Informed Families Catalyst

President's Message - December 2015

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on December 9, 2015 at 8:59 PM

Peggy_Sapp_headshot_2010_smallWhat Is Silent Disco?

Turns out this is an age-related question! If you are in college or into the club scene, Silent Disco is normal; if you are older, you are likely scratching your head and saying, “WHAT’S Silent Disco?”

The answer includes all the old images: mirror ball, strobe lights and loud music, but the loud music is now contained within your own headset. I first experienced this new phenomenon while visiting my grandson for a family weekend in Boulder, Colorado. When we asked if the music was the same song (oops, I mean "play list") on everyone’s headset, we were greeted with a look that said, “What a quaint idea, why would we want to do that?”

So folks, you’ve heard and read about the breakdown of society in “Bowling Alone.” We are now taking societal breakdown to another level: DANCING ALONE WHILE IN A GROUP. No need for eye contact, or coordination of movements… just do your own thing and believe you’re interacting with others. Dance has traditionally been about communication and closeness; in silent disco, dance is all about YOU.

Social phenomena and social norms play out daily, right before our eyes; yet, our brains refuse to connect the dots and process the long term consequences of our daily social norms.

ISOLATION IS A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR TO MANY DISEASES AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS; even terrorism has roots in isolation, lack of purpose and not feeling like we belong to a community.

New technology allows us to live our lives in isolation while believing we are connected…Silent Disco is a good example of this trend.

David Vittoria, head of Baptist Health South Florida’s South Miami Hospital Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center reports that today’s three leading presenting causes seen by primary care physicians are: DEPRESSION, ANXIETY AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE.

Wow, that is a long way from colds, fevers and broken bones. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO US?

The reality is that we all need family, friends and community connections to be healthy and happy.

A friend on the internet cannot bring you chicken soup; (oops, wrong again, it can be ordered and sent by instant delivery) but when and how will we SEE and HEAR EACH OTHER?

Informed Families and all of us struggle daily with HIGH TECH AND HIGH TOUCH. We believe both are needed and necessary; but how do we balance the two???

We are grateful to High Tech. This year we reached almost 744,000 families through social media communications, emails, our website, online advertising and our school-based Ambassador program.

But we are struggling not to lose High Touch.

A project balancing between the two is our Red Ribbon Walk & Wrap project, powered by Thanks to Michael Fay and Joe Abood for being our main sponsors for this event. 32 schools participated.

Give Miami Day sponsored by The Miami Foundation brought seven donations with personal messages from longtime supporters: JAN MORRISON, MARY EATON, ELSA BLACK, CHERI ROSENTHAL, ROBIN AND SUSAN SHELLEY, DAVID ALTSHULER, AND MELINDA RODRIGUEZ.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year or whatever your headphone list is playing. It is not about the words and defining who is right and who is wrong, but being immersed in the spirit which reaches beyond the words to connect us with gratitude, hope, health, love and joy.

Happy Holidays,


Topics: President's Message, holidays, technology, drug free, silent disco

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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