Commercialism in the social network has no boundaries

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

2013 November Monthly Round Up

Jessica Nyx Smoking (e-cigarette) - photo by: Michael Dorausch via Flickr

Jessica Nyx Smoking (e-cigarette) – photo by: Michael Dorausch via Flickr

When my youngest was in high school, 2005-2009, there was a commercial push for hookah fueled by social networks, and many teens and some parents believed it was safe. The premise was that the water of the hookah pipe filtered all of the toxic elements from the tobacco. Heck, you could see it in the dirty water of the pipe. One parent had reported to me that he discovered parents of one of his son’s peers had provided a hookah pipe for a birthday party with 14-year-olds.

Read more about the truth about hookah.

Essentially an internet search will deliver the how to’s and why a substance is okay to use without causing harm.

This is the challenge parents face today.

When it is easy to believe that all you need to know you can simply “google”, then who needs a parent, educator or a coach to impart wisdom?

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.

In a 2010 interview with Victor DeNoble, the Phillip-Morris scientist who “outted” the tobacco industry for marketing highly addictive nicotine to youth in order to get them hooked for life, we can appreciate that the notion that smokeless cigarettes are harmless or safe is not true. DeNoble’s primary concern for the parent is to appreciate that there is a path to addiction, especially with nicotine, inherent in their use as well as some carcinogenic chemicals.

A good way to counter this commercial pressure intensified by social media is to help children think for themselves. Express your confidence in their ability to be discerning. Encourage them to share their perspectives and opinions about what other kids are getting into, without being judgmental. Just listen. And then offer your perspective in a manner that is open by offering to share how you handled something in your youth and what you learned from it.  It is important that our children hear our expectations for their personal security with a confidence in their ability to recognize manipulation and fakery. And the more you encourage conversation about it your child’s individual resiliency is strengthened.


Joanna is interviewed by learning expert Bonnie Terry on her talk show:

Bonnie Terry, best-selling author of Family Strategies for ADHD Kids, Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills, and Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills and one of the co-authors of Amazing Grades is with us today. For more, go to: BonnieTerryLearning.

Bonnie Terry

Learning Made Easy Talk Radio airs
Tuesday, Dec. 3,  7:30 a.m. PT (10:30 Eastern) & 1:30 p.m. PT (4:30 Eastern)

A replay will air on Dec 8th.  Sunday 8:00 a.m. PT & 1:00 p.m. PT
A Google World in the Garden of Eden
Joanna will be sharing parenting tips regarding handling texting and social media for kids. She will cover some of the elements in her new book, A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media.

To learn more about Bonnie’s program, go to:


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

Jodie Stevens, host of The Fish 103.9 FM morning show (Photo:

Jodie Stevens, host of The Fish 103.9 FM Family Morning Show (Photo:

Be ‘money smart’ in the social network – Guest blogger Marie Hall

Tips for teens: Why professionalism sets you up for success

Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner


Joanna Jullien (Photo: Christi Benz)

Joanna Jullien
(Photo: Christi Benz)

Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She a mother of two grown sons, the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM. Her new book, A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media is now available for PC and all eReader formats including Kindle, Nook, iPad.


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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.