Vol. 2 Issue 48 | December 2, 2016

Vol. 2 Issue 48 | December 2, 2016

Three Things This Week

1. Out of Bounds

What it is: A ground-breaking expose by the group Commercial Free Childhood details the NFL’s aggressive and questionable advertising campaign to children.

Why it's influential: Concerned about the decline in youth football activity, as well as the growing narrative over CTE and concussions, the NFL unleashed an all-out blitz to change the conversation about its brand. Utilizing fantasy football leagues (4 million teens), online gaming, TV shows, football clinics for moms, and educational curriculum, the NFL’s publicity campaign reveals the influence advertisers have on the hearts and minds of our children. This Sunday, turn on an NFL game and pay particular attention to the advertisements. What are they selling? Why are they selling it and what messages are our students accepting without questioning their virtue?

2. Download Netflix and Go

What it is: Netflix announced on Wednesday that it’s 86 million worldwide customers can now watch their favorite shows offline by downloading videos to their mobile device instead of streaming them on wifi or cellular data.

Why it's important: Boarding a flight? Taking the subway, or blocked by the school’s firewall? Now, there’s literally no place your students can be without Netflix, encouraging more screen time and additional bingeing opportunities. This reverses Netflix’s 2015 decision blocking downloadable content due to the psychological “paradox of choice” syndrome, which suggests that too many options actually creates anxiety and paralysis in consumers. In addition, downloadable content in developing countries where internet is spotty will only increase Netflix’s profit margins and impact on the entertainment industry for years to come..

3. Empathy is the App

What it is: A Tedx Talk by Dr. Devorah Heitner that encourages and equips parents and teachers to disciple students in our anxiety driven, digital age.

Why it's important: Watch Dr. Heitner’s 13-minute talk! It’s an amazing glimpse into your student’s lived experience with technology. For instance, what is it like to be an 11-year-old with access to a smartphone? Or, how hard is it to watch a live-streamed birthday party you weren’t invited to? We know you worry about what type of adult your student will become in an age of double-screening, group texting, and social media. Dr. Heitner’s talk provides practical suggestions and solutions for discipling digital natives.

Join us for our next parent webinar: https://axis.org/webinar-registration


Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life Review

Warning: Spoilers

Last week generations of faithful viewers came together for a revival of Gilmore Girls, a cozy, creative, and influential coming-of-age dramedy. Netflix released four episodes taking place 10 years after the original series ended. Viewers still love the hilarious chemistry between Lorelai and Rory, a single mother who raised her daughter in a quaint town full of big-hearted, quirky characters. And few shows combine witty banter with gut wrenching monologues, making this reboot one of the most anticipated in television history. Social media is abuzz with the show’s infamous last four words.

Gilmore Girls focuses on romantic relationships. A 50-year marriage between Lorelai’s parents is portrayed as admirable, and Lorelai and Luke also tie the knot after several years of cohabitation, realizing they haven’t been as good as married after all. So… is Gilmore Girls promoting marriage and life-long commitment?

Not necessarily. Simultaneously, Rory is sleeping around, even with her ex who is engaged to someone else. Seeing Rory model these behaviors can normalize her actions for students, especially for those who binge-watched the episodes without viewing critically. These mixed messages are easy to overlook, especially because the characters are so likable.

If your daughter enjoyed the revival, we recommend watching at least one episode with her. Ask her: What do you like or admire about Lorelai and Rory’s relationship? Do you think Rory saw Lorelai as more of a friend or a parent, and why is that important?

Ultimately, Rory is a by-product of Lorelai’s parenting style that emphasized friendship over discipleship. Now, 10 years later, it really should be no surprise that Rory is floundering. What a perfect opportunity to help your daughter unpack the ideas and habits that Rory’s mom modeled for her, and their consequences in "A Year in the Life".

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