Starving for Socialization | April 17, 2020
Three Things This Week
1. The Great Lockdown
What it is: According to the IMF, we are now in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Like the Great Recession of 2009 did for Millennials, this will disproportionately impact Gen Zers as they come of age.
Why it’s life-changing: The COVID-19 pandemic will impact Gen Z in untold ways, not the least of which is their financial future. The economic repercussions of shutdowns and business closures will be experienced for years to come, affecting their education, careers, ability to buy homes, attitude toward banks and the stock market, risk tolerance, and perspective on spending and saving. And much of this will happen without them even realizing, since they’re only beginning to comprehend and come to terms with what it means to be a financially independent adult. More than ever, they will need realistic guidance on how to navigate the already confusing world of finance, as well as how to survive the current landscape.
2. Socializing, Not Screens
What it is: Now that teenagers are being forced to do everything via screens, one researcher says (language) it verifies what she’s been saying all along: Teens aren’t addicted to screens; they’re addicted to socializing.
Why it’s probably true: After spending years fretting over how much screen time is too much, how screens affect development, and how to get kids off their devices, parents are being forced to change their tune now that screens have become teens’ only connection to normalcy. Yet how teens are reacting to doing everything—school, sports, friendships, romance, church, concerts, shopping—via technology is telling. They’re not leaping for joy at the chance to escape to their digital world; rather, they’re going absolutely crazy. Not only might this change their feelings toward and dependence on screens in the future, it also means we need to create ways for them to have meaningful in-person interactions right now.
3. Pandemic Parenting
What it is: A free virtual conference from Protect Young Eyes that runs April 20-23 to give you strategies for navigating our new reality.
Why it’s worthwhile: Our lives have changed in unprecedented and unpredictable ways seemingly overnight, thanks to a tiny pathogen. And it’s not something any of us could have prepared for. Thankfully, many experts have taken the time to share their best tips for handling the myriad of challenges you may face in trying to work from home, manage your children’s learning, encourage them to exercise, cook healthy meals, monitor screen time, and more. If you feel overwhelmed, alone, confused, or just want practical ways to make the most of this time, this online conference is for you.
On Monday, April 20, we are hosting a free webinar all about drugs & Gen Z! Join the Axis Live Team for this exclusive, hour-long webinar at 4pm MT! Sign up here. Also, join us live on Facebook every day for parenting and discipleship tips, encouragement, and free resources!
Was Life Ever Really Normal?
Media outlets are speculating, politicians are hoping, and Madison Avenue is begging(language) for life to return to normal, to forget the lessons we are learning about slowing down, unplugging, spending less, caring for the planet, and being fully present with one another.
But unlike a dog returning to its vomit, may we never get back to normal. Because if we’re honest, a significant amount of normative society was toxic. We knew it, we were just too busy to do anything about it. As author Christopher Lasch laments, to see the world from a parent’s point of view is to see it in the “worst possible light,” revealing how totalizing and formative modern society is on us and our children. Whether it’s our obsession with sex and violence, our dependence on pharmaceutical drugs, our constant need for anesthetizing entertainment, our struggling educational system, our neglectful stewardship of creation, or our wanton desire for more of everything, we’re slaves to a system that normalizes dehumanization, a system of commodification and consumption, where everything and everyone is up for sale. Do we really want to get back to that kind of normal?
Miraculously enough, COVID-19 has given us a dark, yet beautiful gift. Life as we knew it is over. We have the rare chance to start over, to co-create a new world, one that looks more like the world God intended. In his homily for Maundy Thursday, the Rev. Brendan Williams asked, “Will we fall back into old habits, old assumptions, and old patterns of corrosive behavior, or will we finally do something fundamentally different to reshape our world for the betterment of all?” Like our spiritual ancestors, this is the real challenge before us today: “Listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster.” And in contrast to the Israelites who longed to return to the normalcy of Egypt, may we choose liberation. May each of us choose to enter a new land and a new way of being human. Nobody knows what the world will look like in the days and weeks to come; we just hope it is anything but normal.
Keep the Faith!
The Axis Team
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