Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

How to prevent teenagers from sexting and protect them from other teens who do   Leave a comment


With the ubiquity of ever more powerful cell phones, sexting has become an increasing concern for the parents of teenagers and preteens. This article describes how you can protect your child from the dangers of sexting, an activity that has major implications for long-term online reputation and electronic privacy.

Sexting refers to sharing nude or near nude pictures, usually via a mobile phone. Most experts distinguish between sending naked photos, an activity with serious privacy, health and legal implications, and simply sending suggestive text messages, which is less harmful.

Understand why teenagers engage in sexting. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted November 9, 2011 by greggornation in Dating, General, Media

Parents, don't dress your girls like tramps   Leave a comment

By LZ Granderson, CNN Contributor
April 19, 2011 8:52 a.m. EDT

Editor’s note: LZ Granderson writes a weekly column for A senior writer and columnist for ESPN The Magazine and, he has contributed to ESPN’s “Sports Center,” “Outside the Lines” and “First Take.” He is a 2011 and 2010 nominee and the 2009 winner of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation award for online journalism and a 2010 and 2008 honoree of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association for column writing.

Grand Rapids, Michigan (CNN) — I saw someone at the airport the other day who really caught my eye.

Her beautiful, long blond hair was braided back a la Bo Derek in the movie “10” (or for the younger set, Christina Aguilera during her “Xtina” phase). Her lips were pink and shiny from the gloss, and her earrings dangled playfully from her lobes.

You can tell she had been vacationing somewhere warm, because you could see her deep tan around her midriff thanks to the halter top and the tight sweatpants that rested just a little low on her waist. The icing on the cake? The word “Juicy” was written on her backside.

Yeah, that 8-year-old girl was something to see all right. … I hope her parents are proud. Their daughter was the sexiest girl in the terminal, and she’s not even in middle school yet.

Abercrombie & Fitch came under fire this spring for introducing the “Ashley,” a push-up bra for girls who normally are too young to have anything to push up. Originally it was marketed for girls as young as 7, but after public outcry, it raised its intended audience to the wise old age of 12. I wonder how do people initiate a conversation in the office about the undeveloped chest of elementary school girls without someone nearby thinking they’re pedophiles?


What kind of PowerPoint presentation was shown to the Abercrombie executives that persuaded them to green light such a product?

That there was a demand to make little girls hot?

I mean, that is the purpose of a push-up bra, right? To enhance sex appeal by lifting up, pushing together and basically showcasing the wearer’s breasts. Now, thanks to AF Kids, girls don’t have to wait until high school to feel self-conscious about their, uhm, girls. They can start almost as soon as they’re potty trained. Maybe this fall the retailer should consider keeping a plastic surgeon on site for free consultations.

We’ve been here with Abercrombie before — if you recall, about 10 years ago they sold thongs for 10-year-olds — but they’re hardly alone in pitching inappropriate clothing to young girls. Four years ago the popular “Bratz” franchise introduced padded bras called “bralettes” for girls as young as six. That was also around the time the good folks at Wal-Mart rolled out a pair of pink panties in its junior department with the phrase “Who Needs Credit Cards” printed on the front.

I guess I’ve been out-of-the-loop and didn’t realize there’s been an ongoing stampede of 10-year-old girls driving to the mall with their tiny fists full of cash demanding sexier apparel.

What’s that you say? Ten-year-olds can’t drive? They don’t have money, either? Well, how else are they getting ahold of these push-up bras and whore-friendly panties?

Their parents?

Noooo, couldn’t be.

What adult who wants a daughter to grow up with high self-esteem would even consider purchasing such items? What parent is looking at their sweet, little girl thinking, “She would be perfect if she just had a little bit more up top.”

And then I remember the little girl at the airport. And the girls we’ve all seen at the mall. And the kiddie beauty pageants.

And then I realize as creepy as it is to think a store like Abercrombie is offering something like the “Ashley”, the fact remains that sex only sells because people are buying it. No successful retailer would consider introducing an item like a padded bikini top for kindergartners if they didn’t think people would buy it.

If they didn’t think parents would buy it, which raises the question: What in the hell is wrong with us?

It’s easy to blast companies for introducing the sexy wear, but our ire really should be directed at the parents who think low rise jeans for a second grader is cute. They are the ones who are spending the money to fuel this budding trend. They are the ones who are suppose to decide what’s appropriate for their young children to wear, not executives looking to brew up controversy or turn a profit.

