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Category: Stuff for Your Brain

Where is Everybody on Facebook?

It seems like everybody has a Facebook page. You probably do, and you probably have a lot of “friends.” And your friends may have a lot of friends. But Facebook, as an Internet site, is losing friends. Studies from organizations and from Facebook itself have found that Facebook users are spending more and more time OFF Facebook.

When they are on Facebook, they aren’t as “engaged” as they used to be. Engaged is defined as when a user does something, for example, “liking” a post, responding to posts and uploading their own posts. Some don’t even go on Facebook anymore.

Where is everybody?

After years of being one of the world’s most popular social media platforms, Facebook has found that people are going to other places to visit with others. Some teenagers go on Snapchat or Instagram or privately message people. They go to Reddit to join in on heated discussions.

Older adults are only going on Facebook when they want to “catch up” with family. People are spending their time doing activities other than checking Facebook every few minutes. Those that do use Facebook don’t “share” or “like” as much as they once did. They post less and less and they log in less frequently.

Comments online point to problems people have with Facebook. Some don’t like all the advertisements that pop up. Some don’t like that their profiles get sold to big companies. Other people are upset that Facebook sometimes deletes posts that don’t agree with their philosophy.

Still others think that Facebook is outdated and even old-fashioned. Those people think that Facebook is like myspace, slowly getting replaced and fading into the past.

Of course, Facebook is still strong. The company is worth billions of dollars, but not as much as it used to be. Its strength is slowing fading. The business is trying to get people interested in it again.

They’re sending out “memory” reminders and “friend anniversary” notifications, hoping people remember how much they used to enjoy Facebook. Many people find the notifications annoying. Luckily, they can turn that off. They can also enjoy other activities, which many are choosing to do.

Where is everybody who used to be on Facebook? Maybe they’re playing one-on-one in the gym or reading a book. Some are hanging out with their flesh and blood friends in the real world.

Yes, Facebook is still there, waiting for you to log on and check your wall. Facebook can wait. Your life can’t.

It seems like everybody has a Facebook page. You probably do, and you probably have a lot of “friends.” And your friends may have a lot of friends. But Facebook, as an Internet site, is losing friends. Studies from organizations and from Facebook itself have found that Facebook users are spending more and more time OFF Facebook.

When they are on Facebook, they aren’t as “engaged” as they used to be. Engaged is defined as when a user does something, for example, “liking” a post, responding to posts and uploading their own posts. Some don’t even go on Facebook anymore.

Where is everybody?

After years of being one of the world’s most popular social media platforms, Facebook has found that people are going to other places to visit with others. Some teenagers go on Snapchat or Instagram or privately message people. They go to Reddit to join in on heated discussions.

Older adults are only going on Facebook when they want to “catch up” with family. People are spending their time doing activities other than checking Facebook every few minutes. Those that do use Facebook don’t “share” or “like” as much as they once did. They post less and less and they log in less frequently.

Comments online point to problems people have with Facebook. Some don’t like all the advertisements that pop up. Some don’t like that their profiles get sold to big companies. Other people are upset that Facebook sometimes deletes posts that don’t agree with their philosophy.

Still others think that Facebook is outdated and even old-fashioned. Those people think that Facebook is like myspace, slowly getting replaced and fading into the past.

Of course, Facebook is still strong. The company is worth billions of dollars, but not as much as it used to be. Its strength is slowing fading. The business is trying to get people interested in it again.

They’re sending out “memory” reminders and “friend anniversary” notifications, hoping people remember how much they used to enjoy Facebook. Many people find the notifications annoying. Luckily, they can turn that off. They can also enjoy other activities, which many are choosing to do.

Where is everybody who used to be on Facebook? Maybe they’re playing one-on-one in the gym or reading a book. Some are hanging out with their flesh and blood friends in the real world.

Yes, Facebook is still there, waiting for you to log on and check your wall. Facebook can wait. Your life can’t.

The Top 10 Family-Friendly Movies of 2017

Top 10 Family Movies of 2017

Movie night is a family tradition. Everyone sprawls around the TV with popcorn! It’s fun and can be the start of heated conversations. But what can you watch? As a new year begins, let’s look at some of the family movies that were made in 2017. Maybe one of these should be the next show for your movie night.

