POSTS WITH TAG: internet

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    Whether it's on the home computer, their tablets, or on their smart phones, kids are spending more and more time online. But it's up to the parents to make sure their children are productive on the internet and aren't accessing inappropriate information. So to urge parents to monitor their kids' online presence, one ad agency is getting their attention with some super spooky ads.

    Parents, "do you know what your kids are watching on the internet right now?" It's the all-important question that the German ad agency Publicis Frankfurt is posing. And the way they're going about it will scare you. Are you ready? Here they are:

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    When I signed my family up for Screen-Free Week, I knew there would be friction. I'm raising a kid in a time when 8 to 18-year-olds spend an estimated 75 percent of their time connected to some sort of gadget. Telling my 8-year-old she couldn't watch TV, play on her laptop, or touch her Kindle for an entire week was going to be a hard sell.

    But I'd be lying if I didn't admit I was caught up in the mystical promise that forcing my family to "unplug" would bring us all together and make us closer. After all, that's what the folks behind Screen-Free Week promise ... that by getting rid of gadgets for seven days, our kids will be "turning OFF digital entertainment and turning ON life."

    So, did it happen?

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    How many times have you thought: "I'll just plop the kid down on the couch, let him watch TV, and I'll finally have a moment to breathe"? It's easy, after all. They're entertained and you get to enjoy some peaceful moments. Sorry, Mom, but you might have to find a new way to get some me time.

    Even though we're constantly surrounded by TVs, computers, the Internet, video games, and our phones and tablets, their negative effects far outweigh the good.

    From developmental delays to health and mental illnesses, too much time spent in front of screens has been found to cause lifelong harm to children. Especially when they consume far more than the recommended two hours daily.

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    The teen years are a time when you're expected to make dumb mistakes. Back in the day, we were able to do and say stupid things and -- if we were lucky -- learn from them and move on to become better people. Yeah, not so much anymore thanks to Twitter and Facebook.

    "Sarah" isn't the first teenager -- and she won't be the last -- to learn the hard way that one thoughtless tweet could possibly ruin her life, despite the fact that she's only 14 years old. The young girl, whose social media account has since been deleted, reportedly made the grave error of sending American Airlines a ridiculously reckless tweet. She pretended she was a terrorist who was planning a major attack. Uh, 14 or not, you could say the airline took her message very seriously.

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    I've been writing online for a long time, and I thought I'd address a few questions I've had over the years about how the sausage gets made. Excuse me if this is a little insidery, but I wanted to talk a little about how and why we're now inundated with "You Won't Believe How This Smiling Baby Will Change Your Life!" and "35 Funniest Sidewalk Signs of All Time" posts on Facebook and Twitter.

    There are a few types of web content, the most prevalent of them being "online journalism." I wrote a book about it, and it's what I've been doing for most of my professional career. And I'm part of the problem. Let me explain.

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    On April Fool's Day, I read a post that had me shaking in my Ugg boots. It basically described changes to Facebook that would allow users to see who had viewed their profiles.

    Thankfully, it was just a prank post, so amateur cyberstalking may continue undeterred. Because really, do you want your ex or your crush or your high school nemesis knowing that you occasionally check out their pages out of sheer, morbid curiosity?

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    America, today's the day! If you haven't yet signed up for health insurance, the deadline is TODAY. So head on over to HealthCare.gov and ... uh oh, whoops. Um, this is so embarrassing ... apparently HealthCare.gov went offline for six hours earlier this morning. Then it came back, stronger than ever! Except not so strong, because it crashed again around noon. Oh wait -- it's back up again now! Give it a try? At this point you have a 50-50 chance of being able to complete an application.

    Those of you who started an application only to have the website crash on you in the middle of the process, you should have received an invitation to try again. I believe it looked something like this ...

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    It's hard to imagine there was a time when you could break up with someone or be broken up with and then never, ever have to see his horrible, beautiful, heartbreaking face again. Ah, what a comfort it must have been to be able to cry for a day, talk it out with friends, and then know you could move on. There was no high-tech way of keeping tabs on that person, and even if you heard through the grapevine that he had a new girlfriend or wife, you could make it through life without viewing 100 photos of her and knowing hair that shiny actually exists outside of a shampoo commercial.

    Boy, are those days gone. It's now pretty much possible to locate and stalk every boyfriend you've had since kindergarten. Not that you plan on doing this, of course, but here are 7 websites that have made it super easy for "ex-boyfriend stalking" to become an international sport and for no one to ever fully get over and past the ... well, the past.

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    Happy birthday, World Wide Web! Remember when we still called it that? The Internet turns 25 years young today, and whether you think it's the greatest invention since the light bulb or the entire reason our society is falling apart, you must admit it's difficult to imagine our lives without it. Think about it: many of us wouldn't have met our soul mates if not for the Internet. We'd still be faxing thousands of pages of paper a day at our jobs instead of sending email attachments. Lots of us wouldn't even have jobs, or would have very different jobs, if not for the Internet.

    Still, as someone who celebrated all of my single-digit birthdays before the Internet was born, I'd be lying if I said life is so much better now. Here are 4 things the Internet totally destroyed and 4 ways it made life even better.

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    You can use a lot of words to describe your typical 7-year-old: cute, sweet, spunky, sensitive. But "soulful" is usually one of those adjectives you save for folks who have a bit of living under their belts. Angelina Jordan from Norway defies all norms. The tot, who recently appeared on Norway's Got Talent barefoot and clad in a long white dress, brought judges to tears with her flawless rendition of Billie Holiday's "Gloomy Sunday." Her performance has since been viewed and shared by millions of people around the world, who are blown away by this little girl's tremendous voice.

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