I get it, Rihanna’s really popular. But that’s a pretty weak reason for someone to dress their little girl like her.

I don’t care how popular Lil’ Wayne is, my son knows I would break both of his legs long before I would allow him to walk out of the house with his pants falling off his butt. Such a stance doesn’t always makes me popular — and the house does get tense from time to time — but I’m his father, not his friend.

Friends bow to peer pressure. Parents say, “No, and that’s the end of it.”

The way I see it, my son can go to therapy later if my strict rules have scarred him. But I have peace knowing he’ll be able to afford therapy as an adult because I didn’t allow him to wear or do whatever he wanted as a kid.

Maybe I’m a Tiger Dad.

Maybe I should mind my own business.

Or maybe I’m just a concerned parent worried about little girls like the one I saw at the airport.

In 2007, the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls issued a report linking early sexualization with three of the most common mental-health problems of girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression. There’s nothing inherently wrong with parents wanting to appease their daughters by buying them the latest fashions. But is getting cool points today worth the harm dressing little girls like prostitutes could cause tomorrow?

A line needs to be drawn, but not by Abercrombie. Not by Britney Spears. And not by these little girls who don’t know better and desperately need their parents to be parents and not 40-year-old BFFs.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of LZ Granderson.

Posted September 26, 2011 by greggornation in Family, Media

2011 Video Music Awards   Leave a comment

In a post from Jonathon McKee, he list four truths that came from the 2011 Video Music Awards shown on MTV. 

Parent’s, we’re not going to stop our children from listening to music that is misguiding, so we should learn about it and instead of ignoring it, embrace it and learn to talk to our children about it.

Read on…

For the most part – and we stress “for the most part” – this was one of the tamer VMAs in recent history. (We’ll elaborate on the few exceptions later.) Also setting this awards show apart from the past were the coolest live performances in recent memory. Lady Gaga opened the show with a strong performance of her hit song, You and I (No question, Gaga is a very talented performer). Taking the stage throughout the remainder of the night would be Pit Bull, Adele, Kanye West and Jay Z, Beyoncé, and Young the Giant. Chris Brown also did a cool dance medley, and Bruno Mars sang a tribute to the recently deceased Amy Winehouse. Finally, Lil Wayne performed at the show’s end. (Umm…he’s one of the exceptions we just mentioned.)

All in all, MTV seemed to place the emphasis on – wait for it – music. Yeah, we were surprised, too. As we watched this year’s music awards show that actually centered on music, we observed four inescapable realities about youth culture. Here they are: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted September 5, 2011 by greggornation in General, Media, Music

3 Buttons Every Parent Should Use   Leave a comment

Parenting Media-saturated Teens and Tweens

by Jonathan McKee

“Don’t give up.”

That was my cry to a group of parents last night at one of my parenting workshops. When parents get a glimpse of the daunting reality of how much time the average 8-18-year-old kid spends each day saturating in entertainment media (7 hours and 38 minutes), they are often overwhelmed with thoughts of, “How can I compete with Eminem and Lady Gaga?” and “What good can my few minutes a day with my kids do?”

You’re not alone.

Today’s parents often wonder if they’re truly making a difference in the lives of their kids, or if they should just throw in the towel. I assure you, don’t give up. Research unanimously reveals that parents who care enough to spend time with their kids and help their kids make good choices are the parents who become the number one influence in their kids’ lives. (I cite numerous examples of this research in my book, Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent).

Many parents might not be so quick to throw up their hands and quit if they were just given a few tools to help them navigate this intimidating arena of 21st century parenting. In a world of Facebook, iPods and MTV, how can we connect with our media-saturated teens and tweens?

I’ve found it extremely helpful to use three buttons.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted May 9, 2011 by greggornation in Family, Media, Music, Uncategorized

Facebook Addiction Disorder — The 6 Symptoms of F.A.D.   Leave a comment

“Okay, I admit it. I am truly addicted to Facebook,” said teenage blogger Heidi Barry-Rodriquez in 2007.  In 2009, teen Neeka Salmasi described the social networking giant as being “like an addiction”. This year, a casino site mentioned that “Facebook provides the atmosphere where it is tough to walk away” in a direct comparison to gambling addiction. A quick web search and it becomes appallingly evident that we have a problem. Text messaging is no longer the biggest teenage obsession, and long gone are the days where the biggest worries for parents were celebrity crushes, massive phone bills from ridiculously long phone calls and chocolate overloads. These teenage obsessions still exist, but in today’s day and age, and in comparison to the Facebook craze, they seem rather insignificant.

