Kids Multi-tasking Internet & TV

Posted on: 03/12/08 8:29 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Any youth worker or parent who has read anything about this young generation has frequently seen the word “multi-tasking.” Today’s kids can multi-task like no generation before them.

Media Life came out with an article yesterday about kids browsing the internet WHILE watching TV and how marketers are using this opportunity. TV watchers have probably noticed this phenomenon in the last year. You can’t watch American Idol or even a football game without being repeatedly pitched to jump on their web site and vote or participate in a poll. You might not be responding to these plea’s… but our kids are.

According to the above article:

overall 64 percent of kids go online while watching TV. Just under half do so frequently, between three times a week and several times a day.

It also found that 73 percent of those who are watching TV while online are engaged in active multitasking. That’s up dramatically from the 55 percent of kids who said they had engaged in active multitasking back in 2002.

Some 50 percent said they had visited a web site in direct response to something they’d seen while watching TV. That’s up from 41 percent.

Some 35 percent said they had sent an email or instant message to someone who was watching the same TV show, compared to 18 percent in 2002.

Further, one third said they went online to participate in polls, contests or games after television programs have directed them to while still watching the tube. That’s up from 21 percent.

Another interesting thing to come out in the study is that when kids are on the internet while watching TV, it’s the internet that tends to hold their attention as the primary medium.

I found that last fact fascinating– when in comes to engaging in internet and TV simultaneously, the internet wins in the fight for attention. Perhaps because it is “interactive” by definition.

More on this research in this article. (thanks for this one Anastasia)

Today’s teenagers have never known the world without the internet. That, combined with all the other gadgets readily available to them has created a generation of media junkies who can handle more than a couple mediums at once. I talk about this in Chapter Four (click here for that chapter in article form on our web site) in my book THE NEW BREED, describing how to recruit today’s young professional as a volunteer.

Years ago every report was about the effects of TV– families who leave the TV on during homework or during dinner. Now we’re seeing a shift to people doing everything “while browsing the internet.”



TV Pilots Going Too Far

Posted on: 03/11/08 10:46 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Is it just me, or is the trash we see on that screen in our living room getting a little trashier?

Wow… it’s been hard to find clean television entertainment lately. My wife Lori and I tried some more new TV pilots lately. We’ve noticed something: every pilot had a sex scene. The new show “Unhitched” included a monkey watching two people having sex. The monkey pulled down its pants and jumped on them to join in. In the next scene we see a proctologist examining the guy’s butt assessing the damage. (Yes… this was on Fox)

USA Today’s Bill Keveney puts it this way.

“Take a couple having sex, add an aroused orangutan, and you’ve got an opening scene worthy of a Farrelly Brothers film. That it’s in a network TV comedy, ‘Unhitched,’ might raise some eyebrows.”

You can read more about the show here.

Now I haven’t seen every pilot, but of the four we’ve watched in the last month, four had sex scenes.


Wow! We’ve come a long way since Gilligan’s Island.

The “Lyrics Survey” Results

Posted on: 03/10/08 10:43 AM | by Jonathan McKee

I’ve been receiving emails asking me about the results of our music “lyrics” survey. As many of you remember, in a past blog I asked you to survey your kids about whether they think the lyrics affect them.

It all started with the discussion about Soulja Boy’s song and what those lyrics mean. I noticed that a girl in a chat room wrote:

i love this song, and

I don’t care what the lyrics mean


This prompted some comments, and before we knew it, we were surveying you to see what your kids thought.

I wanted you to know that we collected, tallied, and analyzed the results. The Source’s David R. Smith just wrote up a YOUTH CULTURE WINDOW article about it that is on our front page now (look for the magnifying glass) and will appear in this week’s EZINE NEWSLETTER. (If you don’t already get our ministry’s free weekly EZINE, jump on any page of our website now and sign up in the upper right hand corner!)

I think you’ll find the results fascinating!

Funny Church Signs

Posted on: 03/7/08 1:43 PM | by Jonathan McKee

I guess there is more than one way to try to get someone to go to church!

