Brett.Ullman

Category - technology

50 Questions To Ask Your Kids Instead Of Asking “How Was Your Day”

Dinner is a great time for people to engage in conversations. Here are some great questions.

So I asked our writers to share some of their favorite conversation starters with their kids. These are especially great after a long school day when your babies don’t want to chat.

  1. What made you smile today?
  2. Can you tell me an example of kindness you saw/showed?
  3. Was there an example of unkindness? How did you respond?
  4. Does everyone have a friend at recess?
  5. What was the book about that your teacher read?
  6. What’s the word of the week?
  7. Did anyone do anything silly to make you laugh?
  8. Did anyone cry?
  9. What did you do that was creative?
  10. What is the most popular game at recess?

40 more questions on her website.  Click here for the entire article.

A photographer edits out our smartphones to show our strange and lonely new world

Do you see yourself in these photos? If so changes need to be made.

Are you reading this on a handheld device? There’s a good chance you are. Now imagine how’d you look if that device suddenly disappeared. Lonely? Slightly crazy? Perhaps next to a person being ignored? As we are sucked in ever more by the screens we carry around, even in the company of friends and family, the hunched pose of the phone-absorbed seems increasingly normal.

Click here for the entire article.

Update: The Porn Project: Now Available on DVD or Digitally

I am so excited to announce that my talk “The Porn Project” is now available for Digital Download.

Please click here to buy or rent this talk.

Click Here to buy the DVD.

Tons of resources from the talk available here.

I would love to come and speak this talk to your church, camp, school or conference.

Trailer:

 

 

 

Friday Rant: Last day this will be available? Really?

So I sit down this morning and and look through my inbox to see what is going on . Today I find email after email all saying similar things:
  • “Last day to sign up for my course!”
  • “Running out of space for our webinar. Sign up today!”
  • “Last day my book will be available before it is being pulled off the shelves”
  • “We closed out doors to our enrolment to my best selling _______. But decided for those who missed it to open it up for 24 more hours”
  • “Last day for the bonus’ for my book”
  • “After today this course will not be available publicly until 2017” 
These are all people offering books, courses etc in our Christian world. Is it just me or are we trying way to hard to scare people into buying our stuff. If I am car shopping and the salesperson says “The sale is only on today” they I say “well I better go then because I am not ready to buy today“. Guess what? They never let you leave. They say will there will be another sale or the promotion can be continued etc. There is always a sale, discount or promotion. I don’t mind the sale. I am getting tired of the scare tactics to get me to buy something. 
Thoughts:
  1. Why would anyone take their book off the market? You spent years writing a book. You are really going to stop selling it?
  2. If you have a book and I miss out on the “bonus material” I begin to question if your book is still worth buying. If the content in your bonus material is so amazing why is it not in your book? What am I missing out on?
  3. I get that someone might have an online course and there has to be a cut off date for it. Please don’t make it sound like you will not be offering that course ever again.
  4. For the email today that said that the course will not be offered publicly again until 2017. 2017 is about 2 weeks away. So if I don’t buy into your product today I might have to wait 2 weeks to get it?
  5. For the webinar that is running out of space. The email said you have 12,000 people signed up. 12,000 people. If your webinar platform can handle 12,000 people please don’t tell me you are running out of space. Pretty sure that is not true.
Can I just challenge authors, creators of products and leaders: Sell your stuff.
I buy your books, courses, products etc. But can you please stop threatening me with not letting me buy your stuff unless I buy it today.
Am I alone in this. Love to hear your thoughts.
Back to my emails.

Into the mind of a 14 year old … (my daughter Zoe)

The other night I was helping my daughter Zoe with something on her iPhone. I have to be honest when she passed me her phone and I looked at her home screen I was floored. It is a little hard to describe so below is a screen shot of her phone (all of this with her permission btw)

zoeiphone

First thoughts:

  1. Every folder is categorized not by function but by colour
  2. In the dock there is no Phone
  3. In the dock there is no Email
  4. In the dock there is no Messages
  5. She would rather have 3 rows of available icon space blank then use it for something that does not fit her organizational strategy

What matters to Zoe most is YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Musical.ly. I asked her where her phone app is. “Green” she replied. “Camera?” I asked and without missing a beat she said “Grey”. “Email” … she paused for a sec and then say “Blue”.

I was interested to see if this was common amongst other teenagers (especially teen girls) so I posted on Facebook for people to share their home screens. Now all but 1 who replied were not teenagers. Most people who replied left the icons exactly where Apple put them originally. There were a few people who added small changes to their dock (Adding in a folder for all social media, adding in Spotify or other apps they use often). The majority still still had phone, email and messages in the dock. If you have a tween or a teen and they would be willing to post the front home screen I would love to see it in the comments on this blog or on Facebook.

