How Often Do You Have a Meaningful Conversation?

Technological advances can bring about some strange occurrences, including some that would seem to have no basis in logic. In the case of computers and smartphones, it has never been easier (or cheaper) to communicate with anyone anywhere in the world, but the amount of meaningful conversation people engage in seems to have dropped in recent years.

Something to definitely decline has been our attention span. There is so much fighting for our attention, from the internet to email to our phones, people seem to live in bubbles. Yes, we talk to co-workers, servers in restaurants, people helping us in stores, and members of our immediate family, but when was the last time you had a prolonged, intimate conversation with someone where secrets were shared and truths realized?

One of the goals of technology is to make life easier and yet, with all of these innovations, we seem to have less spare time than ever because there are so many things demanding our attention. Many of us spend entire workdays staring at screens and then spend most of our spare time doing the same thing. Conversation has been reduced to a bizarre form of shorthand in many instances, like instant messaging with its abbreviated spellings and emojis. It is not only that we don’t seem to have time anymore for a meaningful conversation, it’s almost like many of us no longer even remember how to do it.

So, how do we change this? First of all, set limits on your device use. Make plans to do things with other people who are observing the same “no phone use” rule and keep them. Think about all of the good things that come from such interactions and build upon them, increasing your social network. Then turn other people on to the same lifestyle change.

Is Your Child or Teen Obese?

There is growing concern around the world about obesity. Being overweight is bad for your body in a number of ways, including negatively impacting your blood pressure and heart function, as well as leading to diseases like diabetes.

While weight problems are occurring across all age groups, there is particular concern regarding children. Diabetes used to be a disease that affected people in middle age, but now some children are getting Type II diabetes. It is a true shame that anyone should have to deal with the scourge of diabetes, but to have it at such a young age is truly tragic.

CTV News reported today that the childhood obesity rate is ten times what it was in 1975. If that were not disturbing enough, should the trend continue upwards at this rate, it will not be that many years before there are more obese children than those at their proper weight.

There are a number of factors that can lead to childhood obesity. In decades past, the finger was usually pointed at television for making children sedentary. Now, of course, there are a multitude more entertainment options, including computers, videogames, and smart phones. The result is more and more children spending less time playing sports and exercising in favour of sitting in front of a screen and not working off those extra calories.

Experts have wrestled with what the right answer is. If it is such a challenge to get children more interested in physical activity, then it would seem that the only answer is to strictly police their diet. That means a proper and nutritious menu of food, with little or no junk and excess sugar. As anyone who is trying to lose weight will tell you, it takes tremendous willpower, so it is tough to imagine that most children will be able to adhere to such a plan, sadly.