Talk More, Text Less With Adult Children

In accepting the Oscar for best supporting actor last week, J.K. Simmons didn’t dwell on thanking the Academy and the Whiplash crew. Instead, he exhorted, “Call your mom, dad everybody. If you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two alive, call them! Don’t text, don’t email. Call them. Listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you.” The 60-year-old actor later told reporters that message was prompted by his realization that he had missed too many opportunities …

Intergenerational Selfies With a Purpose

A selfie can’t change the world — or can it, just a little? That’s the hope behind two social media campaigns right now: Grantmakers in Aging’s #GenTogether and Age UK’s #NotByMySelfie. My heart did a dance when I spotted them on Twitter this month. They’re certainly not the first nonprofits to mobilize people via personal snaps, but they’re the first I’ve seen to honor intergenerational connection this way. They’re calling for friends, families, neighbors, coworkers and caregivers of all ages …

Who Will Tend Your Memory on Facebook?

A couple of years ago at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, I met a guy in a superhero costume promoting his start-up, which he cheekily called Dead Social. His company’s mission statement: “Prepare for a Digital Death and Build Your Digital Legacy.” Start-up founder James Norris was onto something then, and Facebook this week joined digital giants Google and Apple in acknowledging that questions of what to do with your digital persona after death now loom large …

10 New Year’s Resolutions to Prevent Scams

Pledging to drop pounds might be the most popular New Year’s resolution, but consider adding these 10 simple steps to reduce your risk of scams in 2015 and beyond: Get your credit report – three times a year. Only about 1 in 6 Americans check their credit reports annually with each of the three credit bureaus, and 1 in 4 check with only one bureau, AARP has found. Bad move, since everyone is entitled to three freebies per 12 months at AnnualCreditReport.com. It’s …

Why Phoning Your Children Just Isn’t Enough

The medium is the message, Marshall McLuhan famously noted. And in a touch screen world, our relationships with our adult children improve with the more communications media we use. While millennials enjoy chatting on the phone or Skype, they also want parents to “lurk” on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media so we can follow (not intrusively, though) their lives. That’s the finding of a study by University of Kansas doctoral student Jennifer Schon. “We found that young adults …

Social Media Could Make New Strides for Civil Rights

Updated 11/18/14 The third in a series celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. If the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom had used Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media to draw people to Washington, what would have been different about that great gathering on the National Mall? That question kicked off a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday forum discussion this year. The conversation has grown from what could have happened …