How Screen Addiction is Stealing Your Kid’s Future

Uncategorized Mar 23, 2018

The Top 5 Things You Can Do to Stop It

The Oompa Loompas Predict the Future


It rots the senses in the head!

It kills imagination dead!

It clogs and clutters up the mind!

It makes a child so dumb and blind!

His brain becomes as soft as cheese!

His mental powers rust and sneeze!

He cannot think—he only sees!

— Roald Dahl’s poem, sung by the Oompa-Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Mike Teavee, the boy obsessed with watching TV.


The Inconvenient Truth

I have two kids in high school sports this year. My son runs cross country and my daughter is on the tennis team. In rare moments when the tournaments aren’t nail-biters (it ain’t the Olympics,) I’ve had a chance to ask other parents how they manage screens in their home.


95% of the time, the conversation starts like this…

Q: “Do you let your teenager sleep with his/her phone?”

A: “Yes, because it’s his/her alarm clock.”


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What's More Important than Math? Squirrel!

time well spent tristan Mar 23, 2018

The Trumps, Google, Amazon, Facebook and General Motors were all in the news without scandal.

On Monday, to much pomp and circumstance, President Trump and first daughter Ivanka, the usual tech titans, General Motors and Lockheed, among others—announced a $300 million dollar investment in S.T.E.M. programs, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education.

Someone just liked my photo on Facebook…
was I writing?…

“This is an industry leading the way,” said Trump.

Leading the way where? The announcement is a human resources line item at best, a halo PR opportunity at worst.

Where are these companies leading us? To live a better life? To a world filled with happy, confident people? Nope.

The Real Threat

Snaps for Donald for making headlines for something other than tweeting. But, the biggest threat to our society is not a dearth of technology talent.

The most disturbing threat to our future is technology itself. Don’t believe me?


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Thanksgiving Interrupted

Uncategorized Mar 23, 2018

by Screens, Teens and Free Will

Freedom from Want, by Norman Rockwell vs. “How I imagine the Rockwell Table Would have Looked like in 2017.”


Attitude of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude, share a meal and connect with friends. Or, if you’re a teenager, it’s a time to pig out in the afternoon, tolerate hanging with your family and feign interest in conversation long enough to avoid getting caught texting under the table.

But not at my house…not this year…so I thought.

I hosted Thanksgiving dinner this year and it was…interesting. No, it was frustrating and disappointing. Once again, I battled the Tech-Opoly and lost.

Hosting Thanksgiving is not for the faint of heart. But, since sharing family meals is so rare these days, I felt it was worth it. After two days of shopping, chopping, sauteing, roasting, frying, setting the table and cleaning, I looked forward to a enjoying a leisurely meal with family.


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The ONE Thing Teens Need to Thrive in 2018

Uncategorized Mar 23, 2018

I just returned from the The ONE Thing Goal Setting Retreat in Austin, Texas. The event, billed as "A Kick Ass Guide to your Most Productive Year," is the brainchild of Jay Papasan, co author of the book, The ONE Thing and his wife, Wendy.

If you’re not familiar with the book, you’ve not spoken to me in the last two years and you should order it now. And, if you’ve not heard me rant about the Tech-Opoly destroying teenagers, it’s been even longer. 


 Goliath = Distractions

Since I was introduced to the book in 2016, I’ve become a groupie, to say the least. I’ve read the book, listened to the audiobook (unabridged and the summary,) heard all 95 episodes of The One Thing Podcast, and recently, I joined the Living the One Thing online community—a new online program led by Geoff Woods to help people live the concepts in the book. 
What does a productivity book have to do with raising...

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Focus is the IQ of the Knowledge Economy

Uncategorized Mar 23, 2018

Cal Newport—4 Steps to Develop Deep Focus

One of the most powerful, interviews at * LifeHack Summit 2017 earlier this week was Cal Newport, a Ph.D. and Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University. Although I wanted to disregard him as a Millennial (yes, reversed-age bias is a thing,) he’s just too smart.

Intensity can be traded for time.

What is Deep Work?

Deep work is doing a cognitively demanding task on which one can focus intensely, for a long period of time, with zero distractions.

Earning Tenure is a Crucible for Deep Work

Cal described earning a tenured professorship at Georgetown as “intellectual combat,” that forced him to create the Deep Work productivity framework. The academic battle sounds like the Hunger Games, but instead of life or death, it was professorship, or PhD purgatory…a job at Facebook I suppose?

Professorial candidates had to create and publish massively important, original work, to be judged...

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Essentialism — Lifestyle Design from the 100-Year Narrative

Uncategorized Mar 23, 2018
I just listened to Carey Gjokaj interview Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. I’d planned to listen to this interview, and all others in the LH Summit at 2x the speed—thinking I would hear a few interesting new things, I read the book after all. As I found myself rewinding the video multiple times, then slowing it down to .5x speed, I knew my productivity “hack” wasn’t working.


In the end, it was time well spent because Greg was inspirational, Carey was insightful and for me, adopting Essentialism principals is, well…essential. I’ve listed a few takeaways below.

Living Essentialism is Hard.

Essentialism sounds easy, but it’s really hard to execute. The way of the essentialist, is to explore what is essential to you, eliminate the things that aren’t, and design a lifestyle around your...

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A Day in the Life — ScreenAge Summer

Uncategorized Mar 23, 2018

Tomorrow, I will officially have two high schoolers. To celebrate, I’m finishing the blog post I started post on the first day of my kids’ summer “break” in June.

It’s summer…long days, relaxing nights and family bonding. Right? Not necessarily, if you’re raising teenagers who insist they need time “relaxing” at home. Without structure, summer “break” with two screen-obsessed adolescents can turn into a special kind of reality show. Don’t get me wrong, I have choices.

Immobile, Screen Obsessed Human’s from the Movie Wall E
  1. Watch—as they morph into Wall-E Humans.
  2. Ignore them—until they need money or a ride at which time they will find me with missile-like precision.
  3. Install controls—which they will hack in seconds.
  4. Take away all electronics—then forget where I hid them.
  5. Show them what they’re missing. Teach them about lifestyle design (Credit to Carey & Demir from ...
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