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.
- A huge survey, SpeakUp 2010, found some very interesting findings on technology in the classroom. The study basically found that even among the very young (elementary school) there is "great adoption of technology . . . but lingering resistance on the part of school administrators to sanction some of those tools into the classroom." There are great stats and charts here. Take a second to check it out. (h/t YPulse)
- Formspring gets a makeover. If you are not aware of what Formspring is, read the article we wrote on it last year. While it is a cool concept, it has had some really damaging effects on teenagers in the past. (h/t Mashable)
- Facebook has taken over the world. Take a second and watch this awesome video about the seismic impact Facebook has had on the world. One crazy fact: "Globally, Facebook users spend 700 Billion minutes a month on the site." (H/t Trendwatch)
- Another incredible presentation from the folks at Pew Internet & American Life Project. This presentation is all about how adolescents text & talk with friends compared with other forms of communication. Valuable stuff.
- A British study has found that the brains of "aggressive and anti-social" teenage boys look different than those of "normal" teenagers. And it's being labeled as "conduct disorder."
- The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Government are recommending that adolescents have their own special doctor. From the article: "Now, government agencies and medical associations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, are developing programs to train primary-care doctors to more effectively treat adolescents."(h/t YPulse)
- Pitt study finds link between students who listen to a lot of music and depression. This is one of those studies that the connection is probably not "causal" but is instead more "corollary." After all, it's not like "not" listening to music will keep teens from being depressed.
- Study shows increasing number of US teens taking oral contraceptives. "Eighteen per cent of teenage women ages 13 to 18 filled prescriptions for oral contraceptives in 2009."
- New study finds that high school students who feel they do not fit in are less likely to attend college. Obese and homosexual girls are affected the most.
- The seniors in your youth ministry are applying to college in toughest year EVER for admissions. This is a fascinating article we included in the ym360 Newsletter. Knowing this, you might consider how you can go the extra mile to assist parents and students as they go through this process.
- MTV Announces the "O Music Awards," an awards show "focused on digital music" that includes memes and collaborations. The awards are voted on by fans. It will be interesting to see what, if any, traction this gains with teenagers. (h/t Mashable)
- As always, the Billboard Hot 100 gives a glimpse into the worldview espoused by the most popular music in the US. And it's rarely pretty. Katy Perry is number 1 with "E.T.," followed by Rhianna's sexually explicit "S&M," Cee Lo's "F-word" entitled single, and Lady Ga-Ga's pro-homosexual manifesto "Born This Way." The music many of your students listen to provides ample opportunity for conversation about cultural discernment.
That's it for this edition of the ym360 Trends & Culture report. Look for another one the week of April 18.
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