The #kwc12 Twitter Word Cloud Project

2012 Kansas West Annual Conference Twitter Word Cloud

As a follow up to the The #gc2012 Twitter Word Cloud Project, I completed a similar project for the Kansas West Annual Conference. I collected Twitter updates from May 22 to 27 that were tagged with #kwc12, #ksw12 and #kswumc. Then I used Wordle to create a word cloud with the text of all the updates for the conference. I edited out Twitter usernames, #kwc12, #ksw12 and #kswumc to get a better view of the conversation. I hope that you enjoy the results!

  • You can find the raw data of Twitter updates tagged with #kwc12, #ksw12 and #kswumc at http://j.mp/LlgkSN. Feel free to use these updates and World to create your own word clouds.
  • You can download a full size image of the word cloud at http://j.mp/L2ZwlA

Enjoy!

Screen Time for Children

Sesame Workshop
Image via Wikipedia

With a son who is 12 days aways from being 6 months old, I read with interest this article from MashableChildren’s Consumption of Digital Media On The Rise [STATS]. This connected me with the original study from The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, which you can find in PDF form with this link. Straight from this document are some of their findings:

  • Children have more access to all kinds of digital media, and are spending more time during the day with them than ever before.
  • Television continues to exert a strong hold over young children, who spend more time with this medium than any other.
  • Not all children have access to newer digital technologies, nor do all children use media in the same ways once they do own them. Family income continues to be a barrier to some children owning technology, even as the price of devices falls.
  • Lower-income, Hispanic, and African American children consume far more media than their middle-class and white counterparts.
  • Children appear to shift their digital media habits around age 8, when they increasingly open their eyes to the wide world of media beyond television.
  • Mobile media appears to be the next “it” technology, from handheld video games to portable music players to cell phones. Kids like to use their media on the go.

The official recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics is as follows:

“The first two years of your child’s life are especially important in the growth and development of her brain. During this time, children need positive interaction with other children and adults. This is especially true at younger ages, when learning to talk and play with others is so important.

Until more research is done about the effects of screen time on very young children, the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly discourages television viewing for children ages two years old or younger, and encourages interactive play.

For older children, the Academy advises no more than one to two hours per day of educational, nonviolent programs, which should be supervised by parents or other responsible adults in the home.”

Our son has had his eye caught by screens from time to time. We are definitely going to stay away from intentional screen time of any kind for him until at least two years old.

Speedlinking – August 13, 2010

Amusing Ourselves to Death

On vacation, while taking a break from technology, was a great time to tackle Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. While this title was originally published in 1985, it provides an excellent perspective on how changes in media have had an effect on how public conversation is carried out.

Postman is concerned not with the possibility of society being controlled by government, but instead of society being lulled away from meaningful conversation by entertainment. Postman suggests that what fashions itself as news is most often truly entertainment that has no impact on daily life. He traces the development of the telegraph, radio and television and their effects on the lives of individuals.

I was sobered and enlightened by Postman’s title. Postman suggests that new technology always comes with both benefits and detriments. There is never a neutral medium. Being aware of the effect that technology has on thinking and conversation is of great importance. I found this book to be particularly helpful for me as I continue to lead the project at Resurrection considering how the internet might be used to encourage people to grow in their faith. I recommend this book to anyone interested in how people carry on conversation or with the effect of media on our lives.

Flickering Pixels

I just finished reading Flickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith by Shane Hipps. After just finishing the book I felt thoughtful, peaceful, powerful, aware and enlightened. This book was an unexpected breath of fresh air into my life.

Hipps is a Mennonite pastor in Arizona who formerly worked in advertising. He has a distinct perspective on media and how it shapes the way that we think. Hipps suggests that the book is about “training our eyes to see things we usually overlook” (14).

Hipps is a proponent of Marshall McLuhan’s phrase – the medium is the message. Hipps helped me to think critically about the media with which I engage in every day. I am more aware of the effect that the medium itself has on me as well as any given content.

Hipps ranges across a wide variety of topics within the field of technology and faith. After addressing media, images and how our brain learns and process information, he makes a clear connection with God. God communicates in many different ways with God’s creation and in a very real sense the medium is the message, particularly in the person of Jesus Christ.

I unequivocally recommend this book to those who seek to be more aware about the infoluence which technology has on life and faith.