The other day I was sitting in my neighborhood Starbucks surrounded by the chatter of conversation and people hunched over their laptops or newspapers. At one table, however, something remarkable was going on.
As a college professor, I made a radical decision about a year ago: I banned smartphones and laptops during class. Honestly, I can’t compete with Facebook or an Internet flash sale or texts from friends. My students now take their notes the old-fashioned way with pen on paper. And it turns out that students who take notes by hand learn better.
Am I the only person left on earth who prefers hearing someone laugh instead of reading LOL? The 40-year-old man I've started dating must think I’m pretty funny because he texts me LOL a lot. In fact, he texts me all the time. His hearts and smiley faces look sweet on my cellphone, but the acronyms he uses often send me searching on the Internet for what the heck he is saying to me.
Do you return to work from holidays and vacations to find dozens or hundreds of emails? I do, but I’m doing something about it: I’m unsubscribing from any email I don’t actually want or need. I figure once I’m done, I’ll have about 10 minutes a day back — about an hour a week for self-improvement or daydreaming.
I lived in Stockholm for two years after college and doggedly learned Swedish, even though most Swedes speak beautiful English. Not only could I communicate better with then-tiny (now giant) Swedish nephews, turns out it was a good move for my brain. Learning a second language - even as an adult - helps protect the brain from aging, says a new study published in the Annals of Neurology.
We're all familiar with the scene, especially after the Passover and Easter holidays. The extended family sits down to dinner and a grandchild starts whining that he's not hungry or eats the mashed potatoes with her hands or takes a dive under the table. As grandparents, we're tempted to take charge and correct the behavior, but the wisest among us won't say a word.
I grew up in Brooklyn at a time when there were many sets of parental eyes watching over us. Riding bikes, playing stoopball or jumping rope on the sidewalk, we knew, without having to think about it, that we were safe.
You may not be surprised to hear this, but while 18- to 29-year-olds are split about 50-50 on texting their parents (versus calling), three-quarters of their parents would rather talk on the phone than send texts back and forth.
Q: Why is it that when a couple is trying to communicate, the conversation can get lost when one spouse gets upset before the problem is resolved? The conversation then becomes about arguing and isn't productive. How does one fix this?
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