This top ten list is not numbered on purpose. We are all different and like different things. Watch these good movies. Make your own rank. Then compare your ranks to your friends’ lists. You’ll have lots to talk about.

Links to the movie trailers open in new windows/tabs so you can watch the trailers as you read about each movie. Enjoy!

LEAP!

Dreams need people to make them come true. This story, set in the 1800s, shows us an orphan girl struggling to become a ballerina. Her dear friend Victor joins in her fight. There’s dancing, action, adventure and people working together to make dreams come true. Watch Movie Trailer: LEAP

MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI

An orphaned child is befriended by a policeman who takes him to his foster home. Kids—you’ll find your mind filled with new and difficult thoughts, which is why you should watch this with your parents. The stop-action animation is a refreshing change from the usual animated movies, but it hits hard at the heart.
Watch Movie Trailer: MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE

What silliness! What slick moves and eye-rolling giggles. Kids of all ages will be drawn into this odd twist on superheroes. Adults will enjoy watching this unusual take on a classic action legend. Best of all, you’ll get to watch Batman relax and enjoy himself for a change. Watch Movie Trailer: THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE

KEDI

Love cats? Love exotic locations and seeing the world with fresh eyes? Enjoy documentaries? Okay, you might not think of a documentary as a good family movie, but KEDI will change your mind. Tour the city of Istanbul with some of the hundreds of thousands of cats that live there. It is thoughtful, beautiful and fun. KEDI is also a great introduction to documentaries. Be sure you get a version with subtitles.
Watch Movie Trailer: KEDI

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS

Enter the quirky, zany world of world-class pranksters and a dimwitted hero. Readers of the infamously funny book series will be delighted. Grown-ups will be thoroughly entertained by the dialogue and action. This movie is a funfest for everyone who can handle a few—ahem—poop jokes. Watch Movie Trailer: CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS

WONDER

Movies can make you feel. WONDER is one of those movies. It shows you what life is like for a boy with facial deformities. You’ll cheer the heroes, swallow lumps in your throat and see the power of kindness. This is a real-life story with stars you’ll recognize. WONDER proves the power of movies. Watch Movie Trailer: WONDER

CARS 3

Sequels rarely match the quality of the original, but CARS 3 comes close. Kids will be drawn into the story of a familiar friend. They may not understand the scenes about McQueen’s aging, but many adults will understand his feelings.
Watch Movie Trailer: CARS 3

FERDINAND

Children have loved the book for years and now will love the movie. The world’s most famous bull fights against unfair judgement and bullying. Is “bulls” where the term for being mean comes from? Kids, you’ll enjoy this inspirational movie about friendship and true strength. Watch Movie Trailer: FERDINAND

THE BREADWINNER

This is an animated story about telling stories. But be ready. THE BREADWINNER tells the tale of a girl in Afghanistan. The Taliban arrests her father and she is left to care for her family. She survives by hard work—and escaping into a fantasy world. The story is moving and difficult, but rewarding. Be ready for a deep family discussion. Watch Movie Trailer: THE BREADWINNER

WONDER WOMAN

Greek mythology talks about strong, independent warrior women. Now, a new generation watches as a real-life female soldier acts in a movie about World War 2 and facing evil. This is a gorgeous movie that may not appeal to very young children, but will have everyone else enthralled. Watch Movie Trailer: WONDER WOMAN

So when is your next movie night?

Movie night is a family tradition. Everyone sprawls around the TV with popcorn! It’s fun and can be the start of heated conversations. But what can you watch? As a new year begins, let’s look at some of the family movies that were made in 2017. Maybe one of these should be the next show for your movie night.

This top ten list is not numbered on purpose. We are all different and like different things. Watch these good movies. Make your own rank. Then compare your ranks to your friends’ lists. You’ll have lots to talk about.

Links to the movie trailers open in new windows/tabs so you can watch the trailers as you read about each movie. Enjoy!

LEAP!

