A Survey Worth a Thousand Worries | April 24, 2020
Three Things This Week
What it is: Remember that weird Marshmello concert that happened on Fortnite last year? Apparently it was just ahead of its time because Fortnite is now the home to rapper Travis Scott’s new concert tour.
Why it’s the new frontier: Running from April 23-25, the free “concert” is being held in a part of the game that was specially designed by Scott’s record label. In addition, he’s debuting a brand new song while Fortnite debuts Scott-themed in-game purchases. With stay-at-home orders still in effect in many places, this virtual concert will probably garner millions of young attendees who are not only looking to regain some sense of normalcy, but are also excited for the chance to attend a concert for free. Yet lest they’re tempted to think the epidemic is making brands more generous, help them see that they’re simply adapting their business models to our new digital existence.
2. More Valuable Than They
What it is: A new survey from Common Sense Media and Survey Monkey reveals just how the pandemic is impacting teenagers, and it shows there’s a lot of worry.
Why it’s understandable: With so much uncertainty, it’s no wonder they’re worried. They’re worried about whether they’ll be able to keep up with their schoolwork and extracurricular activities, about loved ones contracting the virus, about their family’s ability to make a living, and even about losing connection with friends. And their fears and concerns probably don’t look much different from ours, if we’re honest. It’s important to acknowledge their (and our) very real concerns and to help them make room for uncomfortable emotions, while also pointing them to cast their cares on Jesus. He knows our needs and will provide for them when we seek first His kingdom and righteousness. It’s in Him we trust, and that should give us all hope. Check out our Parent’s Guide to Fear & Worry for more help.
What it is: An app that may become (or already be) one of your teen’s favs is gaining new traction thanks to the pandemic, but it’s not without controversy.
Why it’s good and bad: The app allows celebrities and influencers to earn money by making short videos for fans. If someone’s a fan of The Bachelor, for example, their friends can pay for host Chris Harrison to send them a birthday message. And because many of the activities celebs normally do to earn money are postponed, they have begun flocking to the app. On the one hand, it seems like a gimmick meant to help the already wealthy continue to line their pockets, but on the other, it does seem like an easy way to add some fun and excitement to a bleak situation. Luckily, there are also many who are solely using their star power to fundraise for worthy causes, so if your teens are interested in using the service, help them find ways to use it thoughtfully and for good.
Gen Z Is Listening to Dr. Fauci
Who could have ever imagined a 79-year-old immunologist being so cool with the kids? But that’s just what has happened to Dr. Anthony Fauci due to a few perfectly timed facepalms and eye rolls. And while meme culture made him famous, it’s his organic use of social media that makes him believable. Appearing on Instagram Live with Steph Curry and conducting several interviews on YouTube, Dr. Fauci is suddenly an influencer and a “Corona-crush.”
And while his rise to social media fame couldn’t have been predicted, it also makes sense in hindsight. Unlike politician Mike Bloomberg, who spent millions of dollars trying to buy his way into the hearts of Gen Z, Dr. Fauci is “engaging with young people authentically and consistently and on the platforms that young people prefer,” establishing himself as a likable and credible source of information. As parents, we may have more to learn from Dr. Fauci than simply trying to stay healthy.
Beyond his ability to seamlessly utilize Gen Z’s platforms of choice, his persona is equally important. The next time you tune in to the daily COVID-19 briefing, study Dr. Fauci’s presence. He is calm, intelligent, well-informed, well-spoken, and free from emotional outbursts. In short, he’s gained Gen Z’s trust not just for where he’s speaking, but how he’s speaking. As you disciple your children on everything from politics to sexuality, remember this: You don’t need to be the loudest or coolest voice in the room. What you need and what they desire is wisdom. A captivating voice bathed in openness, humility, and honesty. A voice centered in prudence, free from binary thinking, defensive postures, and quick judgments. You’ll know you are on the path to finding that voice when you cease the need to be right about everything while losing the desire to control every outcome. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. And in the end, you just might find you’ve earned the right to be heard.
Keep the Faith!
The Axis Team
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