Relationship Trends – As Told By Facebook

Facebook knows you….and me….

We tell Facebook our life!  And it listens, learns, and remembers.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, the folks at Facebook Storiesimgres analyzed it’s users’ top V-Day trends as told through status updates, playlists and check-ins. The restaurant data is pulled from user check-ins on Feb. 14, 2012; the playlist data is based on which songs users listened to most before and after posting relationships as Life Events on Facebook in the United States.

For Valentines Day here’s a look at some of the ways love unfolds on Facebook (thanks Mashable):

A few of the top relationship songs:

  •  Wanted (Hunter Hayes)
  •  Ho Hey (Lumineers)
  •  I Dont Want This Night to End (Luke Bryan)

A few of the top breakup songs:

  • Wide Awake (Katy Perry)
  • We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Taylor Swift)
  • One More Night (Maroon 5)

3 of the most checked into restaurants on Valentines Day around the country:

  • Maggiano’s Little Italy
  • Del Frisco’s Steakhouse
  • The Melting Pot

Most Popular Days for Relationship Milestones:

  • First Met = New Years Eve
  • Added “In a Relationship” = Valentine’s Day
  • Engagement = Christmas Eve
  • Married = Valentine’s Day

Thanks for listening so well Facebook.  Now thats love…..

Relationship Trends – As Told By Facebook

4 Tips for Keeping in Touch With Your College Student

Two of my four daughters are in college.

I write today from the perspective of a dad who is in the middle of the battle, not from the perspective of “I’ve lived though the college years and here’s what I’ve learned.”

Nonetheless…

My dad responsiblity to my girls is to love, provide, and protect them with everything I have.  Just because they move out of the house and onto a college campus, my daddy objective doesn’t stop.  Sure, it takes a different shape, but the heart of this endeavor remains the same.

The timing was perfect.  I had just dropped CC off at college when I came across Dan Klamm’s 4 Tips for Keeping in Touch with Your College Student (what he writes, I read). These principles apply to our children’s social world, at any age,  So as I read, I took notes. While technology evolves rapidly, these principles are timeless. Perhaps the following may be useful for you too, as you try to keep in touch with the younger generation through technology:

1. Let your student set some ground rules.

Connection today easier than ever.  As a dad, my heart is to make sure my girls are constantly safe AND to keep an eye on their emotional health. Facebook statuses are very telling.  BUT I’ve learned the hard way that each young person has a different tolerance level for mom and dad lurking on their page.  Proceed with the utmost caution, and allow them to set the acceptance bar (remember, I’m talking college student, not high school age or younger.  Thats a different story). Your ability to have this connection is ultimately dependent on your student’s level of comfort inviting you into his or her social world.

Klamm writes “Find out whether she’s comfortable with you commenting on photos and wall posts. Familiarize yourselves with privacy settings, which offer significant control to students who wish to selectively share content with parents.”

2. Respect your student’s space.

Don’t insert yourself into personal conversations or private moments that happen to be taking place in a venue to which you have access. Just as you wouldn’t intrude on your daughter’s romantic dinner date at a restaurant, you shouldn’t inject yourself into her Facebook wall-to-wall conversation with her new crush….guilty of this….results weren’t pretty.

See something you don’t like?  Call her or even shoot her a text.  Keep the concern or correction private.

3. Branch out from the usual platforms.

Facebook, texts, and Twitter are the obvious and currently popular platforms, but Foursquare and Skype shouldn’t be overlooked. Each platform provides for a different level of communication with your student.  And do your best to stay current on the newest platforms.  Google+, with its Huddle feature, is possibly the new Facebook.

4. Avoid over communication. 

Klamm writes “Just because you can communicate with your student 24/7 doesn’t mean that you should. Remember, college is a time of growth, exploration and self-discovery. For these things to happen, students need to experience what it’s like to make decisions independently. While you can and should actively support your student’s college pursuits, resist the urge to be a constant voice in her ear (or message in her inbox).”

So when you send your student off to school, take comfort in the fact that he or she is just a poke, tweet, or Google+ hangout away. Technology can ease the pain of this life transition.  It’s up to us mom and dad, to use it wisely.

