By James Thomas Rook Jr.
As my wife and I are preparing to adopt five children, and knowing historically how many elders' children have abandoned the Truth, for whatever reasons there might be, common to mankind ... the thought occurred to me ... Were all of the Apostles Single?
If any were married, how did they balance their responsibilities to their families, with the field ministry?
If they were in the Ministry, were they supported by the congregations from the Apostles money box ... and were their families also supported as they rove about ministering about the Good News?
If so, that would indicate a paid clergy !
I suppose it all hinges on he first question.
WERE ALL OF THE APOSTLES SINGLE ?
By Guest Nicole
Young people who spend a lot of time on social media — websites designed to bring people together — seem to be more isolated, new research suggests.
Ironically, the researchers found that the heaviest users of social media had about twice the odds of feeling socially isolated compared to their less “web-connected” friends.
The findings “remind us that social media is not a panacea for people who feel socially isolated,” said study lead author Dr. Brian Primack. He’s director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health.
Primack said past research has suggested that people who use social media the most are especially isolated. But those studies have been small, he noted.
The new study is the first analysis of social media use and so-called social isolation in a large group of people from across the United States, according to Primack.
But, at least one social media expert said the study leaves too many questions unanswered to offer people any practical advice.
The study included nearly 1,800 people aged 19 to 32. The participants completed a 20-minute online questionnaire in 2014. Half were female and 58 percent were white. More than one-third made at least $75,000 a year. The participants, who’d taken part in research before, received $15 each for the survey.
Researchers asked questions about how isolated the participants felt and how often they used Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine, Snapchat and Reddit.
Those who used the services more often — either in terms of the number of times they used them or in total amount of time spent on them — were more likely to report feeling isolated from other people, the investigators found.
“Compared with those in the lowest quarter for frequently checking social media, people in the top quarter were about three times as likely to have increased social isolation,” Primack said. Those who checked the least visited social media sites less than nine times a week. Those who checked the most visited social media sites 58 or more times a week, the study authors said.
The average time spent on social media was 61 minutes a day. People who spent more than 121 minutes a day on social media had about twice the odds of feeling isolated than those spending less than 30 minutes a day on these sites, the findings showed.
The authors noted that the study had limitations. One is that it wasn’t designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship. And, it’s not clear which came first — the social media use or the feelings of isolation, according to the researchers.
In addition, the study only looked at people aged 32 and under, so the findings may not be the same in older people.
Primack also pointed out that the study examined people’s use of social media as a whole, not specific sites. There’s no way to know if people who read glowing posts about their friends’ perfect vacations on Facebook are more or less isolated than those who prefer to watch YouTube videos of cats or bitterly argue about politics on Twitter.
If there’s a link between social media use and isolation, what may be going on? “It may be that people who feel more socially isolated use a lot of social media to try to increase their social circles,” Primack suggested.
“But both directions may be at work. People who feel socially isolated may reach out on social media to ‘self-medicate,’ but this may only serve to increase perceptions of social isolation,” he added.
The findings suggest that people who feel isolated may generally be unable to find a connection through social media, Primack said.
The answer may be going offline, he said.
“A much more valuable and robust way to deal with perceived social isolation would probably be to nurture true in-person social relationships,” Primack said. “Of course, social media remains a potentially powerful tool to help leverage those relationships. However, it is probably not such a strong replacement in and of itself.”
Anatoliy Gruzd is an associate professor at Ryerson University in Toronto who studies social media. Gruzd said the study is too limited and “cannot be reliably used to generate practical advice about isolation and social media use. There are still many unanswered questions and untested variables.”
For example, “being active on Facebook may indicate one type of behavior, while being active on something like Snapchat might indicate a very different type of behavior,” he said.
“The study also does not account for the level and type of participation in social media. For example, one can spend hours on Facebook just to browse pictures posted by others, while another person may be using the same amount of time to actively post and connect with others on Twitter,” Gruzd noted.
The study was published in the March 6 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
By Guest Nicole
According to the Telegraph, the World Health Organization will change its definition of disabilities to classify people without a sexual partner as “infertile.” The controversial new classifications will make it so that heterosexual single men and women, as well as gay men and women who are seeking in vitro fertilization to have a child, will receive the same priority as couples. This could make access to public funds for IVF available to all.
The move to extend the definition of a disability to include social conditions has, predictably, angered some who consider it overreach by a medical organization that sets global standards.
Josephine Quintavalle, a pro-life activist and director of Comment on Reproductive Ethics told the Telegraph, “This absurd nonsense is not simply re-defining infertility but completely side-lining the biological process and significance of natural intercourse between a man and a woman.” The “natural intercourse” intercourse line is painful but expected. Quantaville took it a step further down the anti-science road by saying, “How long before babies are created and grown on request completely in the lab?”
For the WHO’s Dr. David Adamson, one of the authors of the new standards, this move is about creating medical equality. He says, “The definition of infertility is now written in such a way that it includes the rights of all individuals to have a family, and that includes single men, single women, gay men, gay women.”
Dr. Adamson adds that, “It puts a stake in the ground and says an individual’s got a right to reproduce whether or not they have a partner.” For countries with government provided healthcare and public funding for IVF procedures, this could have significant ramifications. “It fundamentally alters who should be included in this group and who should have access to healthcare. It sets an international legal standard. Countries are bound by it,” Adamson says.
Under the American Disabilities Act, a person with a disability is defined as someone with “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.” Because the ADA does not name all of the impairments that are covered, the new WHO guidelines could apply, or even be unnecessary. After all, having children is a major life activity for many people.
The World Health Organization has still not made its new terms official but they seem to be moving forward. It remains to be seen what effects the move will have on individual countries’ health programs.
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