Vol. 3 Issue 43 | October 27, 2017

Three Things This Week

1. #NoPornovember

What it is: Fight the New Drug is taking the whole month of November to travel around the world and expose the global effects of pornography.

Why you should join: The movement will not only increase awareness of just how devastating pornography is—not just to the consumer, but to the entire world—but it will also give participants (“Fighters”) challenges and ways to join the fight to stop pornography (and a chance to win prizes!). Join the “global fight for love” as a family (or youth group or class), then take time to discuss how porn goes against God’s beautiful design for sex and love. You can download the app or sign up here.

2. Instagram Butlers

What it is: A vacation resort is now offering “Instagram butlers” who help guests take the perfect photos of their vacation by utilizing dedicated “#InstaTrails” with the perfect background.

Why it’s telling: Remember when vacation was a time to unplug and “go off-grid”? Yeah, neither do Millennials and Gen Zers. There’s such immense pressure to have an Instagrammable life that teens and tweens are constantly trying to get the perfect angle, the perfect lighting, the perfect background, the perfect outfit…and businesses are starting to profit from their insecurity. So rather than enjoying the experience, the memories, and the scenery, young people see vacation as another way they have to measure up. It’s the modern, digital version of “keeping up with the Joneses.” Ask your teens if they’d hire a “butler.” Do they see businesses that offer them as being benevolent and helpful? Why?

3. Einstein’s Theory of…Happiness?

What it is: Some scribbled thoughts on happiness by the Nobel laureate sold for $1.56 million after a short bidding war this week.

Why it’s fascinating: The paper may have sold for 200 times its estimated value because the interested buyers simply understood the value of a handwritten document by the physicist. But could it also be because of our obsession with finding the quickest way to achieve and maintain happiness? Yet Einstein’s message was counter-cultural: “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.” Ask your teens if they agree with Einstein. Also, ask them what they think happiness is and if it’s easy to achieve. Then use the conversation to reframe the concept of happiness around its inextricable link to holiness.

Update: In addition to the Conversation Kit on Suicide we mentioned last week, we’ve also just released a “Parent’s Guide to Suicide & Self-Harm Prevention.”

Stranger Things to Consider Together

As entertaining as the first season of Stranger Things was, everyone has been (im)patiently awaiting the release of its second season today, Oct. 27 (trust us, we’re among those who have yet to watch it). But rather than letting your teens rush home from school to begin a weekend of binge-watching the entire season, ask them if they’d grant you the honor of watching with them (by the way, early reviews suggest this season takes a darker turn toward horror). Then, as the season unfolds, take time to ruminate on and have conversations about what each episode does well, what it does poorly, how it is better (or worse) than the first season, and which characters they identify with.

Here are some other questions to discuss:

  1. How does it portray feelings of isolation and other-ness? Which characters do they use to explore these feelings? Do you think the show portrayed these feelings in a realistic way?
  2. Which characters do you wish they spent more time developing? Why?
  3. Are there any characters you felt #deservedbetter? Why or why not? Were there any characters who deserved worse? Why or why not?
  4. Did this season feel darker than the first? Why do you think it was that way? Did it add to or take away from the show? Why or why not?
  5. In your opinion, what was the most compelling part of this season and why? Was it as compelling or less than the first season?

By watching the show with your teens, you’ll not only communicate how much you care about what they care about, you can also use the opportunity to begin showing (as opposed to telling) them how to be discerning, thoughtful media viewers.

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