Facebook is taking over the world, and that’s no exaggeration. Everyone from eager-to-fit-in tweens to educated business people to intrigued grandparents has joined the phenomenon, and unsurprisingly many teenagers have also caught Facebook fever. And like with many of the latest attention-grabbing trends, some teenagers can go a little overboard when participating in them. Perhaps we join Facebook because everyone has an account and, as teenagers, the need to fit in is just too great, or perhaps there’s just a special something that has helped the social networking site attract so many million people. Teenagers have a tendency to become obsessive with the ‘in’ thing and Facebook, the trend of the decade, is no exception; the question is, have we overdone in? And is there really such thing as Facebook addiction?

An American psychologist believes so. In fact, he’s even introduced a new term to describe such an addiction. FAD, or Facebook Addiction Disorder, is a condition that is defined by hours spent on Facebook, so much time in fact that the healthy balance of the individual’s life is affected. It has been said that approximately 350 million people are suffering from the disorder that is detected through a simple set of six-criteria. People who are victims of the condition must have at least 2-3 of the following criteria during a 6-8 month time period.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted May 5, 2011 by greggornation in Media

"Facebook depression" seen as new risk for teens   Leave a comment

Add “Facebook depression” to potential harms linked with social media, an influential doctors’ group warns, referring to a condition it says may affect troubled teens who obsess over the online site.

Researchers disagree on whether it’s simply an extension of depression some kids feel in other circumstances, or a distinct condition linked with using the online site.

But there are unique aspects of Facebook that can make it a particularly tough social landscape to navigate for kids already dealing with poor self-esteem, said Dr. Gwenn O’Keeffe, a Boston-area pediatrician and lead author of new American Academy of Pediatrics social media guidelines.

With in-your-face friends’ tallies, status updates and photos of happy-looking people having great times, Facebook pages can make some kids feel even worse if they think they don’t measure up.

It can be more painful than sitting alone in a crowded school cafeteria or other real-life encounters that can make kids feel down, O’Keeffe said, because Facebook provides a skewed view of what’s really going on. Online, there’s no way to see facial expressions or read body language that provide context.

She said the benefits of kids using social media sites like Facebook shouldn’t be overlooked, however, such as connecting with friends and family, sharing pictures and exchanging ideas. “A lot of what’s happening is actually very healthy, but it can go too far,” she said.

Read the article here:

Please visit Greggornation’s Website for more on youth culture!

Posted April 27, 2011 by greggornation in Media

To Glee or Not to Glee   Leave a comment

As promised here is the article on Glee. It’s a long one, but it’s worth the time it takes to read. It goes much further that just the show “Glee”. It’s about being intentional regarding if the decisions we make are God honoring.

An article from Jonathan McKee

Prior to May 19, 2009, the word glee was obscure, nothing more than a right-click synonym for happiness or delight. But following American Idol that Tuesday night, the word glee became the buzz on campuses.

“Did you see Glee last night?”

“Yeah, hilarious!”

“The music was awesome. I downloaded two of the songs on iTunes before I went to bed.”

A year later, the show would blow everything else away, with 19 Emmy nominations, more than any other TV program. The 2010 Emmys became Glee-afied, with a memorable opening number in which Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Betty White, and other popular television stars joined the Glee cast in song and dance performing Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.”

The show is now one of the most watched, most downloaded, and most talked-about TV programs among young people. The 2010 Teen Choice Awards were hosted by Katy Perry and the Glee cast. The MTV Video Music Awards used the Glee cast to award Lady Gaga a VMA for best pop video. Glee characters Rachel, Finn, Kurt, and Quinn are household names and pop-culture icons.

Each episode is probably one of the most creative and entertaining hours of television on any given Tuesday. The storyline is hilarious yet gripping, the 15 characters are both real and memorable, and the musical numbers are well performed. (When I was growing up, we had Fame. Rachel is the new Cocoa.) There’s more talent on this cast than almost any year of American Idol’s top 10. After the show airs, the songs go on sale on iTunes and are immediately catapulted into to the top 10. I’ve seen Season 1 CDs three times this week at three different stores and the DVD’s on display everywhere in anticipation of the Season II Premier coming this Tuesday, September 21.

Looking for Answers
So, what content are young viewers absorbing from this show?



Please visit Greggornation’s Website for more on youth culture!
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted April 25, 2011 by greggornation in Family, Media

Facts & Dreams

"Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet." -Victor Hugo