ym360 Trends and Culture Update (Vol 10)
At ym360, we're committed to equipping youth workers. While most of our energy is dedicated to doing this in the areas of Bible Study Resources and Training, we believe it's valuable for youth workers and parents to stay in the loop on what is happening in youth culture and culture in general. (Read why we think it's important here.) A couple times a month, we'll do a post like this one, where we link to relevant articles and studies that give you a better glimpse into the world teenagers are living in. [Note: By nature, some of the articles and subject matter we deal with in Trends & Culture often conflicts with our beliefs and ethics as Christ-followers. Our purpose in linking to this type of material is to simply give you the option of being informed with the culture your students are surrounded by. Your own discretion should always be used in determining which links to click on.] We'd love to know that we're not just equipping you, but those you serve, as well. Consider using this article to equip your community in the following ways:
- Email this link to your adult volunteers
- Repost it on your blog or church website
- Email the link to all your parents to help equip them to better understand their teen's world
- SHARE IT with your youth ministry networks. This is a great way to help your peeps!
Without further ado, here are some relevant links we think you should know about.
Some Social Media News
2 pieces on anti-bullying campaigns(h/t Mashable)
- Formspring may or may not be on your radar. (For a quick overview see an post I wrote here.) It's days as a "trending topic" are probably over. But, they have recently taken an interesting stand on bullying. I say interesting, because bullying seemed to be what many teenagers used Formspring for.
- Facebook rolls out a suite of anti-bullying tools. From the article: "Facebook is announcing a new suite of tools to protect users from bullying, foster a stronger sense of community in the social network, and "create a culture of respect" among Facebook users." Looking at the tools, I wonder if they will be implemented by students. We'll see, I guess.
- Great guide for talking to teenagers about sexting. (h/t CPYU)
A Glance At Recent Research
- New study finds that there are more teenagers with eating disorders that experts thought. This link has a quick rundown of the findings. The study also finds a connection between eating disorders and suicidal thoughts. This link focuses on this connection.
- In what is considered the largest, and most reliable study on youth and sex, researchers find that fewer teenagers and young adults are having sex. (Just a heads up: the article is pretty frank about the kinds of sexual activity students are involved in.) The decline is described as small, yet significant. While this news is definitely positive, it's worth acknowledging that 7 out of 10 teenagers surveyed reported some form of sexual contact.
- Study shows smoking may alter decision-making region of teenager's brains.
- Study using brain scans show that teenagers are more effective at resisting peer pressure the older they get.
- New study shows that teenagers who use marijuana are at greater risk of developing schizophrenia later in life.
- Tweens getting less sleep, in part due to texting and social media. (h/t YPulse)
The World of Youth-Culture & Entertainment
- Interesting development . . . Lady Gaga had signed an exclusive deal with Target to distribute her new album, the pro-homosexual manifesto, "Born This Way." The catch was that Target had to agree to fund pro-homosexual organizations and movements. Apparently, Target failed to live up to their bargain. Gaga announced that the deal is off. (h/t YPulse)
- Teen Ink is a website that gives teenagers a place to voice their opinions about a variety of subjects. This article gives a very interesting look at how (some) teenagers feel about Lady Gaga. The cool thing for me was to look at the comments. They give a really interesting view into the thoughts and opinions of teenagers as it pertains to Gaga.
- Augmented reality games are catching on with kids. (h/t YPulse)
- This week's look at the Billboard Hot 100 is an interesting glimpse into just how mainstream the "F" word has become. Two of the top five songs in the country have the word in their titles, one of them prominently featured on "Glee" a few weeks ago. Again, these are songs that many of your students and/or their friends are listening to.
That's it for this edition of the ym360 Trends & Culture report. Look for another one the week of March 21st.
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Any specific study or link stand out to you? Disagree with anything? Let us know by sharing your thoughts below.