Dreams need people to make them come true. This story, set in the 1800s, shows us an orphan girl struggling to become a ballerina. Her dear friend Victor joins in her fight. There’s dancing, action, adventure and people working together to make dreams come true. Watch Movie Trailer: LEAP

MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI

An orphaned child is befriended by a policeman who takes him to his foster home. Kids—you’ll find your mind filled with new and difficult thoughts, which is why you should watch this with your parents. The stop-action animation is a refreshing change from the usual animated movies, but it hits hard at the heart.
Watch Movie Trailer: MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE

What silliness! What slick moves and eye-rolling giggles. Kids of all ages will be drawn into this odd twist on superheroes. Adults will enjoy watching this unusual take on a classic action legend. Best of all, you’ll get to watch Batman relax and enjoy himself for a change. Watch Movie Trailer: THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE

KEDI

Love cats? Love exotic locations and seeing the world with fresh eyes? Enjoy documentaries? Okay, you might not think of a documentary as a good family movie, but KEDI will change your mind. Tour the city of Istanbul with some of the hundreds of thousands of cats that live there. It is thoughtful, beautiful and fun. KEDI is also a great introduction to documentaries. Be sure you get a version with subtitles.
Watch Movie Trailer: KEDI

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS

Enter the quirky, zany world of world-class pranksters and a dimwitted hero. Readers of the infamously funny book series will be delighted. Grown-ups will be thoroughly entertained by the dialogue and action. This movie is a funfest for everyone who can handle a few—ahem—poop jokes. Watch Movie Trailer: CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS

WONDER

Movies can make you feel. WONDER is one of those movies. It shows you what life is like for a boy with facial deformities. You’ll cheer the heroes, swallow lumps in your throat and see the power of kindness. This is a real-life story with stars you’ll recognize. WONDER proves the power of movies. Watch Movie Trailer: WONDER

CARS 3

Sequels rarely match the quality of the original, but CARS 3 comes close. Kids will be drawn into the story of a familiar friend. They may not understand the scenes about McQueen’s aging, but many adults will understand his feelings.
Watch Movie Trailer: CARS 3

FERDINAND

Children have loved the book for years and now will love the movie. The world’s most famous bull fights against unfair judgement and bullying. Is “bulls” where the term for being mean comes from? Kids, you’ll enjoy this inspirational movie about friendship and true strength. Watch Movie Trailer: FERDINAND

THE BREADWINNER

This is an animated story about telling stories. But be ready. THE BREADWINNER tells the tale of a girl in Afghanistan. The Taliban arrests her father and she is left to care for her family. She survives by hard work—and escaping into a fantasy world. The story is moving and difficult, but rewarding. Be ready for a deep family discussion. Watch Movie Trailer: THE BREADWINNER

WONDER WOMAN

Greek mythology talks about strong, independent warrior women. Now, a new generation watches as a real-life female soldier acts in a movie about World War 2 and facing evil. This is a gorgeous movie that may not appeal to very young children, but will have everyone else enthralled. Watch Movie Trailer: WONDER WOMAN

So when is your next movie night?

Four Really Scary Things

Aliens won’t swoop down and grab you for experiments. Zombies will not eat your brain. And that dark shapeless thing that lurks beneath your basement stairs?  Well, all sorts of monsters may run through your mind, but the fact is – they don’t exist.

Most kids live nice, safe lives. Yes, there are REAL dangers to that exist in the world but here are four things that you should really take precautions for in your everyday life.

Invisible Creatures. One of the biggest dangers for kids are tiny monsters that you can’t even see. Every year, thousands of kids go to the hospital because of sickness caused by germs and bacteria. Luckily, you can beat those SCARY THINGS very easily. The most important thing to remember is to wash your hands often. When these creatures do hurt you, listen to your parents and stay in bed. Sometimes a good night’s sleep is enough to get rid of those monsters.

Household Whoopsies. Simple accidents send thousands of grownups and children to hospital every year. Slipping in bathtubs, grabbing a hot pot off the stove, playing carelessly with sharp objects or matches—accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. You don’t need superpowers to beat a Whoopsie. All you need to do is follow basic rules, like watching out for water on the bathroom floor, respecting knives, being careful around hot pots and, most importantly, listening when your Mom or Dad gives you a warning.

