Vol. 3 Issue 20 | May 19, 2017
Three Things This Week
1. Thank You, Scott
Why it’s important: Though some believe clicktivism can be used to create real change, for most of us slacktivism replaces real action, meaning we’re totally willing to do what we can…as long as it can be done on our iPhones. Especially for digital natives, slacktivism has become the way to ameliorate the sad/guilty feelings we experience when we become aware of an injustice in the world. But does it actually spark change? Or does it just spark a lot of shares, likes, and reblogs? Talk with your children about what it means to “look after orphans and widows in their distress” and to be the salt and light of the world. Then make time to solve real problems as a family.
2. The Tech-Wise Family
What it is: A new book by Andy Crouch about how to put technology in its proper place in your home.
Why it’s great: As Crouch said in this interview, many parents feel like it’s much harder to raise kids now than in any other generation because of the omnipresence of technology. But it goes beyond that: This generation of parents is the first to deal with technology on this scale, so there wasn’t wisdom from older generations to fall back on and learn from. This book changes that, offering biblical principles and practical ways to reclaim your home and bring it back under God’s dominion, rather than the accidental dominion of technology.
3. This Week in Snapchat
What it is: You know Snapchat, the image-based app your teens use to send and receive pics or videos that “disappear”. But did you know it is also becoming the new teen newsstand, as publications like Cosmo and Buzzfeed promote daily stories aimed directly at the teen market?
Why it’s important: Snapchat is sexually discipling the next generation. Just this week, luring and unfiltered articles titled “What it’s Like to be a Celebrity with Big Boobs”, “What Guys are Thinking Before They Get a Bl*w Job”, and “What Does it Mean to Be Pansexual?” are making it nearly impossible for teens to resist exploring these topics out of mere curiosity. Snapchat is creating the time and place for these conversations, are you? Let us help! In our encore presentation of Axis’ Parenting Teens Summit, Dr. Juli Slattery provides practical ways to sexually disciple the next generation. Get your free ticket here!
Instagram ranked #1 as the most harmful social media site among 14 to 24 year olds for causing feelings of anxiety and inadequacy, with seven out of ten saying the platform made them feel worse about their body. On a deeper level, apps like Instagram or Snapchat appeal to and shape the ego (a person’s self-esteem or self-image), which is “that part of the self that wants to be significant”. The ego tends to only know itself by comparison, feeding the temptation toward self-rejection when my life doesn’t live up to the people I see on Instagram. Thomas Merton called this the “false self”. It’s inherently insecure because it is mostly a projection of the person you desire others to think you are. Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung once said, “The world will ask you who you are, and if you don’t know, the world will tell you.” Which is exactly the reason why social media is so appealing to, and often harmful to teen identity.
If students admit social media is detrimental to both their mental health and positive identity formation, why the addiction? Like Pavlov’s dog returning to his vomit, their developing brains are hardwired for the almost intoxicating effect of all those “likes”. Social media appeals to their ego where it is most vulnerable, in the continual search for significance. And, if we are honest, everyone is susceptible to this craving for validation, attempting in vain to fill the God-sized hole in our hearts. Yet, this “infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object: in other words by God Himself.”
Talk with your students about the true source of their identity (made in the image of God). Help them drown out the voices on social media shouting that they are not skinny enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough, so they can hear the small, sacred voice of God calling them His “beloved”. The truth is, our kids are the chosen children of God, always and forever precious in His sight. Identity matters. Because “When you get your, “Who am I?’ question right, all of your, ‘What should I do?’ questions tend to take care of themselves.” Here are five ways to help your teen feel comfortable in their own skin.
Less than 2 weeks until the encore presentation of our virtual Parenting Teens Summit begins. To get practical tips and biblical wisdom about how to disciple your teens from thinkers like Tim Keller, Ravi Zacharias, Kara Powell, and more, reserve your free spot now!
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