Archive for 2013

Smarty-pants computers do not process wisdom

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

2013 December Monthly Round Up

A New York Times report last Saturday features the next generation of computer programming which has evolved from mathematical processing of data to a  neuro-relational model known as “neuromorphic processing” that involves weighing data against past experience. The new computing approach emulates the biological nervous system which mimics how clusters of neurons react to stimuli and then connect with other neurons to interpret the information received.

In other words, …

Reaping the benefits of technology for you and your child

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
Debbie Gisonni is an author, speaker and trainer on wisdom and media and CEO of The StillHeart Institute in Woodside, California. Gisonni is a former technology executive who experienced four deaths of family members over a four-year period, one of them a suicide, which pulled her into a deep period of sadness, and inspired an interest to pursue the things about life that nourish and comfort the soul. The family tragedies sent her on a quest to pursue happiness, which could not be found in the latest app or gadget. The perspectives and lessons-learned she offers are excellent food for thought for the modern parent hovering in a home with multiple devices where we spend a lot of time together (in the same house), but may still be isolated and alone – going through the motions distant and yet somehow still connected.

Keeping tabs on your child’s digital hangouts (part 2) – Monitoring with finesse

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
Children venture into the world to create their own adolescent peer communities on and off line. And so it should be no surprise that over the years, as Facebook has become an adult cyber place children are forming on line communities elsewhere. Teenagers are gravitating to a plethora of newer social media and texting apps creating smaller communities and what they perceive to be private exchanges; there is less emphasis on posting to a public space. Some of the popular apps teens use include are photo-centric and instant messenger exchanges, such as Instagram (which was purchased by Facebook), SnapChat, kik, and what’s app. Twitter remains one of the channels teenagers use in conjunction with other apps, including Facebook. Some teenagers have explained they create a Facebook account so they can stay connected to their parents, but rely on other social media channels for most of their cyber communications. The main channel of communication is texting which is not visible to the parent unless the parent conducts random checks. Wireless connectivity makes it a very simple matter to create an account for texting or social media on any device. So parental control in this regard is an illusion.

Keeping tabs on your child’s digital hangouts (part 1) – Where are they?

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Cyber Safety for Kids and Families with Joanna and Jodie on 103.9FM The Fish

New social media sites and messaging apps are popping up just about every day, and kids wind up flocking to these  apps in order to form their own communities, separate from the Facebook network. Every two to three years it seems breeds a new digital generation tied to the latest and greatest apps.

How can parents keep up?

Current trending

First …

How cyber-safe house rules make open communication possible with your child

Thursday, December 5th, 2013
It is no secret that open communication is essential to keeping children safe on and off-line. When parents are not aware of what is happening in their children’s world, they are at great risk of being seduced into risky communications and relationships that lead to being exploited or bullied. See related reading: Monitoring smartphones prevents sex abuse, and why parents still don’t do it

Commercialism in the social network has no boundaries

Sunday, December 1st, 2013
...A recent report from the UK sites ads for electronic cigarettes targeting teens in social media are attempting to convince them that e-cigarettes are safe and the way to be cool, like celebrities. And while electronic delivery of nicotine might be a safer alternative than tobacco for smokers, the profit incentive knows no boundaries as this “safety message” is delivered to our youth. This is how a kernel of truth is twisted into a lie...

Tips for teens: Why professionalism sets you up for success in the workplace

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
Many businesses fail for many reasons, with one of them being because the people that run and work there do not show professionalism in their work, communication, or attitude when they are representing their company or organization while on the job. These people are usually late, look strange and don’t follow through, or they make excuses. It does not matter what sort of business you are in; in order to succeed you must act professionally any time you interact with customers or potential customers. Even if you are an eccentric artist, you still have to act like a businessperson if you want people to give you their money. What makes you seem professional? Here are some thoughts.

Understanding the parent power behind texting while driving: There is an app for that

Monday, November 18th, 2013
Texting and driving is a natural response to a very compulsive temptation. There is science behind the fact that cyber powered communications inspire the same addiction as drugs or alcohol. A recent article shared by a Banana Moments contributor, Erik Wood, President of Otter App, a text life management app, describes how adults are doing when we expect teens not to do. Texting while driving is not a teenage problem; it is a human problem with all drivers of all ages. Wood developed OtterApp after his three-year-old daughter was nearly killed by a woman who was texting while driving. “She looked like a pillar of the community and she was completely oblivious to what she was doing behind the wheel,” Wood said. “And so I realized this was going to be a serious problem. We needed to find a better way to manage the texting tool so we can be safe.” OtterApp enables the user to quickly set “driving mode” which sends automatic replies to texts saying you are driving and will get back to the person texting you. The app also enables you to establish times when the device goes into silent and auto-reply for doing homework, dinner hour, etc.

The bond that trumps biology is essential to the modern parent

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
Just as internet connectivity redefined authority as a relational experience creating a power crisis for parents, so too the state of families presents new demands for learning how to love and overcome complex and dynamic challenges. When people express concern for the state of family today, (i.e., more households are headed by single parents or composed of blended families), I am reminded that we should not take for granted biology as being the origin of a love relationship; when in fact, the example of Jesus’ birth is that of a blended family characterized by adoption. In this regard, my faith informs me that God allows only what He also intends to bless us with a path for restoration. So the structural state of the family for me is less concerning than the cultural state of family (hearts and minds) that nurtures the parent-child bond. We live in a parenting culture focused on housing our children in the physical realm while blaming the cyber realm for children’s issues and unrest, when indeed this power crisis is a wakeup call to strengthen family bonds right where we are. And forming family bonds cannot be mandated or legislated. It requires free will. Accordingly, my conversations summarized below with Mike Barnette, offering perspectives about his single and step-parenthood experience, and MiMi Challstrom, an adoptive mother who maintained a relationship with the birth mother, express how the commitment of love transcends challenging circumstances.

Don’t let a few bad apples and swing voters empower the cyberbully

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
Six or seven years ago I came across a prophetic quote from an anonymous teacher regarding the emerging new norm of student conduct in the classroom: “There are a few more bad apples in the classroom, and a lot more swing voters.” These swing voters are more commonly known as bystanders who stand for nothing. Bystanders allow simple acts of rudeness, cruelty and hostility to disturb the peace, making it difficult to learn whether it be in the classroom or on the sports field. Bystanders allow the escalation of hostility powered by texting and social media that convinces a child that there is no surviving it.

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About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna ( and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.