2015-08-25 Pam Sky News

Virgina Shooting: Social Media as Pulse of Tragedy

Public acts of violence are just that, public.  They are meant to be overt demonstrations of the perpetrator's power and purpose, offsetting feelings of alienation and powerlessness that are associated with such acts. In focusing on social media and this distribution, however, we lose sight of the contribution that mental illness plays. That's the outlier, not the use of social media. Social media is the new normal. It is embedded across our lives in countless ways whether we're Facebook or Twitter users or not. Even if you never look at social media, the influence of globally networked information flows will still impact the things you hear, the stories you read in the newspapers and … [Read More...]

Two teen boys video games shutterstock_154972361

Sticks, Stones and Video Games: Tools for Imaginary Play

In Why Sticks are Good for Kids on PsychologyToday.com, Andrea Bonior makes some excellent points about the importance of allowing creativity and imagination in play without overzealous, politically-correct, anxiety-driven restriction that keeps kids out of trees and puddles and away from sticks.  When I was a kid, we lived near an orange grove and my neighborhood buddies and I spent a lot of our summer sitting in one particular tree, freely making use of sticks for a multitude of purposes.  We make bows and arrows.  Then swords.  Then wands.  We used the sticks to draw fantastic houses in the dirt.  We stuck sticks into oranges to let the juice out. We also used small sticks to block up … [Read More...]

selfies tower

Russian government publishes guide to taking ‘safe selfies’

The Russian authorities have launched a “safe selfie” campaign in response to a series of deaths and serious injuries among selfie-takers who, in the pursuit of extreme selfie shots, have suffered numerous accidents such as falling off bridges, receiving self-inflicted gunshot wounds and being bitten by venomous snakes. The Russian booklet shows all the ways NOT to take a selfie, including hanging from buildings, standing in front of moving trains or posing with wild animals or firearms. It's understandable why people are concerned.  Will it work? Probably not. The people most likely to be impacted by this campaign are the parents of extreme selfie-takers (since most are teens and young … [Read More...]

Forks with app logos

Digital Weight Loss (Part 3): How to Choose a Good Diet App

In Part 1, I talked about the importance of consulting with a healthcare professional to learn about healthy diet approaches. Most apps are not based on behavioral change theory. As I wrote in Part 2, apps are uniquely suiting to providing easy ways of self-monitoring diet and activity and facilitating social connection. These two features are very important because they are consistently associated with successful weight loss. What makes a good diet app?  Something that works for you because, while I know this seems obvious, you want to find an app that you will actually use.  Sometimes that involves a little trial and error. Here are seven pointers to help you figure out which app will … [Read More...]