Tag Archives: Twitter

FOR PARENTS: Can Twitter Prevent Teen Suicide?

r-IPHONE-ADDICTION-large570We’ve all heard tragic stories about online bullying and teen suicide. But, a new study suggests Twitter can be used to in suicide prevention. Researchers from Brigham Young University created an algorithm that scanned through millions of tweets across the nation looking for terms like suicide, dying, and other key words linked to depression or bullying. What they found was amazing. The suicide talk showed up in state-by-state numbers that closely mirrored each state’s actual suicide rates. In other words, early warning signs are available, if only every person were identifiable on Twitter.

The researchers suggest that, at the very least, suicide hotline groups could use the algorithms to respond via twitter instead of waiting for an old fashioned telephone to ring. Or, schools could have students register their twitter accounts (no privacy concerns, as tweets are public anyway) and the technology would give school counselors a ping when a student’s Tweets become concerning.

In the meantime, it’s important that all parents follow their teen on twitter and friend them on Facebook. Adolescents will write things on social media that they won’t say out loud. Following them as a quiet observer can help parents get inside their kids heads. However, I don’t suggest interacting with them much on social media unless you are prepared for the other kind of suicide — social suicide!

FOR WOMEN: Dear Miley Cyrus and Sinead O’Connor


I saw your Facebook and Twitter inter change today. Sinead, I commend you for taking a risk to be so publicly honest about the exploitation of Miley by the music industry. But, you know, Miley is in the bubble right now and can’t hear you. Yes, she looks at you as a role model and harkened to your “Nothing Compares 2U” video with her hyped up cartoon face in her “Wreaking Ball” video, but she is in the land of no “No’s” where she can’t make the distinction between art and commercialism. You and I have the gift of aged wisdom that she doesn’t have yet.

My ten-year-old daughter Jones watched Miley’s Wreaking Ball video and Sinead’s Nothing Compares 2U with me. Here’s my interview with her:

IMG_1640Q: Are you a fan of Miley Cyrus? Why or why not?

Jones: I liked her on only Hannah Montana. Then she got inappropriate.

Q: Why don’t you like that?

Jones: Because nobody is supposed to see anybody naked. You can only be naked if you are a baby or to your husband or boyfriend.

Q: Why can’t you be naked on the internet?

Jones: It’s very dangerous because teenagers might think that’s okay and they might do it. Then everybody might do it.

Q: Why is that bad?

Jones: Even Native Americans covered up most of their body because it’s fragile and those are the parts to make love. So they cover them up so people they don’t want to make love with won’t see. That would be embarrassing and it might make people be stalkers.

Q: What about Miley’s music?

Jones: I can’t really appreciate the music with the video because it makes me think bad about her. So I put on the lyrics only videos that the fans make. Miley, you shouldn’t do videos like this because it’s not a nice art.

Q: What did you think about Sinead’s video?

Jones: It showed real emotion. It wasn’t all fake. I could tell that they were real tears.

Q: Which artist do you like the most?

Jones: Sinead, because she seems very nice and smart. I don’t like to see Miley naked.

FOR PARENTS: Replacing Hopelessness with Goodness – Will you Join #20Acts?

Connecticut Community Copes With Aftermath Of Elementary School Mass ShootingIf the nation’s tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary school is washing over your body like a tidal wave of sadness, know this: You have compassion. And it is this compassionate part of your personality that will help raise you up from feelings of hopelessness to an ambassador of goodness.

The father of psychology, Sigmund Freud, identified two healthy defenses against emotional pain. Humor, which is not possible in this grave time of tragedy, and sublimation. Sublimation simply means turning your pain into something positive.

I noticed on Twitter yesterday tweets that listed positive acts  — I gave to a homeless man — I bought coffee for a stranger at a drive thru – I bought a helmet for a teen who didn’t have one – I sent a card to a sailor at boot camp who won’t be home for Christmas. Those tweets were accompanied by the hash tag #20Acts. Ann Curry of NBC News, started the campaign of kindness and is using her power to propagate the energy. The prescription is simple: Do twenty random acts of kindness to remember each of the children who died at Sandy Hook.

Yesterday, my children and I began our twenty acts. We bought Christmas clothes and toys for two foster children, we put together a personal hygiene kit for a homeless person, we donated food to a food drive. Later this week, we will be packing holiday gift boxes for families in poverty. But we still have a way to go to honor the twenty fallen angels in Newtown, Connecticut.

These acts can help us all grieve and heal. They can also prove that these beautiful little children did not die in vain. Are you ready to join the #20Acts campaign?

FOR SINGLES: Can You Have a Real Relationship with 5000 Friends?

Today is a milestone day in the world of digital connecting. My personal Facebook page welcomed its final, 5000th friend. For those in the brand-building world, this is but an early blip in the journey toward mass media penetration. But for me, this is something special.

You see, I don’t have the giant media machine of a Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga or Oprah. Most TV and music performers have me way beat with millions of fans, friends and followers, anyway. But I have something else. I have real connections. You are real people.

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Connecting in The Age of Technology

New Tools. No Rules. That’s what I call the technological revolution.

I have three stories to tell that illustrate how technology is affecting the way we date, mate, and relate.  Story number one comes from the wisdom of a middle school girl, with one entire school semester of dating experience under her belt and a lifetime of tech training. She reminded me that the game of love has a whole new high-tech playing field. I was having dinner in a California Pizza Kitchen with three twelve-year-old girls and I received a text from a 47-year-old guy I’d been dating for about six weeks.

“Oooh” sang my own daughter in an age-old schoolgirl taunt “Is that from your boyfriend?”

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