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Intentionality is instilled, not installed

Cell phones can be addictive.  This is not fake news. More and more we are learning that cellphone addiction is real, not just perception.  That reality, we now know, is by design, not just a by-product of popularity. Techies are telling us of their own complicity in creating the “persuasive designs” that modify behavior by […]


Social media does not breed perfect idiots

A clash of recent news stories suggests the ambivalent power of social media. First came the CBS Philly report that “a study looking at college students from 1989 to 2016 found that the personality traits that label someone a ‘perfectionist’ have risen dramatically in recent years.’ Then came the national news story about the poisonous […]

London shopping

Raging against the holiday

The headline hurts:  “Hate Christmas?” The sub-title offers a response:  “There’s a ‘rage room’ to let out holiday stress.” Utterly ridiculous?!  Or might it be perfectly logical? For just one day (last Monday), Londoners got to experience “Rudolph’s Rage Room.” There, for just $25 (more rage), they could go underground to vent their frustrations at […]

The cupola of St. Peter's Basilica and the top of the Vatican Christmas tree are seen following a lighting ceremony in St. Peter's Square Dec. 13. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) (Dec. 13, 2013) See POPE-TREE Dec. 13, 2013.

These days of our lives

‘Tis the season!  The countdown to Christmas has begun, with a string of consecutive days to which we’ve given new names – and hashtags!  All except the middle one. #Thanksgiving – it needs no reference to the day of the week.  It’s always the fourth Thursday of November.  Legally, that designation comes by way of […]


Digital signs of devotion

Yesterday, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced an innovative way to bring devotion into the digital world – the Religious Signs for Families app.  Touted as “a delightful and engaging way to learn ASL (American Sign Language),” the mobile tool offers everything “from signs for religious words and actions to everyday words and prayers.” The app […]


IDK as a communications strategy

In text-lingo, the caps mean “I don’t know” – which doesn’t sound like much of a communications strategy!  For most leaders, an admission of ignorance suggests a deficiency.  When Pope Francis says it, though, it seems to bolster his image and discloses his appeal as a communicator. At least that’s the claim made by Fr. […]