offspring…perhaps you could PEEL YOURSELF AWAY FROM YOUR PHONE for a few minutes?

That tiny screen is still pumping out the same stuff…why drag yourself out of your basement and into the bright California sunshine if you’re still going to live and die by that tiny screen?

Do I sound like a judgmental hag?

I do.

Because at Disneyland, I saw a child riding in a stroller…watching a movie on an iPad.

I think we’re taking our FOMO, our discomfort with boredom, and screens-as-a-babysitter too far.

A big topic of conversation around these parts has been the startling information that has emerged about social media and tech usage among young children. The bullying. The pornography. The staggering amount of time they spend on it. The way it’s diminishing the social development and mental health of our children.

And yet. As adults, we’re doing a terrible job at showing our kids that there are more important things in life than that little screen.

I saw so many families seemingly completely disconnected from each other, all engrossed in their personal screen, shuffling along in line, walking through the park, as they ate, always staring at that tiny, addictive screen.

WHILE DISNEYLAND MAGIC LITERALLY SWIRLED AROUND THEM.

Golden opportunities to connect with their kids, completely missed because they had to play Candy Crush, or cruise through Instagram.

I find my phone and social media platforms to be a TREMENDOUS source of inspiration and value. I do. But I can’t actually ACT on any of that inspiration if I DON’T GET OFF MY PHONE.

I also absolutely treasure the photos of moments I’m able to capture on the fly because my camera is handily located in my phone.

So I get it. The chance to capture moments and communicate is super useful. That little screen is compelling.

But not as compelling as my kids.

Or whatever the heck you’re posting on Facebook that day.

That can wait until I get back.

Phone Addiction

Other posts you might enjoy…

8 NEW Pixar Fest Foods at Disneyland You Can’t Miss!

3 Must-Do Experiences During Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort

The post You are in DISNEYLAND, PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN appeared first on TodaysMama.

You are in DISNEYLAND, PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN

I get it. Some of life’s tasks are boring.

Standing in the grocery line. Boring.
Waiting for an elevator. Boring.
Riding public transportation. Boring.
Waiting rooms. Boring.
Disneyland. Boring.

Wait. Did I say, Disneyland?

I did. I mean, what other logical conclusion could I come to after spending three days in the happiest place on Earth? A place that has been ENGINEERED to delight the senses?

Because all I saw were people, necks bent, immersed in their screen.

Regardless of whether you hold a season pass and are a local, or have crossed continents to get there, a trip to Disneyland is a financial feat. You’ve shelled out a fair amount of cash and precious vacation time to be there with your beloved offspring…perhaps you could PEEL YOURSELF AWAY FROM YOUR PHONE for a few minutes?

That tiny screen is still pumping out the same stuff…why drag yourself out of your basement and into the bright California sunshine if you’re still going to live and die by that tiny screen?

Do I sound like a judgmental hag?

I do.

Because at Disneyland, I saw a child riding in a stroller…watching a movie on an iPad.

I think we’re taking our FOMO, our discomfort with boredom, and screens-as-a-babysitter too far.

A big topic of conversation around these parts has been the startling information that has emerged about social media and tech usage among young children. The bullying. The pornography. The staggering amount of time they spend on it. The way it’s diminishing the social development and mental health of our children.

And yet. As adults, we’re doing a terrible job at showing our kids that there are more important things in life than that little screen.

I saw so many families seemingly completely disconnected from each other, all engrossed in their personal screen, shuffling along in line, walking through the park, as they ate, always staring at that tiny, addictive screen.

WHILE DISNEYLAND MAGIC LITERALLY SWIRLED AROUND THEM.

Golden opportunities to connect with their kids, completely missed because they had to play Candy Crush, or cruise through Instagram.

I find my phone and social media platforms to be a TREMENDOUS source of inspiration and value. I do. But I can’t actually ACT on any of that inspiration if I DON’T GET OFF MY PHONE.

I also absolutely treasure the photos of moments I’m able to capture on the fly because my camera is handily located in my phone.

So I get it. The chance to capture moments and communicate is super useful. That little screen is compelling.

But not as compelling as my kids.

Or whatever the heck you’re posting on Facebook that day.

That can wait until I get back.

Phone Addiction

Other posts you might enjoy…

8 NEW Pixar Fest Foods at Disneyland You Can’t Miss!

3 Must-Do Experiences During Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort

The post You are in DISNEYLAND, PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN appeared first on TodaysMama.

Facebook Says They “May” Collect Data From Your Calls and Texts. Here’s How To Turn It Off

3 Facebook Settings You Need To Review TODAY

There’s been a lot of noise over the past few weeks about Facebook, the Russians, and YOUR personal privacy. {Read up HERE}

If you’re sticking around, it’s time for a little house cleaning. 

