Monthly Archives: January 2008

“Breaking Up” With Facebook

A recent essay in the New York Times (December 2, 2007) talked about the growing popularity of social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and others where the word “friends” is used to describe email relationships with folks we barely know.  Humans are gregarious creatures and fare better belonging to networks of family, community, spiritual groups, clubs, and so forth – all of which are sustained through face-to-face contact.

The bottom line is that the more time we spend online, the less time we spend having true relationships complete with challenges, vulnerability, risks and profundity.  These are not real-world relationships with depth.  These on-line relationships are shadows and facsimiles which ultimately amount to little more than casual, superficial experiences.

One mother, Jene, who listens regularly to my radio program, sent me this letter her 21 year-old son wrote to Facebook.  I suggest you show this to all your children and read it twice yourself if you are hooked to on-line pseudo-friendships:

“As a mother of two young adults, I’ve witnessed their obsessive involvement with the many electronic forms of communication that are all the rage in recent years…email, instant messaging, texting, and the several web-based social networks like Facebook and MySpace.  All are useful communication tools, but often counterproductive in really getting to know people.

It came to my attention that my 21 year-old son took a bold step recently and closed down his Facebook account by writing a breaking-up letter and posting it as a good-bye.  When he shared it with me, I was touched, relieved, and very proud of his stand.  I asked him if I might share this with you.  His grin, soft laugh and nod of his head spoke volumes:
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Thanks For Your Generosity

I am amazed at the depth of commitment and compassion the listeners to my radio program have towards our United States soldiers and their families. Toward the end of 2007, I talked about the Congressional hearings on charity fraud particularly with respect to veteran’s organizations and encouraged you to do your own research, not just for Operation Family Fund but for any charitable organization you were thinking of supporting. From the time of that commentary, Operation Family Fund has received over $120,000 in donations, and they’re still coming in. Thank you for taking my favorite charity into your hearts, and helping the families of our brave men and women whose lives have been severely disrupted by the global war on terrorism.

My Guest Appearance On “Larry King Live” Last Night

As always, I LOVE being on the Larry King Show.  The original intent of my appearance last night was to promote the release of my New York Times bestseller, “The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage,” in paperback,  but the fun thing about being with Larry is that he expands the experience by asking anything from politics to sex to celebrity nonsense to one’s personal life, and so forth.  Last night was no exception.

The Larry King producers have added a new dimension to the program – one I enjoyed tremendously: the “man” on the street short video questions.  My favorite was a young man asking about his girlfriend’s determination to have him take money from her father.  He wanted to know if his inclination to not do so was out of line.  I instantly heralded him as a “real man,” and suggested he dump this “daddy’s girl” for a real woman.
 
Just prior to my appearance on the show, Arianna Huffington (great hair, by the way) was included in a panel of political pundits.  After she left, I noticed she had forgotten her Blackberry and compact.  I called to her and she was most grateful and gracious, acknowledging that she “owed me one.”  I sincerely hope she remembers that the next time she mentions me in her blog.

All-in-all a great experience, and you can read the transcript from the program by clicking here.     Oh yeah…do you like my new hair-do?  Takes me – brace yourselves – only 10 minutes from shower to coif!

American Values, Google Edition

Go ahead and guess what came out as Number 3 on AOL’s “Top Searches from Mobile Devices.”  Right!  It’s porn.  The Wall Street Journal’s Carl Bialik (The Numbers Guy) got the original list in a draft press release, and said he “pointed out the surprising entry” to a spokeswoman, who said that normally, such terms are “scrubbed from the list.”  And guess what?  When the final list was released, “porn” was nowhere to be found, replaced by “iPhone,” which was pushed up to Number 3 from Number 4 on the original draft release.

It gets even better….

“…Britney Spears and Saddam Hussein could each top the category of ‘celebrity’ and ‘news,’ respectively, in lists from multiple search engines.  Those search engines willing to share numbers beyond their news releases made clear that, in search land, the troubled pop singer trumped the late dictator.  Searches for Ms. Spears ran six times those for Mr. Hussein on Yahoo!, and nearly 600 times on Lycos.”

How embarrassing for our nation.

 

[sources:  Bialik article:  you can search it on WSJ.com under The Numbers Guy for December 21.  Title of article is "What Topics Filled (Clean) Minds in '07?  For One:  An Asterisk or use the link here: http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB119820461738044109-lECMb7qhI7UaxADXmlRkefZGJhI_20081220.html?mod=rss_free  ] 

Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions

According to About.com:Pittsburgh, (http://pittsburgh.about.com/) the following are the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions – and I don’t think anybody is going to be surprised by the subjects.  And the nasty little truth about resolutions is that people often identify the “trouble” spots, but generally don’t come up with a plan to deal with them.  Nonetheless:

1.  Spend More Time with Family and Friends…meaning work shouldn’t always usurp all your time, attention, and importance.  About 50% of folks make this resolution.
2.  Lose weight: since two-thirds of American adults are fat or obese, this is a major issue.  Unfortunately, the fat level rises each year, in spite of this ubiquitous resolution.
3.  Get Fit: getting regular exercise is probably the #1 means to a better life; it reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure, improves arthritis, and makes you feel sexier.  What more can one say? Continue reading