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5 Online Sources For Tracking Teenage Trends And Culture

5 Online Sources For Tracking Teenage Trends And Culture

One of my passions, and part of my job at ym360, is to explore how culture impacts discipleship in teenagers. I love writing and leading workshops about this topic as I think it's absolutely vital to know the backdrop of our teenager's faith development and the effect it has on spiritual development. 

When I lead workshops for youth workers, I almost always have people come up and ask what sites I use to track trends and culture. 

So, I thought it would be helpful to pass along my top 5 online resources to youth workers (and parents teens and tweens). I also included a few additional sources at the end. Check these resources out and if you like them, bookmark them or add them to your RSS feed. Share them with your team and your students' parents. They're part of the way I stay informed with what's going on in the world our teenagers are growing up in.

1. The Center For Parent/Youth Understanding is a great resource. Walt Mueller and his team have for years been on the forefront of tracking how youth culture affects spiritual growth in teenagers. In addition to checking out the “Youth Culture News” on their website, you can sign up to get their e-update. BONUS: Walt's personal blog, “Learning My Lines” offers his own personal reflections on culture and spirituality.

2. YPulse is a site devoted specifically to millennials (the 80 million roughly 13-30 year old demographic in our country), though they are poised to track the next generation as well. YPulse is not a faith-based site. They view trends with an eye toward a marketer/advertiser audience. But I find their daily “Essentials” feed a great source of youth culture insight.

3. The Youth Culture Report

The Youth Culture Report is one of the best sources of trend spotting on the Internet. The folks at TYCR aggregate articles that focus on youth culture, youth ministry, and research. It's a daily source of content for me.

4. Youth Worker Journal

The Youth Worker Journal is a great youth ministry magazine. They have a tab on their website called “Youth Culture And News.” They routinely update it with very timely trends and culture updates. I have their RSS feed feeding content to my Feedly account. But simply bookmarking the site and checking back every so often would be a good way to stay up to date with cultural trends.

5. Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed represents the real identity of what the Internet has become. It is a collection of memes, viral videos, articles, and goofy opinion pieces. It's not faith-based and some people may find some of the content objectionable. But, if you want to know what your teenagers or their friends are tracking, it's on Buzzfeed.

Additional Sources of Youth Culture Content:

These some of the online methods I use to stay up to speed with the world our kids are growing up in.

Consider utilizing these sites as a way to know what your tweens or teens are encountering in their day-to-day lives, and to better be able to engage them in relevant conversation about the factors influencing their personal and spiritual identities.

About The Author

Andy Blanks

Andy Blanks

Andy Blanks is the Publisher and Co-Founder of YM360 and Iron Hill Press. A former Marine, Andy has spent the last 17 years working in youth ministry, mostly in the field of publishing. During that time, Andy has led the development of some of the most-used Bible study curriculum and discipleship resources in the country. He has authored numerous books, Bible studies, and articles, and regularly speaks at events and conferences, both for adults and teenagers. Andy and his wife, Brendt, were married in 2000. They have four children: three girls and one boy.