WHAT IS A FACEBOOK FAST?

“Every time I scroll through Facebook, I see an acquaintance bragging about their dynamic spiritual life, perfectly obedient children, and vibrant career. I want that for my life, but I seriously don’t know where they find the time.” (echurch quote)
Facebook has become the idol of many. Facebook is the connection tool from February 4, 2004, created by two Harvard University students to keep the classmates in touch with profiles, posts and pictures. Now some 2 billion people use Facebook, some checking Facebook multiple times per day. Mobile FB has made it easy for users to check their status or their friend’s status many times throughout the day sometimes creating an addiction to “likes” and “shares”.

The problem is, while we connect with others we have found ourselves drowning in a pool of information, an addiction to “being in the loop” and a host of other philosophical dilemmas. Facebook addiction is common and there is even a Facebook Addiction Test online. (Now I know you are secretly going to see how you score on it – aren’t you?).
Maybe it is time for a Facebook fast. Occasionally I will read someone post, “I’m going to be off Facebook for a while.” Or, another will dramatically comment, “I can’t take the drama anymore – getting off FB.”

A Facebook fast is when a time is set aside away from Facebook for vacation, renwed focus or a fresh mental picture of life. Maybe it is time to take a Facebook Fast, let’s look at the next few reasons why a person would want to take a season of time to withdraw from Facebook.

FOCUS ON INVESTING IN INSPIRATION From Facebook to face look. Honestly, we could spend more time in prayer, Bible reading, and reflection, if we prayed to the proportionate amount of time we have been spending on FB we could settle into  peaceful and fulfilling spiritual refreshment.

CREATE REAL RELATIONSHIPS Instead of having platonic relationships via the computer, step into the real world and strengthen a relationship that is waning or fractured. Invite someone to have a cup of coffee or get together with another couple for lunch.

One of the major, hidden mental and emotional dangers of FB is to compare my life with my FB friends. Examine the list below and evaluate how many times we have compared ourselves to someone’s post.

WOW! Look where they went on vacation
My friend’s marriage is more romantic than mine
There children are so much better behaved
They have the dream life – my life is so ordinary
My friends just got a new car – we are still driving a “Junker”
How come they get to do that?
They must have a lot of money

“LIKES” AND “SHARES” DON”T DETERMINE YOUR SELF VALUE If we get minimal “likes” we have a bad day but if we get elevated “likes” it changes our mood and our emotions. There are people who really care for you but don’t express it openly on FB. Value is determined by who you are not a fabricated or perceived lifestyle on FB.

DEPRESSION ABATED Deep concern over our Facebook image can bring about bouts of depression. Finding ourselves with “nothing exciting to post” can bring us to a state of withdraw and intense loneliness. Connecting digitally while avoiding personal encounters can be damaging in our psychological and/or physical health. Taking a break and spending quality time with our family, friends or relatives can create healing bonds and emotional outlets. Having a week or month of not comparing weight, looks, opportunities, children, homes and other subjects could lead to a happier and more satisfying life.

FOCUS ON IMPORTANT ISSUES Is it just me or have you noticed how magnetized a person is to their phone, tablet or laptop while missing moments with their spouse, their children, their friends or other acquaintances? Several guests are having an important conversation and they are sitting in a corner sharing a comical post on FB. A FB fast may bring a renewed focus on what is important. Certainly we will have more time to devote to a hobby, family or other activities.

Let’s take a FB Break or a FB fast and give our emotions, mind and family a break. (Even though I’ll be participating in a FB Fast several posts may appear on FB through a Twitter post or with Buffer).Do you think a FB would help your family? What’s your thoughts about a FB Break?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal, counselling or professional advice.

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Four IPad tricks to use today!

imagesSo you may be getting a new IPad for Christmas but you aren’t for sure about the features to utilize or maybe, to discover, I picked up my IPad in March 2012 and use it everyday for pleasure and for business. You will want to load the Adobe Reader, Facebook, Flipboard, Twitter, Smart Office 2, Kindle reader and LinkedIn from the ITunes Store on your first day of ownership. These items are the basic tools I use nearly everyday.

Transferring Your Desktop Files I Use Dropbox for my backup storage of important files on my desktop. Once Dropbox is loaded on your IPad (again, go to the ITunes store and download the app), also, go to the Dropbox website (Dropbox.com) and download the desktop version. Copy and paste the files you want in Dropbox. Now, go to your IPad and click on the Dropbox app – there are your files ready to open, view, and read. (I am assuming your IPad has a WiFi connection).

Creating an App Find a website you like to visit often but there isn’t an app available? Simply go to the website in your Safari browser. Once you have located the Home page of the website then go to the top left of your browser, there will be a small box with an arrow proceeding to the right of the box. Click on it and it will bring up a Mail selection you can email the link to someone) or send the page to Twitter, Facebook or other selections. Go to Add to Home Screen (the App is illustrated for you), click it and it will add the App to your Home screen.