Let’s start with Facebook’s access to your calls, texts, and contacts:

Chances are that when you set up Facebook Messenger you may have clicked a button that would allow you to “text anyone in your phone”. By activating that feature, you gave access to Facebook to “continuously upload info about your contacts like phone numbers and nicknames, and your call and text history”.  (via Facebook Newsroom)

Facebook defended itself by explaining that:

“People have to expressly agree to use” the opt-in feature for importing their contacts on Messenger or Facebook Lite to allow Facebook to collect the cell phone data, but Sunday’s statement is the first time the social media company actually spelled out that practice in clear terms for users. (via Time Magazine)

Here’s how to turn it off in Facebook Messenger:

Android:

  1. From Home, tap your profile picture in the top right corner
  2. Tap People
  3. Synced Contacts to turn this setting on or off

iPhone or iPad:

  1. From Home, tap your profile picture in the top left corner
  2. Tap People
  3. Tap Synced Contacts to turn this setting on or off

 

Time To Review The Apps That Have Access To Your Facebook Profile (And Your Friends!)

Ever taken a quiz to find out which Disney Princess you are? (Or any other crazy personality test etc.)

Here’s where you can see all of those Apps and Services that you may have inadvertently opened the door to!

Go to your personal profile page on Facebook:

  1. Click on the dropdown menu in the upper right hand corner of your page
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Click on Apps
  4. Review the list of apps and websites you’ve given access to your Facebook profile. 
  5. To see what access each app has or to edit the settings on a specific app click on the light grey pencil icon to the right of the app
  6. To delete apps or revoke access tap or click on the light grey “x” to the right of the app

 

Next Up: Let’s Look At Your “Ads” Settings

Why does this one matter? Here’s where Facebook shows you SOME of the data they’ve tied to you and how they target ads to you.

  1. Click on the dropdown menu in the upper right hand corner of your personal profile page
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Click on Ads

You’ll see:

Click on each section. See how Facebook has been targeting and tracking you so far. The data they had tied to my personal profile was highly inaccurate. They had tied grocery stores to me outside of my state, retail stores that I would never shop at, and interests that were completely off base (listing interests like “Gambling” and “Alcohol” for the Mormon girl who’s never had a drink). 

Review each section and clean it up. You can delete the information they have tied to you, hide ad topics, and limit how your ads are served to you.

Big surprise? I deleted most everything and limited access as much as possible. You may not mind the data that Facebook has tied to you and how they are serving your ads — but you’d still benefit by doing a good review of this page and the info they have stored there.

What Next?

If you want to dig a little deeper, review your personal “About Page” and the details you’ve listed there. Take a look at the places you’ve “Checked In” on Facebook. Review all of the Movies, TV Shows, Books, Likes, Events You’ve Attended etc. Save that one for an afternoon when you’ve got time to kill!

This is not an exhaustive list of all the ways that Facebook manipulates your experience within the platform. We haven’t even touched on how it’s built to be addictive, how studies show that it’s not unhappy people that are using social media but that it’s social media that’s MAKING PEOPLE UNHAPPY, and all the ways we’ve given our privacy away to these platforms.

We’re working on some great resources for families that we’ll be releasing in the coming months. In the meantime, leave us a comment and tell us what we’ve missed and how you are “cleaning house” when it comes to technology.

 

Must Watch: This Is Exactly How Much Your Personal Information Is Worth To Facebook

 

 

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The post Facebook Says They “May” Collect Data From Your Calls and Texts. Here’s How To Turn It Off appeared first on TodaysMama.

Tech Reset – Trimming Your Instagram Feed

If you are a frequent user of Instagram and you aren’t regularly unfollowing accounts, you need to. Instagram is a visual social media platform and its meteoric rise rivaled Facebook which eventually led to Facebook purchasing Instagram. For years, Instagram stayed static with the chronological feed of photos which was a lot of its appeal – it was the anti-Facebook. Today, it has all but swallowed Snapchat whole “adopting” stories. Instagram has it’s own generation of social media influencers. Because it is such a visual platform, we consume perfectly curated snapshots of others lives.

Your feed on Instagram is of your own creation but over time, you’ll follow accounts that are unnecessary or even damaging to your mental health. A recent survey ranked Instagram worst for young people’s health. Social media may set unrealistic expectations and contribute to feelings of inadequacy. Because Instagram is so visual, with personal photos at the forefront, Instagram can easily affect you and support the idea that you are unable to measure up. Trimming the fat – getting rid of unnecessary accounts will help. You should strive to keep only those accounts that are inspiring and important to you. Cleansing your Instagram feed should be a regular component of social media detox.

