Tag Archives: social media

Helping our children ‘find the good life’

I recently took a week off from social media. One of my main goals with that extra free time was to get my nose back in a book again. Reading daily, not just tweets and articles, but back to my list of unread classics.

Sadly, my time spent reading has decreased dramatically with the increase in my use of social media. And I’d been feeling I needed to change that.

Before I got to my list, though, I wanted to read/listen to Ben Sasse’s new book, The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis, with our two teenage kids. The perfect opportunity to do that was while we were driving during a quick road trip to visit the Lincoln presidential museum and historical sites.

Ben-Sasse-The-Vanishing-American-Adult-900

Sasse says families should develop practices to prepare their kids to become “fully formed, vivacious, appealing, resilient, self-reliant, problem-solving souls who see themselves as called to love and serve their neighbors.”

And how do they do that? Learning the value of hard work, developing multi-generational relationships, traveling and – wait for it – reading.

Coincidence? Probably not. I knew I needed to do better. And Sasse’s book reinforced that.

It’s not enough for us to encourage our children to read, however. They need to see us setting the example of being readers ourselves.

When we returned from our road trip, we all headed to our home library to pick out some books we hadn’t read yet. And a trip to the public library followed.

One of the most important things I’ve discovered over the years, with two very different children, is that letting them choose what they want to read, not what we want them to read, is vital.

We struggled with our oldest and reading for years. Then one day, he checked out the first Percy Jackson book from the library and devoured it. And the next in the series and the next. It opened up a new world of him wanting to read instead of us feeling like we had to force him to read.

Katherine Paterson, who wrote two of my favorite books, Bridge to Terabithia and The Great Gilly Hopkins, said: “The wonderful thing about books is that they allow us to enter imaginatively into someone else’s life. And when we do that, we learn to sympathize with other people. But the real surprise is that we also learn truths about ourselves, about our own lives, that somehow we hadn’t been able to see before.”

I think that’s one of the things Sasse was talking about in his book.

“Our goal is for our kids to be intentional about everything they do — to reject passivity and mindless consumption and to embrace an ethos of action, of productivity, of meaningful work, of genuinely lifelong learning,” Sasse writes. “In other words, we want them to find the good life.”


Are you following us yet?

That they might have joy column for Nodaway News Leader by Jacki Wood

 

Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being.” – Mahatma Gandhi

I joined Facebook in April 2007 as a way to stay in touch with family. I recently looked back at some of my first posts and they were mainly just conversations between my sister, Amy, and me. It has changed a lot since then and I have changed how I use it, although one of the best things about it is keeping in touch with family and friends all across the country and around the world.

Then in March 2009, I joined Twitter and hated it. Like a lot of new technology, and even social media, I didn’t really get it. Only 140 characters per tweet? No thanks. And who cares what some celebrity is eating for breakfast. But I kept hearing about what a great tool it was for journalists. Really, it’s all in who you follow. I use it to learn. I get my local, national and worldwide news from it daily. And I can keep up with BYU athletics more readily.

And then I jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon, which I use to find recipes, plan road trips, gather ideas for family reunions, hairstyles, holidays, the home – and thousands of other things.

I started using Instagram in May 2012 as a fun way to edit my road trip pictures and see more of the world around me.

Now I realize not everything about social media is good. I recently took a six-week hiatus from Facebook. I came back refreshed, made some changes and love using it again. But I do advocate moderation in all of this.

So why am I sharing about my social media use?

Well, I also manage the social media accounts of the Nodaway News Leader. After reading about how businesses were getting involved, I advocated the NNL get on board. In August of 2009, we joined Facebook and Twitter, and in the years since, added YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. It’s been quite a ride.

I love that I can be sitting in my home, three hours from Nodaway County, and watch the Spoofhounds (@Spoofhound1) play football on Leader Live Action and tweet that Brody McMahon (@mcmahon_34) just scored a TD for the Hounds or that Jacob Cacek (@BigSauce_05) came up with a big sack.

Or that the new North-West Nodaway football co-op (@NNMustangs and @West_Nodaway) won its first game.

Or retweet that the Jefferson (@JC123Eagles) girls softball team won 15-2. Or the South Nodaway (@SouthNodawayFAN) softball team defeated Albany.

Or share events happening at Mozingo Lake (MozingoLake), at the university (@NWMOSTATE) or with Big Brothers Big Sisters (@BBBSNodaway), just to name a few.

On Twitter, in addition to live-tweeting games and scores, we also tweet school and community events, post content from our website and information we feel our followers might find worthwhile.

On Facebook, we share lots of photos, stories and fun and distribute news, information and alerts.

On Instagram, we post photos (obviously) of high school sports, community events and more.

On Pinterest, we share recipes on our Good Eats board that correlate with those in the paper, holiday fun and informative boards like local schools, businesses and elected officials.

We have a small staff and are limited in covering all of Nodaway County, its community governments, events and nine school districts for the paper.

The same can be said about our social media accounts.

But we are always looking at ways to improve. I try to stay up on the latest trends (they move very quickly), what people want and ways to better connect with you, our readers and followers.

What works for some, doesn’t work for others, though. So please feel free to email me at jwood@nodawaynews.com with your suggestions, complaints and compliments. Or, better yet, tweet me at @jackijwood. I’d love to hear from you.

You can also tweet the paper at @NodawayNews or the rest of the staff: Kay Wilson, publisher/owner, @KWilsonNNL; Dustin Henggeler, sports reporter, @DHenggeler; Kathryn Rice, reporter, @Kathsmagic; Tiffany Whipple, advertising rep, @tiffwhipple; and Brent Barnett, videographer, @25Barnett.

Neal Schaffer, author of “Maximize Your Social,” said: “Social media replaces nothing – but complements everything.”

We’re still the same Nodaway News Leader, bringing you good news and covering all of Nodaway County, but we’re just complementing it more socially.

So if you’re not already, give us a follow on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. We’d love to connect.