Automotive Accidents. Everyone loves the power and speed of a car or truck. Vehicles take you to exciting places—and sometimes to the hospital. You probably know someone who was hurt badly in a car accident. Luckily, there are actions you can take to prevent this SCARY THING. First, always wear your seat belt. Keep your eyes open and on the streets when riding around. When walking, look both ways before crossing the street. Cars and trucks are fun and useful when people think about safety.

We live in a world full of huge, dangerous animals. You have probably cowered as you watched a movie where sharks take huge gaping bites out of swimmers. You’ve watched kids chased by velociraptors and people crushed by giant snakes. The truth is that the most dangerous living creature to humans is the mosquito. Yup. That little buzzer has hurt more humans than any other living species. They can carry illnesses that they inject when they sting. Most mosquitos aren’t very dangerous; they’re mostly annoying. But don’t just ignore them. Use bug spray when playing in grass or in the woods, especially around ponds or lakes.

Monsters with chainsaws, hungry great white sharks, creatures under your bed—these can be scary, but unless you get a role in a movie, chances are they won’t bother you. The real SCARY THINGS that can happen are things that you can beat, if you think and act with safety in mind.

Aliens won’t swoop down and grab you for experiments. Zombies will not eat your brain. And that dark shapeless thing that lurks beneath your basement stairs?  Well, all sorts of monsters may run through your mind, but the fact is – they don’t exist.

Most kids live nice, safe lives. Yes, there are REAL dangers to that exist in the world but here are four things that you should really take precautions for in your everyday life.

Invisible Creatures. One of the biggest dangers for kids are tiny monsters that you can’t even see. Every year, thousands of kids go to the hospital because of sickness caused by germs and bacteria. Luckily, you can beat those SCARY THINGS very easily. The most important thing to remember is to wash your hands often. When these creatures do hurt you, listen to your parents and stay in bed. Sometimes a good night’s sleep is enough to get rid of those monsters.

Household Whoopsies. Simple accidents send thousands of grownups and children to hospital every year. Slipping in bathtubs, grabbing a hot pot off the stove, playing carelessly with sharp objects or matches—accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. You don’t need superpowers to beat a Whoopsie. All you need to do is follow basic rules, like watching out for water on the bathroom floor, respecting knives, being careful around hot pots and, most importantly, listening when your Mom or Dad gives you a warning.

Automotive Accidents. Everyone loves the power and speed of a car or truck. Vehicles take you to exciting places—and sometimes to the hospital. You probably know someone who was hurt badly in a car accident. Luckily, there are actions you can take to prevent this SCARY THING. First, always wear your seat belt. Keep your eyes open and on the streets when riding around. When walking, look both ways before crossing the street. Cars and trucks are fun and useful when people think about safety.

We live in a world full of huge, dangerous animals. You have probably cowered as you watched a movie where sharks take huge gaping bites out of swimmers. You’ve watched kids chased by velociraptors and people crushed by giant snakes. The truth is that the most dangerous living creature to humans is the mosquito. Yup. That little buzzer has hurt more humans than any other living species. They can carry illnesses that they inject when they sting. Most mosquitos aren’t very dangerous; they’re mostly annoying. But don’t just ignore them. Use bug spray when playing in grass or in the woods, especially around ponds or lakes.

Monsters with chainsaws, hungry great white sharks, creatures under your bed—these can be scary, but unless you get a role in a movie, chances are they won’t bother you. The real SCARY THINGS that can happen are things that you can beat, if you think and act with safety in mind.

When Friends are Upset on Social Media

Friends on Social Media

Jill knows that Ringo — her fluffy spotted puppy — can understand her. Whenever she’s on her phone, Ringo sits politely at her feet and stares at her with round, brown eyes. Today, Jill read her social media posts to him. “Look,” she said, “Zazza is mad at Sam because he got into the school band and she didn’t”.

Jill continued. “Zazza said Sam got in because he gave the teacher a flower before auditions. They’re both my friends and I don’t know what to say.”

Ringo cocked his head and sniffed at the phone.