I adopted the practice of routinely cleansing my Instagram feed a few years ago upon the suggestion of a fellow Instagrammer.  It was an arbitrary number, but he suggested keeping those I follow to under 500. So when I see that number start to creep up again, I start my cleanse. Just before writing this post, I followed 528. After, I was down to 462. Since the number of people that you follow will vary greatly, I would suggest that every time you drop accounts, shoot for dropping 10-20% of your followers. Or,  just pick a number to shoot for as a goal.

social media cleaning

 

Ready to get started? Here are some suggestions.

  • According to Instagram, 80% of users follow a business. There’s that thing on Instagram where you just have to like a photo and follow an account for a chance to win. I won’t lie, I do this all the time. The easiest way to trim the fat is to start with the businesses, companies or social media influencers that you don’t need to see in your regular feed. Now that Instagram regularly inserts ads, why contribute even more to the clutter by following a dozen businesses?
  • Let’s get back to social media influencers or bloggers. Sometimes I follow them for their recipes, crafts or style. Sometimes I follow them to see the exotic places they’ve traveled. But once I start feeling negatively when I see those perfect photos, I know it’s time to cut the cord and say goodbye. There is no need for that in my feed.
  • Now, what about friends or even family that makes your face go twisty when you see their feed? You know, the one who constantly posts photos of her rock hard abs that she worked hard to get. Or the one who makes yourself ask, who is taking this picture of you acting naturally and perfectly styled with your very clean and well-dressed children? If the account does not bring you joy, stop following it. If they are friends or family, you can most likely catch them on Facebook, or you can just check in on their account once in a while, leave a friendly comment and a heart.
  • Another easy way to purge accounts is to unfollow people you don’t know personally. If you can’t remember how or why you started following them in the first place, it’s probably time to say goodbye.
  • A super easy way to drop accounts is to unfollow those who haven’t posted in 6 months. Obviously, there is discretion in this one but there are a lot of your friends who started on Instagram and you clicked follow. For some, Instagram isn’t their thing and they stopped posting or don’t even use the app anymore.

Don’t feel obligated to follow any account even if they follow you! Leave a comment about how you felt after clearing out your Instagram feed. My guess is that you’ll be glad you did it.

 

See more on TodaysMama.com!

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Hey Facebook, It’s Not Me, It’s YOU.

Here’s the Phone I Wish Apple Would Have Built For My Kids

If you’re like me, you’ve been wishing for a different kind of cell phone option for your teenagers. Something between a Gizmo and the iPhone maybe?  I’ve been trying to talk my kids into a flip phone,  but I think I might have found THE BEST cell phone for teens and tweens!

Best Cellphone For Teenagers

Behold the Light Phone 2:

In their words:

The Light Phone 2 is a simple, 4G LTE phone with a beautiful black & white matte E-ink display. By allowing you to leave behind your smartphone, it encourages you to spend quality time doing the things you love the most, free of distraction. We call this ‘going light’. The Light Phone 2 brings a few essential tools, like messaging and an alarm clock, so it’s even easier to ditch your smartphone more often, or for good. It’s a phone that actually respects you.

 

The research is rolling in and it’s full of the detrimental effects that smart phone ownership and usage is having on kids.  A recent study shows that the average age that kids are getting phones is 10 years old. Yet at every turn we’re seeing that we are raising a tech addicted generation, and it’s not their fault. In fact, it’s ours. It’s time to put the guard rails back on and to help them build healthier relationships with the technology WE put in their hands. 

That starts with us as parents. It means that we arm them the right tools at the right times. I’m convinced that smart phones are not the right tool at the right time for kids. Just listen to this interview with the author of iGen (Jean Twenge). Anxiety, depression, and suicide trends have spiked through the roof. That spike trends perfectly with smart phone ownership and kids. 

So let’s back things up. Let’s give our kids the right tools at the right time.  I’ve said it over and over again. Phones are for communication. Every device we touch does not need to be able to do EVERY THING. So let’s just use our phones to talk and text — to communicate. 

I’ve been lamenting that Apple has not created some sort of in between product that works for tweens and teens. A scaled back version of the iPhone. A phone that parents don’t have to spend so much time managing. A phone with basic functionality that could still sync up with things like iPhoto and iTunes. Wouldn’t that be great? 

While Apple has done nothing, the Light Phone has hit the market. The Light Phone doesn’t sync up with my Mac based household but guess what? Hey Apple! I’m done waiting. 

The Light Phone wasn’t created specifically for kids. And I think that’s a bonus for teens. I’m not trying to arm them with the Lady Bug cell phone from Diary of a Wimpy Kid. And frankly, I think we’d all benefit from using a scaled back version of the super computer we’re carrying around in our pockets. 

Check it out on IndieGoGo.  Would you buy this phone? 

 

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