Issue 34 | October 2, 2015
THREE THINGS THIS WEEK
What It Is: Yelp for people. Instead of rating the quality of a hotel, restaurant, or movie, this app allows you to rate real people from one to five stars, without their consent. And once someone’s name is in the app, there’s no opting out.
Why It’s Important: Beyond the real issues of consent, accuracy, and reviewer bias, there is something fundamentally wrong with assigning a number value to a human life. According to the concept of Peeple, the way the online crowd rates you will become who you are.
2. DIGITAL TEEN ROMANCE
What It Is: A new survey from Pew that reveals 6 facts about 13 – 17 year old teen dating in the digital age.
Why It’s Important: Young people have always been exploring romantic relationships and today’s teens are no different. What is different is the technology available to them. What has stayed the same is the need for good role models in a teen’s life to show them how to build solid relationships. Learn how teens are using technology for dating and, instead of grumbling about how they’re not doing things the old ways, help them use the new tools that are available in the best way possible.
3. HOW WE GOT TO NOW
What It Is: A book and popular PBS miniseries that explores the legacy of great ideas that have shaped the modern Western world. Topics include: cleanliness, light, glass, and keeping things cold.
Why It’s Important: We talk a lot about pop culture and trending topics, but this series reveals the story behind the remarkable and timeless ideas that have made our modern world. This six-part series helps you and your students see the transformative power of great, creative ideas. Use this as an opportunity to remind your students that we all stand on the shoulders of giants, that the world didn’t spring out of nothingness just yesterday, and that they are a part of a much larger narrative of human flourishing. Encourage them to discover their own “Great Idea!”
SOMETHING YOU SHOULD TALK ABOUT:
PLANNED PARENTHOOD HEARING
Planned Parenthood remains in the spotlight this week for its hearing before the US House of Representatives’ government oversight committee. Though a bid to end federal funding for the organization was struck down in the Senate, the bid is now before the House. And, unsurprisingly, to say that the debate is heated is a massive understatement.
But here’s why it matters to Christian parents, teachers, and leaders: Younger generations increasingly get their news from social media and their friends—if they pay attention to the news at all. And if their newsfeeds, Twitter feeds, and Snapchat stories looked anything like ours did, they’ll know anything but fact about what’s going on. A quick Google search about the hearing yielded headlines like, “Cecile Richards: The Target at the Planned Parenthood Hearings,” “Pro-Lifers Embarrassed by Planned Parenthood Hearing, Call it ‘GOP Freak Show,’” and “Even Planned Parenthood Haters Hated the House Oversight Hearing.”
Yet is that actually true? How would students know? Are they going to watch the entire hearing? Or are they going to read bits and pieces of these stories which only report one side of the narrative?
It’s of paramount importance that we talk with students about what’s happening, teach them how to sort fact from fiction, demonstrate how media can be biased, give them a biblical perspective on the unborn, and get them thinking about better ways to help lower-income women have access to good healthcare. If we don’t, then who will?
*To assist you in such conversations, we have created valuable resources on the topics of abortion, life, and valuing the unborn, which are available through a subscription to Axis Virtual. To learn more, please go to axis.org/virtual.