ICloud I personally like to backup my information on the cloud (a remote server) so I have went to the settings app, scrolled down till I found ICloud, selected Storage and Backup and made sure ICloud was turned on. On the previous page select the programs you wish to backup, use sparingly, you only receive 5.0 GB free (you can purchase more later if you choose). I definitely wanted my Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Find my IPad, Photo Stream and Documents and Date in the ON position. Lose your IPad or upgrade later and you will be able to go to the ICloud for your information.

One more trick, get a protective cover. A friend of mine put his IPad on the top of his car, he forgot about it, until his wife called later after she had driven off, the IPad had slid down the back of the car onto the pavement, however, upon recovery, nothing was broken. Get a cover, today!

Comment: What is an IPad trick you use regularly?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author

Facebooks Changes to Make Today

Qq6L1haQrYrFacebook  should have been named, “New Face Look” with the multiple changes and upgrades made over the last year. Some have been incremental others detrimental and others, just plain “mental!” Before you throw in the towel and give up on Facebook remember it is a unique contact book for finding your friends and sending them a quick message or seeing the 20 millionth picture of their grandkids, (ok, I plead, “guilty”).

Very quickly, let’s make three basic changes to your Facebook to help you feel a little more secure, have a little more sanity and have a little more ease when using Facebook.

I am using my IPad and on the top left of the News Feed on Facebook are three short horizontal bars. Click on it and you will find a long list of Favorites, Pages, Friends, Groups, Apps, and a few Account choices. Go to Account Settings and click to open. A new page will open with a list containing General, Notifications, Privacy etc., go to Privacy. Now, you will make three important choices:

Control Privacy When You Post You have three selections to choose to who you wish to post to; Public, Friends or Custom. I chose Friends; only the friends I have accepted to my Facebook account will see what I post.

Timeline and Tagging Who can post on your timeline? Here you can choose who can read your Timeline and who can Post on your Timeline. The one selection I made here I believe is worth repeating is the third question down, Review posts friends tag you in on your timeline. I selected ON. I want to be able to select the pictures and tags before they are posted on my Timeline.

Blocked People and Apps Click on Manage blocking and a new page should appear. This is a permanent block that keeps hackers, spammers or “just plain rude” people from coming to your Facebook page.

Comment: Have you found this post helpful? Are there changes you have made to your Facebook account that you would like to share?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author

Reading IPad Apps for the Holidays

The holiday season is filled with days off work, traveling and possibly, extra time to read. With the popularity of the IPad, Kindle and Nook, more people are reading digital books. Personally, I still like holding a real book in my hands and marking favorite lines and quotes with a highlighter. Yet, I still have nearly fifty ebooks on my IPad that I can pull up while I am waiting on an appointment, flying or taking some down time with a cup of coffee.

The IPad is flexible with several different reading apps, even Kindle and other formats. I particularly like the free books that are introduced within the app, there is no reason not to read, if you own an IPad. Here is a list of some of my favorite reading apps.

ibooks comes with the IPad, simply click on the app, on the upper left hand side select store. Itunes will open in the book section with a large selection of books to choose from. Choose by title or category. If you would like to start with the free books; simply go to the bottom of the page under, Quick Links and select Free Books. There you will find a good cross-section of free books, ranging from children’s books to recipe books; my favorite is 300 Chicken Recipes.

Newstand comes with IPad also, while most of the magazines and newspapers are subscription based; Lowes Creative Ideas is free and The New York Times is free. You might also find other free subscriptions you personally find an interest in.

Free Books is an audible book app boasting of 4,727 audio books for $3.99 each and 23,469 free classical ebooks. Find such classics as Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Socrates. Like most reading apps, you can select the size font you find comfortable and chapter headings are in a drop down box.

Kindle is the most popular reading app and works flawlessly with the Kindle downloads from Amazon or other sites where Kindle ebooks are sold. Amazon occasionally offers free Kindle downloads but you have to search for them. Amazon offers my new book, Highpoints, for the Kindle at  http://www.amazon.com/Highpoints-Those-Dare-Climb-ebook/dp/B00986Z9YE/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1352901154&sr=1-6 for just $3.99.

Logos Bible is my favorite Bible reading app. It offers parallel columns for additional Bible translations and commentaries. You can highlight, share or note the passage. You can select the correct font for your reading comfort and has a unique search feature. You will find the text easily navigated through for your reading pleasure.

Have fun reading this holiday season with your IPad but be sure and carry along  a good paperback too.

Comment: What reading apps do you find useful? Do you have a favorite book you would like to recommend?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author

Five Free Fun Apps

Ipads are a unique breed allowing for business, video, social media and reading. It isn’t just a book – it is a tool. It isn’t just a video player – it is a machine. While it is a productive piece of computer genius it includes the “lazy Saturday afternoon” ability to be a fun destination.

You can plan a trip to Colorado, watch the mountain webcams, choose your destination and make reservations and you can  watch videos of snow boarders while sitting at a coffee shop. All the while holding a computer the size of a small book. While the Ipad can be a serious productive tool, showing up where orders can be taken, pulpits and speaker stands, and classrooms. You can watch an Ipad, listen to an Ipad, search with an Ipad, play games with your Ipad, research with your Ipad, draw with your Ipad and the list goes on.

