Vol. 3 Issue 45 | November 10, 2017
Three Things This Week
1. Teens 2017
What it is: Time Magazine released their list of the “30 Most Influential Teens of 2017.”
Why it’s inspiring: We have to be honest with you, as a staff we are knee-deep in teen culture, and we had only heard of maybe seven of these teens! It shows how quickly and constantly pop culture is changing. Ask your teen which individuals they are familiar with, and why? Then, remind them they also are never too young to make an impact in the world. What are your kid’s dreams? Do you know what they aspire to become? What do they need from you to bring beauty, flourishing, and wonder into our world?
2. Musical.ly Bought for $800 Million
What it is: The wildly popular teen video app (over 200 million users) that allows users to lip-sync their favorite songs and share them with the world was sold for a hefty sum to a Chinese company.
Why it’s somewhat alarming: “Musical.ly’s vision is to make entertainment more personal, participatory, and interactive, by enabling anyone to be a content creator.” Can you see why teens love it? The app is cute, fun, and kinda silly, but here’s the downside: the nature of open-sourced content like musical.ly almost always leads to inappropriate and sexually explicit material not simply from teen users, but predators. And, with that much money and millions of users, it’s still an open portal to another group of people: advertisers. Read up about Musical.ly’s privacy settings and put them into action. Encourage your teens to only accept followers they know and use the app as an opportunity to redeem a creative space for musically talented teens to share their passion with the world in a safe space.
3. Louis C. K.
What it is: Comedian Louis C.K. admitted today that allegations of sexual misconduct levied against him are indeed true.
Why it’s systemic: The comedian joins a litany of public figures including Kevin Spacey, Roy Moore, Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Sheen, and Dustin Hoffman who are currently under scrutiny for similar allegations. Unfortunately, these events remind us why 71% of women refuse to report sexual assault: they are dismissed, manipulated, intimidated and often retaliated against. As a parent or teacher, what can you do? Listen to the women/girls in your life: believe them, empathize with them, speak up with them, and empower them. Often, shame and guilt will lead to their silence. So look for warning signs like problems eating or sleeping, avoiding social settings or school, panic attacks/mood swings, or sudden and extreme self-esteem issues. Here are six practical ways parents and teachers can prevent sexual harassment.
The Road to Redemption
The road to the Final Four begins tonight as college basketball teams tip off the 2017-2018 season on campuses all across the country. For diehard fans, it’s been a long and painful offseason. An FBI investigation revealed widespread cheating and bribery allegations at schools like Arizona, Louisville, Miami, and Auburn. Last month, the University of North Carolina (defending NCAA champions) finally crawled out from under a seven-year academic fraud probe for creating “paper classes,” and just this week several UCLA basketball players (Lavar Ball’s son) were arrested in China for shoplifting. College hoops is in need of redemption, and nobody knows that better than Duke’s star guard Grayson Allen.
Three years ago, Allen burst onto the scene on basketball’s biggest stage, as the unknown freshman at the end of the bench who sparked an emotional come-from-behind win in the national championship game. But a series of tripping incidents last year tarnished his reputation, making him “the most hated player” in college basketball. Allen realizes he’s polarizing: “Half the basketball world thinks I’m this hothead, dirty player…and another group that thinks I’m a lot better than I actually am.” In the one-and-done era, Allen is a rarity in that he’s an NBA prospect who decided to forego the draft for his senior season, because he’s “still growing and maturing.” Aren’t we all.
It’s easy to forget everyone we meet is on a journey, and none of us have arrived: that kid in the back of your class, your prodigal daughter who has yet to return home, and even that star basketball player, we’re all in need of redemption. In a culture that says one strike and you’re out, go the second mile. Model the unconditional love of Christ by remembering that what you have received undeservedly you can give undeservedly. Because without mercy, nothing new can ever happen. Forgiving our kids frees them from their past, and invites them into a hopeful future.
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