Franken-phones and Franken-apps

Frankenstein monster admires his monster smartphone
kevinspear.com

Since it’s October, my thoughts turn to spooky monsters like giant, Frankenstein smartphones and vampires like data-sucking and battery-sucking apps.

Beware of the little monsters lurking within your new smartphone. I have seen many a phone bring the zombie curse to their users as well. And only a spell would explain the crazy obsession selfies.

So to paraphrase James Whitcomb Riley’s old poem:  “The smartphone’s gonna getcha if ya don’t watch out!”

Grandparents and wi-fi

Cartoon of two boys. One says, "My grandparents are so old fashion. They don't even have wifi!"
©2015 Kevin Spear #4030

It’s getting to the point where grandchildren consider grandparents without wi-fi in the same categories as those with rotary phones, black and white TV and horseless carriages.

Wireless internet is ubiquitous. And no, my kids do not have to do without wi-fi when they go to their grandparents. What seemed like an out-of-reach luxury a decade ago is common.  Continue reading “Grandparents and wi-fi”

I Gave Online t-shirt

cartoon of a guy in church. An offering plate is being handed to him. The guy has a t-shirt that says,
© 2015 Kevin Spear

It’s fun when tradition collides with technology! For a few months, I’ve been using my bank’s web payment to pay my tithes and offerings. Why not? I’ve paid all my other bills that way for years. I didn’t expect the feeling of guilt when the offering plate came around even when I knew perfectly well I was giving.

So how do you combat that feeling when someone gives online? You can’t put your smart phone in the offering plate. Printing out a receipt seems tacky. If you wave it off and say, “I gave online,” you’re only calling attention to yourself and sound pretentious. Oh, the dilemmas!

A t-shirt would solve all the awkward exchanges. All the church has to do is pass them out in the back before the service. You can make them big enough to fit over any outfit. And if you decorate your church for the season, you can make them match colors for Lent and Advent!

I drew this cartoon for the July CHOGNews.

 

Why atmosphere is important in the classroom

I read this blog post from the Washington Post this morning entitled Smart design + school = health. The final quote stood out to me:

“We really focused on what kids need. What I see in that space are kids gravitating to that atmosphere because they know it’s for them, about them. Everything is tailored to their needs.”-Dina Sorensen, project designer, VMDO Architects

Too often, when an architect or designer plans classrooms, they design for best use of space at the best price. What if we designed classrooms so they didn’t feel like an institution? What if we considered the return on investment if the classroom actually helped learning?

When it comes to church classrooms, this is especially important. No child wants to come to a place where it looks like a plain, boring institution. We like restaurants that have some atmosphere and kids like a place just for them that has a little atmosphere too.

I see churches do this all the time with Vacation Bible school. They go all out to make a week special for the children. It is especially good for a church to consider how to make their place welcoming to kids throughout the year.

We gravitate towards restaurants with a nice atmosphere. Churches need to consider how much atmosphere their children’s area has.

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Talk or Text?

©2013 Speartoons, Inc

Cartoon of a couple on smart phones. The guy says, “What am I supposed to do with your text that says, ‘We don’t talk anymore?'”

I’m not a guy that is against smart phones and texting. I love both and use them daily. However, I realize it just isn’t the same as face to face conversation. There are some conversations that simply shouldn’t be carried out with a text. For instance, you shouldn’t break up with someone over a text. Marriage proposals are equally inappropriate. And if you need to fire an employee, I’m guessing a text isn’t the way to go.

Before you send out a text, consider if this is the appropriate way to communicate your message. We have so many options today, thanks to technology. No one method fits every need. Use discernment when considering how to communicate something