Tech Notes for Catholic Families

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Each week on Thursday at 5:50 am PT, I have the pleasure of appearing for a short segment on the Son Rise Morning Show with Brian Patrick. Brian and I chat about the latest “tech” news that impacts upon Catholic families.  I’ve decided to begin regularly sharing the links and topics here at CatholicMom.com in case you have an interest in “wired family” topics.  To listen to the radio segment, click here.  Here are the topics I’ll be looking at for this week’s show:

  • Facebook Messaging – This week, social networking giant Facebook announced a new messaging platform that will incorporate email, texting, and Facebook messages as they currently exist on the site.  The ramification for parents:  this will allow your child to receive contacts and communications from anyone that they have “friended” on Facebook, and may also let them receive contacts from “friends of friends” and others, depending upon how they configure their privacy settings.  Some teens also have their Facebook linked with mobile devices and could begin receiving even more texts than usual.  We’ll watch this story as it unfolds over the next few months, but — as always — parents need to be very vigilant about their teens’ use of social networking sites and privacy settings.
  • Bishops Urged to Embrace Social Media – At this week’s Fall Assembly of the USCCB, Bishop Ronald Herzog of Alexandria, Louisiana, a member of the USCCB Communications Committee delivered an important address urging his brother bishops to embrace the potential of social media.  This doesn’t necessarily mean more “Facebooking” bishops, but hopefully it means that their staffs will receive the funding and policy permissions necessary to effectively utilize social media in ministering to Catholic families.  As parents, we need support and guidance from our spiritual shepherds in forming our children’s consciences around the use of these tools.
  • Parents Television Council Report – From the PTC website, news on this newly released look at the prevelance of television programming online: “In a new report, the Parents Television Council™ found that four of the most popular online distributors of commercially-generated video are failing to protect kids from explicit content. PTC’s report, “Untangling the Web of Internet Video” is the most comprehensive on the matter to date and includes Hulu (NBC/Universal, Fox and Disney/ABC), Fancast (Comcast), /Slashcontrol (AOL) and AT&T. Each provider was graded on the effectiveness of its content ratings, homepage content decency, advertiser accountability and parental controls.”  Read the report here.
  • Cell Phones and Cancer Risks – The New York Times reported again this week on cell phone manufacturers advising consumers to hold mobile devices at a distance from their head and ears.  Pregnant women are also advised to keep phones away from the abdomen.  Children’s use of these devices should also be limited to avoid radiation exposure.

Check back next Wednesday for our next Tech Notes update and be sure to join me Thursday at 8:50 am ET/5:50 am PT on the Son Rise Morning Show with Brian Patrick.

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About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

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