Vol. 3 Issue 04 | January 27, 2017

Vol. 3 Issue 04 | January 27, 2017

Three Things This Week

1. Jake Paul

What it is: 20-year-old social media star (4.1 million Instagram followers & 1.8 million YouTube followers) turned social media mogul is using his influence to create “the media and entertainment for future generations”.

Why it's important: For teens, social media stars are different than Hollywood stars. They are more accessible, more relatable, and more influential than mainstream celebrities. Paul’s new venture “TeamDom” is a social media talent label that employs teenagers to promote, incubate, and monetize YouTube and Instagram stars, further enhancing their influence on the buying habits, beliefs, and lifestyle choices of our teens.

2. Suing SnapChat

What it is: On Monday, SnapChat announced big changes to its “Discover” media section in response to a lawsuit claiming the mobile app exposes minors to sexually explicit content.

Why it's good: Snapchat, once known implicitly as a sexting app, has evolved into a visual storytelling platform and leading innovator in the social media industry. But did you also know that major media outlets like Cosmopolitan and Buzzfeed post softcore content that up until Monday, was available to minors without age verification? Help your children move beyond sin management by reorienting their hearts to want to choose the good even when evil is still a click away, remembering that “He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus”.

3. Sundance 2017

What it is: Held this week in Park City, Utah, Sundance is the largest independent film festival in the United States, with a reputation for selecting movies that go on to receive Oscar fame.

Why it's important:Sundance has become to Hollywood what Silicon Valley has been to the high-tech industry.” Known for bringing social and political ideas to the screen, director David Lowery reminds us that “every film is political”. Here are the nine most influential films from Sundance coming out in 2017, including a film by Al Gore on climate change.


Get Off Facebook Dad!

Middle-aged Americans (35 to 49 year olds) are now spending more time on social media (seven hours a week) than their children, with the fastest growing demographic on Facebook being Baby Boomers. I recently asked my daughter’s best friend what she was doing that evening and she responded, “nothing, just going home to watch my parents stare at their phones all night”. Ouch.

There’s nothing inherently good or bad about social media, it just is. Yet, how we use it matters. Is documenting your life online keeping you from actually living it? Maybe the greatest gift we can give our children is presence. Here are five practical ways to model healthy social media habits in your home so you can be fully present and engaged with your family.

1. Practice Faithful Presence: Root your life in the real. Anchoring yourself in the here and now reduces the impulsive need to broadcast your life, which can lead to envy, depression, and FOMO. Instead, embrace JOMO!

2. Resist the Urge to Share: Instead of posting that picture of you and your husband at the beach, keep that moment just between the two of you. Cherish it, and it will become an intimate memory binding you to one another, instead of cheapening the moment by sharing it with the world.

3. Unplug: Our devices tell us there is something more important going on “out there” than what’s going on right here, but that’s not true. Establish tech-free times during the day or tech-free places (dinner table) to encourage deliberate, face-to-face interaction with your family. Or, try giving up social media for Lent this year.

4. Slow Down: Your life’s pace matters. Our friends Matt and Julie Canlis encourage parents to live at “Godspeed”, which means living life intentionally, mindfully, and slowly. Practice it by reading a novel aloud together as a family at night, or play a board game instead of watching a movie. Start small, take 15-minutes every morning just to be with your kids before heading off to work and school. Build a liturgy to your day that encourages you to slow down and subvert the digital culture.

5. Pay Attention: The best way to capture moments isn’t to post them to SnapChat, it’s to simply pay attention. Cultivating an awareness of the world around us is a big part of being fully human. Henry David Thoreau said “Only that day dawns to which we are awake”. Ask yourself from time to time, “Am I paying attention to my life right now?” Otherwise, whole days, even our very life could pass by unnoticed.

Our kids need healthy boundaries around screen time and social media, what better way to provide those boundaries than by modeling them with our own actions and habits.

Check out the Parenting Teens Summit!

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