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Newsletter for November 2016
November 08, 2016
2016, November

New ideas ~ A good book ~ And, writing appetizers

Teens Saying No to FB???

In July 2015, I said goodbye to FaceBook. It’s been one of the best decisions of my life.


The people I love actually call me now. They send me handwritten letters in the mail. And, relatives I hadn’t spoken to in years email and text me regularly.

And, I love it!

Today I’m more connected to dear friends and family than I ever was when they were part of my peak 291 FB friends.

It seems I’m not alone.

Some teens today forego FB for in person interactions. A study by the Pew Research Center(1) found 71% of teens use FB, which means 29%, like me, don’t.

Rosen(2) interviewed teens and researchers regarding teen FB abstinence.

She says the teens she interviewed would rather spend time with their friends than with their phones… tweeting or FaceBooking.

And, despite having access to social media via their own cell phones… these teen FB abstainers don’t miss it. They prefer in-person interactions with friends.

Furthermore, the kids said if something happened online, their friends would tell them.

FB reminds me a lot of high school.

You have the “popular kids.” Those would be equivalent to the people on FB with 500+ FB friends.

Then there's the peer pressure… everyone else doing something that may conflict with your ethics and morals… and the pressure to “like” something you otherwise wouldn't.

Rosen(2) says teens feel pressure to like things on FB that disagree with their morals and values.

I do like pressure… but the kind of pressure that makes you work hard to achieve your goals and dreams.

Like studying hard for weeks to ace a test. Or, buckling down and finishing a book or paper.

But what I don’t like is the unspoken pressure we all feel to compare ourselves to others and judge them … and ourselves the way it often happens in high school--or on FB.

I think these brave young people Rosen(2) writes about are people I’d want to work with in the future. Those who are willing to do what’s best for them by enjoying life and being true to who they are. No matter what anyone else thinks.

All the best,


P.S. Want to really challenge your students or FB friends? Remember the FB ice bucket challenge? Do something similar, only challenge them to be social media free for a week and encourage them to communicate via a conversation on the phone or in person. Then have them write about the experience--the good, the bad, and the ugly.

(1)Lenhart, A. (2015, April 9). Teens, social media and technology. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from

(2)Rosen, C. (2016, August 27-28). Teens who say no to social media. The Wall Street Journal, C3.

Book Recommendation:
Accidentally Overweight

By Dr. Libby Weaver

A few weeks ago, I read something to the effect of… Fall is the real New Year. It’s the time when more people begin and stick to a new exercise routine. And, surprisingly, according to Chaker(3), it is also the time of year when more gym memberships are sold.

The changing seasons and the changing of schedules (especially for those who have children) make keeping the desired changes easier. That is why this month I’m suggesting a great book called Accidentally Overweight by Dr. Libby Weaver.

This is not your normal weight loss book. Rather, it shares other potential physiological problems that may cause weight gain and difficulty losing it.

Some sections are particularly geared toward women, like the one on hormones and how having high estrogen levels hinder weight loss in women.

Dr. Weaver concludes with emotions and the tendency to eat during particularly emotional times.

However, don’t rush out and read this last part first. She is emphatic about reading the entire book cover to cover, because you may discover other issues that, perhaps along with emotions, may be making it difficult to lose weight.

What I love most about this book is that she avoids the “calories in, calories out” approach to weight loss. Hers is more of a mind-body-spirit and examining how other components cause people to eat more or be unable to lose more.

This gentle approach to lose weight feels more humane than other weight-loss philosophies.

If you want a real solution, to get to the heart of weight gain and loss instead of the beat-you-up-at-the-gym-and-eat-only-500-calories-a-day approach, then I think you’ll like this book.

Dr. Weaver is warm and caring in her writing style and sensitive to the topic of weight loss and those affected by extra pounds.

(3)Chaker, A. M. (2016, September 14). September is the real New Year. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieve from

Whet Your Writing Appetite
with these . . .

HOT and FRESH Writing Appetizers –
(AKA: Writing Prompts)

Here are three writing appetizers to get you thinking and writing:

1. What is the largest number of friends or followers you have encountered on a social media platform? How do you think that number helps or hurts the person they follow?

2. There is something special about getting something from a loved one in the mail. Think of someone you love (friend, family member, or mate). Write a handwritten letter to brighten that person’s day… then mail it. (Yes, snail mail it!)

3. Think of someone you know who has struggled with losing weight. Write an essay about the best way to support that person in their journey to lose weight and better him or herself.

Note to Subscribers: The writing prompts can be used in the classroom or for creative free writing. Adapt them for your situation. Enjoy and be creative!

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