Issue 16 | May 22, 2015
SUMMARY: Issue 16 covers "Honey, I'm Good", Dating Apps, and Emoji.
WHAT STUDENTS ARE LISTENING TO THIS WEEK
- “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa Ronson feat. Charlie Puth (Tribute to Paul Walker; What happens after you die)
- “Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap (“Bad girls” are good)
- "Earned It (50 Shades of Grey)" by The Weeknd (Love must be earned)
- “Shut Up And Dance” by Walk the Moon (Being a victim of destiny/fate)
- “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars (Partying and identity)
- “Want to Want Me” by Jason Derulo (Relationship based on sex)
- "Sugar” by Maroon 5 (Relationship based on sex)
- “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding (Identity-defining relationship; codependency)
- “Nasty Freestyle” by T-Wayne (Identity/Being the best)
- “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran (Unconditional love)
HONEY, I'M GOOD
It seems like most music released in recent months has been about toxic relationships, unrealistic demands one gender puts on the other, and sex. So it’s refreshing that Andy Grammer’s surprise hit, “Honey, I’m Good,” is about being faithful:
? You look good, I will not lie. But if you ask where I’m staying tonight, I gotta be like, “Oh, baby, no, baby. You got me all wrong, baby. My baby’s already got all of my love.” So nah, nah, honey, I’m good. I could have another, but I probably should not. I got somebody at home, and if I stay, I might not leave alone. ?
The music video features homemade videos of real-life couples holding up signs indicating how long they’ve been together, ranging from months to decades. Regardless of how you feel about other issues the music video raises, the message of fidelity is one that is all too scarce today. So thumbs up to that.
But also virtually absent from the music scene today are songs devoid of bad ideas, and this is no exception. He’s staying faithful, choosing to say no before things go too far—great! But what is he doing going out and flirting with others in the first place? Why is he noticing how good she looks? Let’s applaud the good ideas, but not let the bad ideas slip through the cracks unnoticed.
Discussion Questions: What are the good ideas in this song? What are the bad ideas? How is the world’s standard of fidelity and faithfulness different from God’s? (See Matthew 5:27-30) Is it worth sticking to God’s standard?
SUMMER ROMANCE AND QUICK HOOKUPS
Summer is here—students are finishing up finals and looking forward to lots of free time. Meanwhile, parents are thinking, “Too much free time = trouble!!” And nowadays it’s even easier to get into virtual trouble than ever before. Enter “dating” apps like Tinder, Hinge, and MeetMe, all of which allow anyone over the age of 13 to join, as well as MyLOL and OurTeenNetwork, which were created solely for teens.
Though marketed as dating apps, they’re used (mostly) as hook-up apps. Many of them are operated simply by swiping left on a photo of someone nearby if you think he or she isn’t attractive or swiping right if you think he or she is. If both users swipe right, then it’s a match and the two are allowed to begin chatting. If desired, they can arrange to meet up in real life. And as many users can attest, chats/meetups often head south quickly.
However, if your student has one on his/her phone, it’s not necessarily bad. But as the season of “summer romances” approaches, we need to help students see how the apps are changing expectations of how dating works and what it involves, while also making students feel like they’re worth nothing if no one “swipes right.” We need to help young men see how it’s fueling the “hit it and quit it” mentality and young women see how it’s adding to the pressure to do anything to find “the one” at young ages.
Discussion Questions: What does it mean to “date”? Do you know people who use these types of apps? What has it led to? How can these apps be used well? How can they be used poorly? Do you feel that it’s important to date at your age? Why or why not? Do some people use these apps to feel good about themselves? How have these apps changed guys’ expectations of girls? How have these apps changed girls’ expectations of guys?
SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: WHEN EMOJIS GO TO THE DARK SIDE
While there are many clever and harmless ways to creatively use emojis, there are also double meanings for some emojis that you may want to be aware of. The following is a beginner’s glossary of emojis’ other meanings.
? = A butt or female genitalia.
? = Female genitalia (from the cat’s nickname).
? = Male genitalia (interchangeable with the banana).
? = Male genitalia (from the rooster’s nickname).
?? or ?? = Sexual intercourse.
? = Camel, or hump, as in sex.
? = Zodiac sign for cancer, or a sex position.
? = Male ejaculate when added in certain context.
? = Testicles, or “popping the cherry.”
Please don’t take this to mean we’re saying emojis are bad! Emojis are great ways to add expression and emotion to texts/tweets that just isn’t possible otherwise. But it’s good for you to know so you can be fully aware of what students are saying and so you don’t accidentally use them inappropriately. (NOTE: If you think a student may be using emoji to hide his/her meanings from you but we didn’t cover it, we suggest Googling “emojisexting”—at your own risk!)
Discussion Questions: Why is sexting bad? How does sexting add to the pressure to fit a certain mold? Do you know anyone who sexts? Is there pressure to sext in order to be cool? Do guys/girls ever put pressure on their significant others to sext?