Social Networking Growth Explodes

Posted on: 06/4/09 9:27 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Just when you thought Facebook couldn’t get any bigger…

Social Networking (MySpace, Facebook, etc.) continues to grow and expand, reaching new age groups and slowly replacing good ol’ email.

You know… those little quizes like “What are you doing right now?” Or “25 Random Things About Me.” According to a recent Nielsen Online study, the latter quiz took 13.9 billion minutes of our time this year, compared to only 1.7 billion last year. “That’s a 700 percent increase,” as this Yahoo Tech News article puts it.

Great article. I encourage you to read it. Other interesting tidbits from it:

  • Twitter saw a 3712 percent year-over-year increase, clocking in nearly 300,000 total minutes for that site in April 2009
  • MySpace still rules the video streams. Users spent 384 million minutes viewing video on MySpace in April vs only 113.5 on Facebook
  • Facebook holds our attention more than any other site
  • People like blogs and social networks better than email
  • The greatest growth for Facebook has come from the 35- to 49-year-old crowd, and has added twice as many 50- to 64-year-old members than it did of the under- 18 group.


Personally… I’m not sure that these trends are healthy. Even though technology can be a positive thing, I don’t like how much it’s replacing face to face conversation. Don’t hear me wrong. I think these technologies can be great, when used in moderation. But there’s a point where we need to just say, “enough.”

I touch on this subject quite a bit in my upcoming book, Connect. (I’ve posted about this social isolation trend before)

I’ve been resisting the pressure to twitter, Facebook, etc. for a while now, with some criticism. But for me, personally, I have enough technology in my life. Any more, and it’s gonna start hindering my face to face relationships (with my wife and kids especially). So I will continue to use some technology (I text my son and my daughter, I use email and a social network site to keep tabs on friends), but I’m resisting others.

Marko (Youth Specialties CEO) made a recent decision to cut off his blog, Twittering, etc. He talks about it in his last blog post. I respect that decision. It’s an individual decision- one we have to moderate ourselves.

Food for thought!

(ht to David)

Surprised Once Again By MTV

Posted on: 06/3/09 9:37 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Those of you who are EZINE subscribers saw the article yesterday-it’s all over the front page of our web site. It was time for my annual recap of the MTV MOVIE AWARDS, aired last Sunday night. I recap this vulgar show every year to give us a glimpse of the easy-access programming that teenagers are watching. And every year I ask church teenagers the following week, “Did you see the MTV MOVIE AWARDS?” Over 50% say yes. 

And this year?

Wow! Just when I thought it couldn’t get much worse.

I think I was the most shocked when there was a commercial for “Balls Out Comedy” coming to MTV, and they showed a skateboarder skating with “something” hanging out of his pants. It’s hard to even describe this. This is MTV… so they can’t show nudity, right? But they literally showed the words “Balls Out Comedy” across the screen, and then a video of a guy with his “junk” hanging out of his pants- pixelated, so we couldn’t see the details.

And this was just a commerical that ran during the show. The show… sigh. Plenty of “junk” in that show as well.

Catch my entire recap here.

My Son is Driving

Posted on: 06/1/09 9:20 AM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s official. He’s on the streets!

I took Alec to his driving test Friday. He turned 16 a couple weeks ago and had been looking forward to this day for a while now. But as any good American knows… a trip to DMV is always a unique experience.

That morning Alec was a nervous wreck. I tried to console him, assuring him that I wasn’t worried and he’d do great. He’s been driving with us (with his permit) for the last 6 months and he’s shown really good improvement. He cautious, comfortable and aware. Aside from a few “slam on the brake moments” over the months… I was pretty confident that he’d do well.

When we arrived at the good ol’ DMV we checked in and he pulled his car up to the spot where the “tester” meets you in the car and takes you on the drive. I stood outside, chatting it up with a security guard.

There were several cars in front of my sons and two “testers” were on duty. One was a middle aged lady, the other was a blonde girl that couldn’t be more than 20 years old. At first glance, I couldn’t believe she was one of the “testers.” I thought she was some 16-year-old girl getting her license.

I went to the car to check in on my son. I asked him, “did you see the two ladies testing?” His eyes got really big and he replied, “Oh yeah. I hope I get the hot one!”


I went back to the front of the DMV and stood with the guard and watched people getting back from driving tests- some happy… some not. I asked the guard if he saw a bunch of these people coming and going. He was telling me all kinds of stories- it was quickly evident that this guy had seen a lil bit of everything when it came to people passing and failing their tests. So I asked him, “What is the biggest reason people fail their tests?”

Without hesitation he listed three things. “Oh, that’s easy. The railroad tracks up the road actually have a sign telling you to stop, and people often fly right through those. Then there is a “yield” where it is written on the road- but no sign. People sometimes don’t even slow down for that either. Lastly, people pull into the bike lanes too soon for a right hand turn. People need to wait for the dotted lines.”

I thanked him for his insight and quickly passed it onto my son, still in the car waiting for his “tester” to arrive.

God must have answered his prayers… he got the “hot one.”   🙂

I don’t know if he was more nervous or me.

As he was out driving with Paris Hilton, I asked the guard, “So can you tell if the person passed or failed as soon as they pull up?”


As my son pulled up in the car, I couldn’t read his face. I snapped a quick picture with my phone. He was soooooo nervous. I looked to the guard.

The guard said, “He passed.”

Sure enough… he had zero corrections. He aced it.

Props to the “hot one.”


So watch out. My son is now on the road… and my insurance is now through the roof. Aye aye aye.

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