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 knowing the culture your students are surrounded by. Use discretion to determine 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.
- When there is a global catastrophe, such as the Japanese earthquake and subsequenttsunami, we realize the reach of social media. Yet, part of our media saturated, 24-hour news cycle is that inevitably, our attention isn't held on any one subject (no matter how meaningful) for too long. Something (or more accurately, many things) comes along to push the "big story" out of our focus. With that being said, take a moment and look at these before and after arial views of Japan, and pray for the Japanese people as they try and put their life back together.
- Found this great presentation from the Pew Research Center on Trends in Teen Communication and Social Media Use. The research is not new, but the presentation does an excellent job of condensing it. Some great facts here.
- The FTC is investigating how Apple markets "in app" purchases to teens and tweens. (h/t CPYU)
- Twitter turns 5 years old. This article points out who the most popular Twitterers (even a word?) are, and which demographic is most represented. (h/t YPulse)
- There have to be youth ministry applications to this new YouTube feature, right?
- We Tweeted about this last week, but I wanted to run it again. An increasing number of "under-13-year-olds" are joining Facebook without their parents knowledge. (h/t Ypulse)
- Print Textbooks are destined to go the way of the Dinosaurs.
- New study shows that gender and race influence teenage marijuana use.
- Study shows that teens lack real financial intelligence.
- This case study from NPR watches teenagers experience "withdrawal symptoms" when separated from their cell phones. (Sadly, I probably would too!)
- Study finds that stricter laws are needed to keep teenagers away from tanning beds.
- More than ever, the music your students are listening to is dramatically opposed to God's Kingdom principles.The Billboard Hot 100 offers a great glimpse into what songs many of your students are listening to, and the worldviews these songs push. As we posted two weeks ago, there are two songs in the top six songs in the country with the "F-word" in the title. Joining the top 5 this week is a song by Rihanna entitled "S&M" that brazenly champions sexual deviancy. And, for the fifth week in a row, Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," a song being called this generation's "Pro-homosexual Manifesto," is number 1 on the charts.
- MTV is set to release season 2 of "The Hard Times of RJ Berger." I wrote this post about this show last year, that is still very relevant to the discussion. In light of MTV's "Skins," "Berger" seems on the outset more tame. Herein lies the problem. I still find the show to be deeply disturbing. There's a good chance this will be on your students' radars; if they are not watching it, someone they know most certainly will be.
- This is a blog post written by a teen-mom on being a teen mother. You can find so many revealing insights in this post; many of them as narrowly-focused as you might expect from someone with little life-experience and the fresh-faced optimism of a teen. But there are some insightful nuggets as well. All in all, it's a revealing look at a perspective that many of us don't see too often.
That's it for this edition of the ym360 Trends & Culture report. Look for another one the week of April 4.