Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Suddenly I exclaimed, "Wow, look at that hummingbird!" noticing a creature batting its wings so rapidly that its movements were a blur. My son answered "I don't think that's a bird..."
And then he did something I had only previously seen in "Star Trek" episodes - he whipped out his tricorder, er, I mean iPhone, waved it in front of the animal for a few seconds, and then announced "This is a Hyles lineata, also known as the hummingbird moth, because of their bird-like size (2-3 inch wingspan) and flight patterns."
My son explained, "It's an app called Seek."
Call me amazed.
Seek was developed by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society. It uses the power of image recognition technology to identify plants and animals around the world.
Who knew we had such mind blowing scientific capabilities!
I immediately downloaded the, (by the way FREE,) app and started roaming around scanning and identifying everything in sight.
Interested in having your children use their smartphones for something positive and educational? This one's for you.
This one's for everyone.
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
But this article "How to Tap Less on your Phone" made me think that now is the time for you and I to learn how to use Siri.
Here are some key tips from the article:
1. You can ask Siri to “Turn on the flashlight.” Well that's super useful!
2. You can say, “Do not disturb” as you enter a movie theater, a meeting or your bed.
3. Squeeze for silence. When your phone rings at a bad moment — at a movie, for example — don’t pull it out and fumble for the Ignore button. Instead, just reach into your pocket or purse and squeeze the phone. Pressing any button on the edge of the phone means “Silence the ringing,” — and when you grasp the phone this way, you’ll hit one of those buttons in a hurry.
That's enough new stuff for now.
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
I went to a performance of "Sleeping Beauty" given by the American Ballet Theater at the Metropolitan Opera house.
It could have been 1890 when the ballet was first performed:
Orchestra performing Tchaikovsky's gorgeous score.
Dancers performing the beautiful choreography of Marius Petipa.
I sat in delight for three hours - without technology.
I did note that the 21st century had brought about three welcome changes:
1. Diversity among the dancers: African American, Latino, Asian and from all over the world.
2. Diversity among the audience, also representing multiple ethnic groups from all over the world.
3. During the curtain calls, hundreds of people took photographs with their smart phones.
Every now and then, go retro.
I recommend it.
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Everyone on the planet who is connected to the Internet is struggling to manage their screen time and/or the screen time of their children.
1. EAPs have the opportunity to develop lunch and learn presentations that teach employees how to limit their off duty screen time.
2. Individual counselors can also develop this expertise to help their clients of all ages.
Lo and behold I came across an article "Now Some Families Are Hiring Coaches to Help Them Raise Phone-Free Children."
Here are the key points from that article:
Parents around the country, alarmed by the steady patter of studies around screen time, are trying to turn back time to the era before smartphones. But it’s not easy to remember what exactly things were like before smartphones. So they’re hiring professionals.
A new screen-free parenting coach economy has sprung up to serve the demand. Screen consultants come into homes, schools, churches and synagogues to remind parents how people parented before.
Among affluent parents, fear of phones is rampant, and it’s easy to see why. No one knows what screens will make of society, good or bad. This worldwide experiment of giving everyone an exciting piece of hand-held technology is still new.
Gloria DeGaetano was a private coach working to wean families off screens when she noticed the demand was higher than she could handle on her own. She launched the Parent Coaching Institute, a network of 500 coaches and a training program. Her coaches in small cities and rural areas charge $80 an hour. In larger cities, rates range from $125 to $250. Parents typically sign up for eight to 12 sessions. (!!!)
A parent coach noticed most adults have gotten so used to entertaining themselves with phones, they forgot that they actually grew up without them. Clients were coming to her confused about what to do all afternoon with their kids to replace tablets. She has her clients do a remembering exercise.
“And it’s so hard, and they’re very uncomfortable, but they just need to remember.”
A movement is bubbling up across the country. A group of parents band together and make public promises to withhold smartphones from their children until eighth grade. Parents who make these pledges work to promote the idea of healthy adult phone use, and promise complete abstinence until eighth grade or even later. (I am not a fan of that one size fits all approach - phones also provide security and other beneficial services.)
One psychologist noted:“We want answers served up to us — ‘Just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it.’”
But what seems self-evident can be hard to remember, and hard to stick with. One parent noted, “When we were growing up, we didn’t have these [devices], so our parents couldn’t role model appropriate behaviors to us, and we have to learn what is appropriate so we can role model that for them.”
We are inventing the wheel for a new machine that is constantly being upgraded. No wonder these parents are so anxious.
But for EAPs and clinicians - helping people develop a measured approach to new technology - can be part of your book of business.