Jill sighed. “I know what you mean, Ringo. They’re both my friends. If I post something that makes Zazza feel good, it will make Sam mad. If I post something that makes Sam happy, Zazza will be upset. What should I do?”

Ringo flattened on the floor and covered his ears with his fuzzy white paws.

Jill crossed her arms.  “You really think I should just stay out of it?”

Ringo sat up and panted.

“You’re right. Zazza is hurt right now, but she does so much, she’ll forget about it in a few days. Maybe I should wait ‘til I see her in person and tell her I’m sorry she didn’t get on the band.”

Ringo’s tail started sweeping the floor.

“You like that idea? That way, Zazza will l know I care and I won’t make Sam mad. After all, he’s my friend, too.”

Ringo let his long tongue flop out of the side of his mouth. Then he gave a deep, strong, “Woof.”

Jill nodded. “You’re smart. If I post something on line, it will look like I’m taking sides between two people I like. If I talk to them in person, I’ll be a real friend instead of just someone who on comments online.”

Ringo panted happily. He liked people when they talked to each other in person. Being a dog, he knew that real friends share real time in the real world.

Online friends can’t throw sticks for you. They can’t sneak you a pizza crust when parents aren’t looking. Online friends can’t scratch your ears or take you for a walk. They can’t hug you or fill your water bowl. That’s why Ringo knows that what happens online is only part of being a friend. Being a real friend means being supportive in the real world and being kind in the real world.

Jill got off social media and phoned Sam. She congratulated him for getting on the band. Then she called Zazza and invited her over for pizza night.

That’s when Jill’s phone beeped. She looked at the message. “This is your Mom. Didn’t you forget something else in the real world?”

Jill smiled and tossed down her phone. “Hey, Mom,” she yelled into the kitchen. “Is it okay if Zazza comes over for pizza?”

Jill knows that Ringo — her fluffy spotted puppy — can understand her. Whenever she’s on her phone, Ringo sits politely at her feet and stares at her with round, brown eyes. Today, Jill read her social media posts to him. “Look,” she said, “Zazza is mad at Sam because he got into the school band and she didn’t”.

Jill continued. “Zazza said Sam got in because he gave the teacher a flower before auditions. They’re both my friends and I don’t know what to say.”

Ringo cocked his head and sniffed at the phone.

Jill sighed. “I know what you mean, Ringo. They’re both my friends. If I post something that makes Zazza feel good, it will make Sam mad. If I post something that makes Sam happy, Zazza will be upset. What should I do?”

Ringo flattened on the floor and covered his ears with his fuzzy white paws.

Jill crossed her arms.  “You really think I should just stay out of it?”

Ringo sat up and panted.

“You’re right. Zazza is hurt right now, but she does so much, she’ll forget about it in a few days. Maybe I should wait ‘til I see her in person and tell her I’m sorry she didn’t get on the band.”

Ringo’s tail started sweeping the floor.

“You like that idea? That way, Zazza will l know I care and I won’t make Sam mad. After all, he’s my friend, too.”

Ringo let his long tongue flop out of the side of his mouth. Then he gave a deep, strong, “Woof.”

Jill nodded. “You’re smart. If I post something on line, it will look like I’m taking sides between two people I like. If I talk to them in person, I’ll be a real friend instead of just someone who on comments online.”

Ringo panted happily. He liked people when they talked to each other in person. Being a dog, he knew that real friends share real time in the real world.

Online friends can’t throw sticks for you. They can’t sneak you a pizza crust when parents aren’t looking. Online friends can’t scratch your ears or take you for a walk. They can’t hug you or fill your water bowl. That’s why Ringo knows that what happens online is only part of being a friend. Being a real friend means being supportive in the real world and being kind in the real world.

Jill got off social media and phoned Sam. She congratulated him for getting on the band. Then she called Zazza and invited her over for pizza night.

That’s when Jill’s phone beeped. She looked at the message. “This is your Mom. Didn’t you forget something else in the real world?”

Jill smiled and tossed down her phone. “Hey, Mom,” she yelled into the kitchen. “Is it okay if Zazza comes over for pizza?”

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