I don’t know if a big sign, “Go to Church or the Devil Will Get You!” convinces you… it wouldn’t convince me. But these signs are entertaining to look at none the less.

The UK’s Times Online provides a fun little galary of these pics. Just click on the little multimedia link that says “Funny Church Signs.”

Posted in Church, Humor |  | Leave A Comment

Married Men Will Want to Read This!

Posted on: 03/6/08 9:58 AM | by Jonathan McKee

I guess you could file this one under the “duh” factor… but it’s nice to see it in print.

So, to all you married guys out there, here’s a “post-Valentines” Associated Press headline for you that you’ll want to pay attention to: Men Who Do Housework May Get More Sex.

Yahoo News reports:

American men still don’t pull their weight when it comes to housework and child care, but collectively they’re not the slackers they used to be. The average dad has gradually been getting better about picking himself up off the sofa and pitching in, according to a new report in which a psychologist suggests the payoff for doing more chores could be more sex.


Well… I’d love to keep writing… but I gotta go vaccuum!


Lori “Owns” Surfing Leaving Jonathan in Her Wake

Posted on: 03/5/08 11:48 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Yesterday I shared with you that my wife Lori and I were going surfing (we’re on vacation celebrating 17 years of marriage- HEY, NO OLD JOKES!!!) We did, and Lori “owned” (to use my kids’ words for “showing me up!”).

Neither of us have surfed before. So we showed up for a lesson and were each handed a huge “barge” of a surfboard that a Rhino could get up on. The slogan of this “surf school” is “For beginners and cowards!”

Now you have to realize that it was a HUGE ordeal for me to get Lori to even get out on the ocean on a board. She is scared to death of sharks and was sure that she would be shark meat regardless of any statistics you throw at her. But she made the mistake of mentioning to me how fun surfing would be and I jumped on it before she had a chance to change her mind.

So here we are yesterday at the “surf shop” getting ready. The day started out hilarious as they handed us these “rash guard” covers for our upper body (long sleeve shirts) so we wouldn’t get all scraped up. Then they told Lori that she should wear some long shorts to protect her from scraping up her legs. So they dress her up like a clown and I can’t stop laughing. Here’s my cute little wife who was wearing this cute little swim suit… and now she looks like something between a clown and a colorblind tourist in blue floral print (not that my red outfit was much better).

My laughing was short lived. It was time to surf.

After a quick “land lesson,” our instructor Ikeka took us out on the water. Lori rides the first wave all the way in and I fall flat on my butt. A photographer was there to document the whole thing. Look! Lori stays up even when I wipe out next to her, knocking my board into hers.

It takes me about four times before I really got the hang of it. Meanwhile, all the instructors are gawking at Lori because (despite her clownsuit), she’s trying all these cool things that the instructer is telling her like switching to fakey (jumping off the board and switching the other direction mid-wave). And then… I kid you not… she does another trick… she puts her feet together, faces backwards and rides it backwards!!!

She showed me up big time.

But we had a blast and got to ride a few in together.

Yes, the biggest wave we experienced was about 4 feet. Yes, our boards were barges. Real surfers would have laughed at us. But we had a blast. And Lori’s a lot more sore than me this morning! Ha!

If you’re married and haven’t done something like this together… I recommend it.

Posted in Family, Humor, Personal |  | Leave A Comment

A Dab of News to Know

Posted on: 03/4/08 10:34 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Surfing, Kid Rock arrested, American Idol contestant a stripper, new iPod technology, Moses and the Israelites stoned??? What do these have to do with each other?

Blogs are short and sparse of late… I’m on vacation with my wife Lori celebrating 17 years of marriage (Wow, I sound old!). We’re having a blast in a tropical getaway, our first time really away for a week in a spot like this (it seems like so many of our vacations are attached to a speaking trip to save money, travel, etc. This vacation is truly 100% VACATION. Wow!) My parents are taking care of our three kiddos (learning what it’s like to taxi three kids to different activities… they’ll sleep well when we’re back), so very cool of them.

