Vol. 5 Issue 51 | December 20, 2019
Three Things This Week
1. Communication Limits
What it is: With last week’s release of iOS 13.3, Apple introduced even more functionality to its parental controls known as Screen Time.
Why it’s still just a tool: Parents now have the ability to limit who can contact their children and when via the Phone, Messages, and FaceTime apps (see our Parent’s Guide to iOS for more on Screen Time). Of course, this only applies to Apple’s built-in communication apps, so it doesn’t limit other communication apps like Messenger, Instagram, Kik, etc. And because teens are really good (paywall) at finding ways around restrictions, it’s crucial that smartphone use and restrictions remain an ongoing conversation between your teens and you. But if you’re giving your kids an iOS device for the first time this Christmas, we encourage you to make use of Screen Time from the beginning and check out our brand new book, Smartphone Sanity: A Proven Plan to Protect Your Kids, Build Trust, and Bring Smartphone Balance to Your Home.
2. Potentially Offensive
What it is: Instagram is rolling out an AI-powered feature that will warn users when they’re about to post “potentially offensive” captions.
Why it has potential: As part of their effort to combat cyberbullying, the feature warns when a caption “looks similar to others that have been reported.” But it only looks at captions (not accompanying images), and it doesn’t block them, it simply gives users the option to “edit caption,” “learn more,” or “share anyway.” Clearly, this will not stop those who are determined to bully and troll others, but the hope is that it might open well-intentioned users’ eyes to things they might not have otherwise recognized as offensive. We want to know what your teens think! Will it prevent bullying? Will it make people even more sensitive? Ask them if they think this feature is a good idea or not and why. Then reply to this email with their responses.
3. Search for Meaning
Why it needs a new approach: Young people experience anxiety for a number of reasons, one of which is often the unspoken—but real—pressure to make sense of their lives. Adults may realize in retrospect that finding meaning is not a destination, rather a journey with many twists and turns, but when you’re young and looking ahead, it feels more like a race to figure it all out as quickly as possible so that life will settle down. Interestingly, the study also found a negative correlation between the search for meaning and mental health, meaning that young people may experience more anxiety, depression, etc. because they feel this immense pressure. Help the teens in your life by reminding them that their journey will be different than everyone else’s and all that matters is whether they’ve followed God—not meeting society’s arbitrary milestones.
Child Sponsorship: Our friends at Compassion International have a unique opportunity to serve more families in the underdeveloped world. Due to a matching gift, if you sponsor a child for $38/month, they will give an additional $100 per child sponsored to at-risk families in West Africa. We want to help them sponsor 500 new children this Christmas and double their impact on a hurting world. Will you help by sponsoring a child today?
The Axis App Is Coming!
At Axis, we’re always dreaming about ways we can help you start conversations that last a lifetime with your kids. From social media to sexting, Gen Z is being discipled by pop culture. They are missing a trusted voice in the conversation: yours!
That’s why we’re developing the Axis App. This new platform will provide the most compelling experience to help you understand your teen’s world and disciple them through it. The app will help you do this by putting our content at your fingertips in easier-to-access ways, as well as offer new features (like audio, a discipleship curriculum, and more!) over time.
Will you help us launch phase one of the Axis App in 2020? We believe this new tool will bring one million families together to transform this generation. Our year-end goal is to raise $82,000 to create and launch the app in the new year. We’ve already raised over $10,000 toward our goal; help us get the rest of the way by clicking here to make your tax-deductible gift today. Thank you for your partnership, and merry Christmas from all of us to you!
Keep the Faith!
The Axis Team
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