I have found five free fun apps that connect the Ipad to the recreational side when your waiting, sitting, doodling or taking a break. Here you go…

Flipboard I know you will want Facebook and Twitter but what if you could get both plus, USA Today, New York Times, Instagram and Technology News in one package. You can on Flipboard. It combines these and more into a magazine style app that you flip from page to page. You can LIKE, comment and Tweet articles and email from Flipboard. It has been advertised as a “social magazine.” It comes in an attractive format and can be downloaded from Itunes. It is free and it is fun but it also, complete.

YouVersion If you enjoy reading while you wait or relax then download YouVersion, the Bible app that allows for groups, bookmarks, notes and limited video lessons. You can use it as a social connector to find Bible groups in your area and you can share your favorite verse on Twitter and Facebook. It comes with different versions and allows for audio listening. It is also available for the IPhone.

TuneIn Radio If you would rather listen than read follow this link to this most comprehensive radio app. Allows for you to choose your favorite genre, station or location. Plays your favorites and gives you the opportunity to share on Twitter, Facebook or email the link. Here is the cool part. You can set your alarm to the station you choose and wake up to music or the news. Available for Iphone and Ipad.

Golfplan There may be several golf apps but this one includes instructional videos to help improve your game. Record your progress, analyze your strengths and weaknesses, plus sync with your calendar for upcoming tee times. Sign in and record your progress and sync between the Ipad and Iphone app. I downloaded for free but I just checked Itunes and the app now has a $4.99 charge.

TripAdvisor Either plan your next trip or dream of far off places with Tripadvisor, the leading authority on travel information. Find motels, restaurants and nearby things to do with ratings, price s and reviews. You can search flights but there are other apps that serve this purpose more adequately. Tripadvisor is one of the finest and most read advice reviews for travel. There is a forum you can join for conversations and information about your choice travel destinations.

Comment: What are some of your favorite fun apps??

Copyright by Jim Laudell.  Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author.

Free IPad Apps for Writers

If you are a writer, pastor, business person or blogger this post will help you find the best apps to use on your new Ipad. Using your Ipad everyday is the easy part but finding the apps that are free and the most productive is a trial and error process. You usually download the app, try it out, see if it fits your needs, and if not, delete it. But I have found the best way to download the right app is to follow those who have already tried the apps out and given me the update on their trial basis. This post will help you sort through millions of apps and find the right ones just for you. Even though we all differ a bit (lol) writers have a tendency to use the same basic set of tools.

Each of the apps will be chosen from Itunes and each will be exclusively for the Ipad.

WordPress The first app I would load on my Ipad as a blogger is the WordPress app. You can easily edit or create a new blog wherever you may be with your Ipad. However, I feel it has some limitations that need to be addressed but regardless it is a powerful tool that allows for posting, editing, and checking stats.

Dropbox If you are going to be writing and picking up your manuscript on multiple computers then Dropbox is a great storage tank for your files.  Save your files into Dropbox and pick them up where you left off on another computer.

Wikipanion We all need a research tool and Wikipanion is a great online encyclopedia to have at your fingertips; you can access Wikipedia whenever you are on your Ipad.

Ghostwriter This is my favorite note taker with various tools, such as, appointment/action items sheet, different writing instruments and choices of backgrounds. You can write notes, draw pictures or paste a photograph and then save to Dropbox or Evernote

Evernote This is hands down one of the most useful filing systems for your Ipad notes, sermons, files or receipts. You can label each file, store your papers, and retrieve on any electronic device that has Evernote installed on it. You can’t organize without this one.

Wunderlist This app enables the user to creat a to-do list on a colorful background, ave according to due date but lacks an export button.

SmartOffice2 For those who still use the Microsoft Suite including Word, then you can transform your Word documents and actually edit them inside SmartOffice 2. It will bring documents up from Google Docs and Dropbox, a great plus. (Since I received my copy of Smart Office 2 it is no longer free on Itunes and the price is $9.99)

Logos Bible This app allows you to read commentary side by side the biblical text. You can highlight a text, do a word search and download additional study guides, many of them are free.

Comment: What apps do you find useful as a blogger, pastor or writer?

Copyright by Jim Laudell.  Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author.

IPad Creations

Ever looked for an app of one of your favorite online sites only to be disappointed because it is not created yet? It is a hassle to go to the browser, type in the location, then wait for it to download. Seems to me there should be a quicker or easier way – now there is on the IPad 3.

This happened to me. I was frequently going to the same site, I bookmarked it but would have rather went to my home screen to click on the app and bring up the site. Now I found what I was looking for and it was right under my nose.

Go to your Safari browser on your IPad3 and go to the site that you frequently go to by typing in the address or clicking your bookmark. Once you are there; go to the symbol of a little box with the arrow proceeding out of the top, you will notice under Add a Bookmark, the words, Add to Home Screen. Click and it will add an app to your home screen – now, when you click on the app it will quickly go to your favorite site.

Comment below: Are there other creative ways to use this Add to Home Screen button?

Copyrighted by Jim Laudell. Material contained in this post cannot be reproduced or copied without permission from the author.