Should they invite you in, enter and communicate wisely.

4 Tips for Keeping in Touch With Your College Student

Tattoo?

For me, for Facebook to have any redeeming value it must do one of three things:

  1. Make me smile
  2. Inform me.
  3. Challenge me to think.

I can justify my invested FB time as long as my time falls into one of the above.  If it doesn’t, shame on me.  This is not to judge others who use FB for other endeavors…that’s your call.

When I post a thought on FB, it too must fall within the 3 above categories.

Often one of my thoughts just hangs out there, with no likes or comments (cricket…cricket).  Others stir my friends…like yesterday’s Tattoo comment that read – Man tattoos on his arm Leviticus 18:22 that forbids homosexuality. But Leviticus 19:28 forbids tattoos in the very next chapter. Come on people!!

For the record, the intent of this thought was simply to point out how all of us, at times, use scripture to justify or condemn an action, all the while ignoring other possibly conflicting text.  Color me guilty.

Most of the 47 comments from yesterday’s FB post are compelling and far more insightful than I could articulate. They can be read here. The behind the scene emails and texts that I received were equally challenging!  A few asked me for my opinion, and just as my mentor responded to me when I asked him for his opinion, I am learning to respond likewise – “My opinion matters very little.  What is the Holy Spirit telling you when you ask Him?”

Who am I?

So with that disclaimer firmly in place, my take is this: Alone I can not interpret the Bible. The Bible is God’s word.  It was written to guide us, to teach us, to encourage us, and to draw us closer to our Creator.  But I can not take every word at it’s literal meaning and apply it to 2011. Oh, I’d like to think I could…and have even claimed that I do!  But I don’t.  Much of what is recorded in the Bible was culturally relevant to the period of history in which it was written (hair length, beard, head covering, dietary restrictions, etc.). This certainly includes tattoos!

Who am I to judge?

All I can do is read the Bible and then turn to our helper,  the Holy Spirit.  Some argue because we can’t interpret the scripture, then it is of no relevance. NO!  But apart from the Holy Spirit that indwells believers, our biases will skew the most beautiful book ever written.  We will search the pages to find support for whatever we are trying to justify (and even ignore the very next chapter ’cause it messes everything up).

So now what?

  • Talk to your Creator.
  • Read His word.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you His truth.
  • Then act upon this revelation.

We all have our biases.  We all have our own colored lenses through which we journey this faith path.  The Holy Spirit awaits you.

He alone has your answer…that would make a great tattoo!

Tattoo?

Regret and Fear

I’m having a love/hate thing with Facebook.  For all of its drama and time drain, it is an outlet for me to transfer weirdness from my head into cyberspace.  And for some odd reason this is therapy.

This morning I awoke in a funk.  Some of you may know of my personal issues.  More on that later.  But if I let my emotions rule me, the sadness of the past AND the fear of the unknown future paralyzes me.  The Bible is clear on this, but for me it’s often not so easy to just claim scripture.


And in this look back and look forward phenomenon, I step all over today. This unfortunate dance will occur tomorrow and the next day and the next….the momentum of this unhealthy behavior can spiral away from me.

So in my desperate search for a Holy perspective, I was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the following Facebook status this morning – “Don’t let the sadness of your past and the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your today.”

My friend Amy asked if she could quote me.  Ha.  Running the risk of sounding pious, I asked her to attribute the quote the the Holy Spirit.  It was very kind of Amy to encourage me with her Facebook comment, but her request really stopped me in my track!  Father, anything good in me, of me, or through me is YOU!!!  How in the WORLD can we take credit?  He is speaking to us, every moment of every day.  And today I sensed Him reminding me that the past is the past.  The future is His to unfold.  And He has given me just enough grace, just enough insight, just enough strength and joy for today.

Rest my friend.  Your Daddy has BIG arms.  There is no need to spend a moment of your life in regret or worry about tomorrow when you are right with your Creator.  He has an adventure for you TODAY.

Exhale….

Regret and Fear