Vol. 5 Issue 35 | August 30, 2019
Three Things This Week
1. P-rn Grifters Chasing Teens on TikTok
What it is: TikTok’s billion users (mostly teens) are now the target of an intricate web of porn peddlers seeking to cash in on the site’s meteoric rise in popularity
Why it’s enticing: Scammers are creating fake Tiktok accounts filled with stolen videos of scantily clad women to lure teens into purchasing premium p-rn content. “Masquerading as attractive women has proven to be a highly effective way to draw in followers on TikTok in particular.” Con-artists use these planted videos to re-direct viewers to Snapchat, where they are tempted to sign up for adult dating sites and premium (fake) Snapchat accounts that allegedly contain p-rnography. File this one under “need to know” so you can stay vigilant with the dangers hiding in plain site on one of Gen Z’s favorite social platforms.
What it is: If you’ve ever wanted a deeper look into why so many young people put “influencer” as their top career choice OR why so many tweens and teens obsess over these influencers, look no further than Hulu’s new documentary Jawline.
Why it’s eye opening: Named for the chiseled jawlines of most male influencers, it follows one young man in his quest for 21st-century fame. Along the way, fans offer insight as to why they sacrifice so much and get so emotional to meet their idols in person: These teenage boys accept and encourage them when so many in their day-to-day lives don’t. Yet it becomes clear that the influencer world is an escape for both fan and influencer, a way to escape the mundane, the boring, and of course the negative aspects of their lives. It’s worth watching the film (warning: language) with the goal of understanding the pressure, anxiety, aspirations, struggles, temptations, and frustrations today’s social media world brings to teens. And if you think your teens are mature enough, it might be worth watching it with them to pull the veil back on the “glamour” this life promises.
3. If It Ain’t Broke…
What it is: Recently revamped app IRL seeks to “fight social isolation among young people by making them more active.”
Why it’s ironic: From the beginning, social media was pitched as the new and improved way to bring people together and forge community. Yet even though users have more “friends” than was ever possible throughout history, they’re also lonelier than ever due to increased screen use and less IRL interaction. It seems that social media is more media than social and that the boring, old way of making friends wasn’t so bad after all. So can yet another app find the best of both approaches? It remains to be seen. IRL is built around organizing real-life events and get togethers with real-life friends, rather than sheer amount of time spent on the app. But in the end, it is still a company trying to profit from our social lives.
A Labor of Love
It’s no coincidence that Labor Day falls right about the time school starts. For our children, these two themes of preparation and work will occupy much of the rest of their lives. Pursuing the appropriate career path that fits their skills, interests, and abilities is critical, but something even more foundational to their lifelong professional health is a proper theology of work. And for that we turn to the creation narrative.
In Genesis we learn two essential truths about both work and our role in God’s good creation. First, even before Adam and Eve are exiled east of Eden, they worked. God placed them “in the garden to work it and keep it.” Labor then isn’t a punishment to endure but rather an invitation to enjoy by joining God as co-creators, caring for and cultivating the earth and its resources. Second, we are stewards not owners, caretakers not commanders. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, our role is to serve and tend the created order and in so doing we serve the Lord who is the master of all creation.
With these fundamental beliefs as their guide, you can now help your kids answer the question, “What job or career path should I choose?” First, ask them this: What does the world need? The greatest gauge for what God wants them to do is their understanding of what needs to be done to make the world all that God intends it to be. As author Frederick Buechner wrote, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
Keep the Faith!
The Axis Team
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