Vol. 2 Issue 23 | June 10, 2016
Three Things This Week
1. A Social Life
What it is: An award winning short film that examines our relationship with and dependence on social media.
Why it’s good: Social media jealousy, Instagram envy, and FOMO are real byproducts of online life. According to the film’s creator, “The life you lead online isn’t always the life you’re actually living.” Watch the film with your teens and ask them open-ended questions about the allure of social media and why we are so drawn to project ourselves online.
2. Tinder Bans Teens
What it is: In a bit of good news from the social media world, starting next week the hookup app Tinder will prohibit teens under 18 from using the app.
Why it’s important: Before the ban, there were roughly 1 million users aged 13-17 on Tinder, meaning adults and children were using the same dating site. Safety and legal concerns were no doubt the main reason behind the updated policy. Your teens or their friends may be outraged by the change, which is a great opportunity to guide them in a discussion of the pros, cons, and risks of the app and how it changes their perspectives of relationships.
3. Stanford & Blame Culture
What it is: On June 2, Stanford swimmer Brock Turner was sentenced to a paltry 6-month prison term for 3 counts of sexual assault on an unconscious woman.
Why it’s important: The case gained national prominence when the victim’s letter to her perpetrator went viral. Turner has yet to take responsibility for his actions, blaming the alcohol and party culture on college campuses. Other things like blaming the victim’s outfit, alcohol consumption, or walking alone further perpetuate the problem. Our daughters are not responsible for the actions of our sons. There is never an excuse for rape. If our rape culture is ever going to end, men must take it seriously. Sit down with your sons and read her painful letter (warning: graphic!). Then have an open conversation with your son about godly masculinity, respecting the human dignity of every woman, and taking responsibility for his choices.
Top 5: Screens and Teens
In Screens and Teens: Connecting with our Kids in a Wireless World, Dr. Kathy Koch discusses the five lies that technology can make us believe. Our children are particularly susceptible to these lies, digital natives that they are; but we’re hardly immune either! Here are the five lies as illuminated in Dr. Koch’s excellent book:
1. I am the center of my own universe. Technology’s constant pandering to the consumer reinforces the lie that life is all about me, rather than about God.
2. I deserve to be happy all the time. As fantastic as the increased speed of our devices is, immediate gratification can be dangerous, leading to other impulsive behaviors.
3. I must have choices. In a world of ever-multiplying choices, we can begin to feel that choice is the ultimate virtue, that we have a right to always have our way.
4. I am my own authority. Technology reinforces the temptation to only look within oneself to find truth and meaning instead of seeking counsel from friends, Scripture, and mentors.
5. Information is all I need. Having information and being informed are very different. Help your students know how to use what they know with wisdom.