Some thoughts for us as parents, educators and leaders:

  1. This is a different and unique generation of students. We cannot just assume they will do things like us. Someone commented on my Facebook post that the way she had set up her phone was wrong. This message was deleted by the poster within the hour. Different is not wrong. A student doing things different than how you might do something just makes them someone who is thinking and choosing to do things their own way. I am actually quite proud of how she set up her phone. While at a Leadership Retreat at Muskoka Woods a number of years ago I read a quote on a TV that said:

    “A Leader is someone who looks at the World and says it does not have to be this way … and then does something about it.”

    My daughter decided that her phone did not have to be this way and then did something about it. I hope that this small trait I see in her phone use translates into how she lives her life.  I hope she is willing to risk being different to do her life how she wants to live it and not just follow everything that her culture teaches her to follow. 

  2. I think we as parents and educators need to look at how we are teaching this generation. If this younger generation thinks different than us we must find new ways to engage them that might be different than how we were engaged. This is why in my talk on media I say to parents/educators it is so important to understand this generation and the culture they live in so that we can engage them in a way that they need to be engaged.
  3.  In our church world I think we need to be asking are we engaging these next generations how we wanted to be engaged or how they need to be be engaged? Doing things because “That is the way we always do them” is not a really good solution to properly engaging anyone. If those things we are doing are actually engaging students than keep it up but if they are not we need to look at how WE can change.

Anyway, Love to hear anyone else’s thoughts on this.
Talk to you soon
Brett

Instagram’s Newest Feature Is Incredibly Important

Social media is getting more and more isolating. Really excited to see this sort of positive engagement by a social media company. (Thanks Jeff Smyth for sending it)

We use Instagram to share photos of the beauty around us, the delicious meals we’ve eaten or created, and our personal highs. But it is a social network, and we also use it to share our feelings when we’re sad, upset, or when we need some moral support. Today, Instagram made some subtle but important changes to its app. Now, if you see a friend post something that feels like a cry for help, you can do something about it — without being confrontational.
Click here to read the entire article.
Another great article on Instagram’s #perfectlyme campaign  – Click here

Has our technology surpassed our human interactions?

The other week my parents took my family out for breakfast. I was watching my daughter and son talking to my father and my wife was talking to my mother. I looked around the restaurant for a second and what I saw was incredible. In the entire restaurant there was not a single child (teen, young adult) who was not on some sort of iPhone or iPad. 20+ tables and everyone was ignoring everyone at their table and in their own world. Even the parents were not much better. Over 50% of the parents were on their phones. One table had 2 kids and 4 adults (+2 grandparents). Both the kids and all the adults were on their phones and the grandparents were just staring blankly at everyone.

“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”

I think we have reached that day. Our human interactions are clearly suffering due to the technology in our lives. Side note: this quote is often said to be Albert Einstein. It is not.

The Quote Investigator points out that there is no absolute evidence to prove that Albert Einstein ever said this.

The quote(s) in question was in fact derived from the 1995 movie “Powder“.  Near the end of the film, there is a dialogue between Powder played by Sean Patrick Flanery and a character named Donald Ripley, a physics teacher, played by Jeff Goldblum.

Donald Ripley: It has become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity.

Powder: Albert Einstein.

Donald Ripley: When I look at you, I have hope that maybe one day our humanity will surpass our technology.

click here for this article

So what do we do with this issue. Here are some thoughts:

  1. When you go out to  restaurant I think families should make a rule about technology. In my house we do NOT let our kids bring their iPads in. Eating out is a time for interaction between people. We will talk and engage in conversation throughout the meal. My daughter has an iPhone and she is allowed to bring it but she knows it will not be out the entire meal. Are there times you will check a phone for something during a meal … sure. You might be checking movie times for later that day or planning out something on your schedule. These things are short periods of time on your phone and you should get back to regular conversation quickly.
  2. We need have some time during the day where we are not “available” on our phones. I am trying to turn off my phone around 8:30-9pm each night. I will answer emails, texts and phone calls the next day when I get up.
  3. Even when we are at home I think we need these rules. I know some families who collect all the phones in a basket for dinner. One family I know put all the phones in a large pot and by mistake put then pot on the stove onto the hot burner. 4 melted iPhone 6’s later they have decided that they will not be using a pot anymore. 🙂
  4. I think that some families are so disconnected that you might need to work on conversation. How about each person at the table answers “How was your day today? Say something good and something bad that happened to you today?
  5. I think these things are great discussion in your yearly family meeting (see blog on family meetings here)

What rules do you have in your house?

Do you think we technology has surpassed human interaction?