Some days I feel like the internet is a gift sent from heaven… and some days I feel like we’ve opened up a portal from hell. Let’s be honest, I really love being able to reach out to get any information I want but I hate the fact that other people can reach back in, especially when it comes to my kids.
The whole purpose of Snapchat is to be able to send a photo that disappears after a given amount of time. Totally like Mission Impossible, only you don't get that cool voice saying "this message will self destruct in 10 seconds." Users love it mostly because they want to send 1000 photos a day of goofy faces or their cat, and don't actually want to keep them all.
I was teaching a bunch of teenagers a few years ago and I used the singer Arianna Grande in an example. Only I made a mistake and pronounced her name A-rianna instead of AH-rianna. Three girls in the front row giggled and were happy to point out my error in that I’m-13-so-I-know-more-than-you-do way. But they were right.
If you're like me, you're sitting in that sandwich generation between your young kids and your senior parents. My kids think they know everything about everything and my parents know what they don’t know. Sound familiar?
It's an interesting dichotomy, especially when it comes to technology. As the family ‘techie,’ and an internet expert, I'm always in a position of "teacher." For my kids it's to slow them down, and for my parents it's to catch them up.
I was having another butt-numbing day on a bleacher at my daughter’s swim meet when I started to ponder the actual cost of her enrollment in a competitive sport. There is the fee for her training (lessons) and her equipment, but then how many weekends had my husband or I spent a day at a pool and how many other incidentals were there? What would this amount to if she continued in the sport and, shudder the thought, what if our other daughter wanted to pursue a different sport? I had never actually considered all of this BEFORE signing up.
The ability to manage your family's health online allows professionals and specialists from across the health spectrum to work together - and work with you - to get you more accurate and efficient answers. The only thing they need to do this is your personal information. Is it risky or worthwhile? Good question! This is where I like to wear my multiple hats and analyze the pros and cons...
Lingo lesson: The word meta means something that is contained within itself. Never fear, this is not the plotline to Inception (that still gives me a headache). More likely you’ll see it online in threads or forums where people throw in an inside joke or reference from earlier in the same thread and someone will say “That’s so meta”.
The term metadata is then the information about other information.
It was a happening Friday night at our house, which translates to: I had been reading in my daughter’s room while she fell asleep and I had lost track of time. With both girls out cold, I tiptoed down the stairs to find my husband. It was 10 pm, and he was nowhere to be found. I searched every room he could be in, until I thought to open the garage door. There he was, flashlight in hand, and a look of confusion across his face.
I am a very opinionated person, but when I write publicly I tend to avoid controversial topics. Why? I don’t like to offend people. I am acutely aware of the fact that everything I say online adds up to a picture of who I am and frankly I do give a shit what people think of me.
There are some messed up trends on social media but when I read about this one I was pretty surprised. Teens are role playing as parents on social media by using stolen baby pictures and passing them off as their own kids under #babyrp or #babyroleplay. Though the concept is not new, it has started spreading and is now hitting the news.
Are you at risk of having your kids pictures stolen?
Any picture that is publicly available that can be taken. These would include:
As if being a new parent didn’t already come with a thousand questions, now we have a bunch more. What does it mean to raise a baby in the new digital generation? Do I need to secure a website domain? Do I need an email address? Should I secure a twitter handle?
Technically you can do any of these things, the real question is, should you? There are pros and cons to both sides.
It was a dark and rainy evening when I got a frantic message to my device. It was one of our YMC bloggers. To protect the innocent, she has herein asked to be known as Ivanna Newpassword. Ivanna was in a panic. She was working on her Mac when she suddenly got a pop-up box saying that her software was infected and she needed to call the provided 1-800 number immediately. The box was accompanied by a beeping sound, the kind of repetitive ancient torture designed to break anyone. The box would not go away. The sound was relentless. Ivanna called the number.
Recently I had the privilege of visiting Disney World in Orlando with my family – or maybe the word ‘privilege’ depends on how much one likes to stand in long lines. No matter, we thought our school-aged kids would love the trip so started some research and booked online just over two months in advance. Shortly after booking I began to get a barrage of emails from Disney about all the services I could take advance of, ahead of time, by using their online portal. It was so easy. All I had to do was create an account...
Kiddle has hit the internet and the parents are going wild. Media outlets everywhere are touting "Google's new kid-safe search site" as being highly overdue. Twitter is a buzz with excitement. Only one problem: Kiddle is not a Google company. The creators of Kiddle are either genius or on their way to massive lawsuit. Let's take a look at the front page:
Every parents nightmare: York Region police have arrested 40 year-old Donald Richards for luring a minor through social media. Richards had created a fake Facebook profile as a 25 year-old woman named Jennifer Jackson. Under this identity, he gathered public data about and made contact with a 12 yr-old boy. They engaged in chats that eventually turned sexual. The chats were found by the boy's mother, who then reached out to the police.
Many Canadians have watched the unfolding trial of Jian Ghomeshi, a radio personality charged with sexually assaulting a multitude of women. In this he-said-she-said case, evidence is scarce, except... digital evidence. The defense’s main case revolves around using emails the women wrote in 2003. This has brought up the questions of where did these old emails came from, and how permanent is your online data online?
Ask.fm, a popular social network site, scoured their pages and compiled a list of the 20 hottest slang terms and acronyms that teens are using. Though terms tend to vary from network to network, this is a good overview across the board. This list should keep you from saying or doing something embarrassing - like inviting your kids to come watch Netflix and Chill.
1. TBR - To Be Rude. Said before someone reveals a harsh truth: "TBR I think you suck." Seems redundant on rudeness.
Recently, the top 25 most common passwords were published and the list was full of predictable choices such as 'password', '1234' and 'qwerty'. And to show the signs of the times, 'starwars' and 'solo' also made it to the top.