I am very excited about today. This morning I talked Lori into going surfing. No, we don’t surf. But we’re going this morning. It’s amazing because all my wife talks about is sharks and somehow I still convinced her to go. I’ll report back about that. The vacation is a nice break. 

Anyway… back to blogging- some quick random news for you to know. (I always like to keep you updated with the stuff your kids might be talking about… or stuff that’s just interesting to me. Hey… it’s my blog!)

In the media, all the talk is about American Idol contestant David Hernandez who used to strip for a living a Phoenix… at a male strip club. CNN reports:

The 24-year-old finalist from Glendale, Arizona, once worked as a stripper at Dick’s Cabaret, appearing fully nude and performing lap dances for the club’s “mostly male” clientele, club manager Gordy Bryan said Monday.

“He had the look and the type that people like, so he made pretty good money here,” Bryan said.

It’s not clear whether a history as a stripper could disqualify Hernandez from the competition. In 2003, finalist Frenchie Davis was dismissed because of her appearance on an adult Web site; but last year, Antonella Barba remained in the competition after racy photos of her surfaced on the Internet.

(updated)TV Guide spoke with Idol’s executive producer about the situation in this interview. Here’s a snippet: Will the revelations about David’s stripper past have any impact on whether he stays on the show?

Ken Warwick: No, it won’t make any difference. The truth is, we’re never judgmental about what people do to earn a living. They’ve got to put food in people’s mouths. We’ve had strippers on the show before. Nikki McKibbon was one in [Season] 1. We’re never judgmental about people who do things like that. If it were some sort of heavy porn, then maybe we’d have to take action. But certainly not on this. Were you aware of his past before it was reported?

Warwick: No, I wasn’t. [Laughs] But the truth of the matter is, it wouldn’t have made any difference. There are a lot of people I know who’d love to have the opportunity just to make a better living by taking their clothes off.


And another celeb in trouble. Outspoken musician Kid Rock got himself arrested for punching, kicking and hitting a victom with a chair in a Waffle House. Do I need to even say anything further about this?

The techno side of me just collided with my interest in working out in this news piece. Nike and Apple are working together to make the iPod compatable with gym equipment. I’ve been keeping my eyes open for anything iPod of late with the launch of our new podcast for teenagers. But this side article caught my attention:

The companies announced Tuesday that they are working with gym equipment manufacturers and health clubs to allow members to plug their iPod Nano into cardio equipment to track workouts, set goals and upload the information to a Nike Web site.

And in ludicrous news, I sure hope no one believes this:

The biblical Israelites may have been high on a hallucinogenic plant when Moses brought the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai, according to a new study by an Israeli psychology professor.


Will Teenagers iBible?

Posted on: 03/2/08 11:16 AM | by Jonathan McKee

The podcast is called A Li’l Bit. It’s a weekly 10 minute Bible study for teenagers. It’s free, it’s quick, it gets them in the Word, and it provides application and a reading challenge for the rest of the week.

The idea is this: we’ve seen more Christian teenagers carrying iPods than Bibles (sadly, even at church camps and retreats). So, why not provide yet another way to get the Word into their heads… through their earphones.

In last week’s EZINE I shared about this and linked a report about podcast use among teenagers. Over 50% do listen to podcasts. More importantly, 78% of teenagers have a portable media player, of which 82% are iPods. If youth workers publicize the convenient little iBible-study to their Christian students struggling to get in the Word, chances are they will give it a shot.

We just launched the podcast a week ago with three episodes already– the fourth will be launching today. Last week we announced it for the first time in our EZINE. So far the responses have been very postive. But I’m curious what you think. If you have a few moments, do me this favor:

  • Jump on A Li’l Bit’s web site and check it out.
  • Click on the link for any of the episodes (using the iPod controls on the site- pretty cool) and give a listen to an episode or two.
  • Use iTunes comment feature to post a comment if you like it.
  • Feel free to comment here in this blog as well. We’d love your feedback.
  • Most importantly, spread the word to your kids. Send your kids an email and have them subscribe to this free podcast. We’re all about getting the Word in their heads!