ym360 Trends and Culture Update (Vol 5)
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. 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
Without further ado, here are some relevant links we think you should know about.
- You HAVE TO READ THIS! (And I would strongly suggest passing it off to parents.) One of ym360's blog contributors, Richard Parker, brought this to our attention: It is an app for a smart phone called SpyCalc that looks and functions like a calculator, but is in reality a back door to porn. This is a link to the website showing how you punch in your secret code and unlock the hidden capabilities of the app. (NOTE: There are some risque pictures on the site, but nothing explicit.) File this under info parents really need to know!
- The New York Times has a MUST READ for youth workers and parents. The article examines how growing up in an age of distractions (Youtube, Facebook, texting, etc.) can lead to brains that are conditioned to constantly switching task, and less able to sustain attention.
- Facebook's new messaging system might be the wave of the future for classroom collaboration. Why the new feature could spell the end for services like Blackboard, and could mean a return by young people to email as a viable means of communication.
- Constant texting can be a sign of a controlling relationship.
- Foursquare is expanding their team. In other news, Foursquare just passed Farmville as the number 1 Facebook application.
- danah boyd is one of the preeminent researchers and thinkers about teenagers and social networks. While Dr. Boyd and I could not see the world any differently from a religious or political point of view, I have a high regard for her opinion on teenagers, their issues, and especially social networking. This post on her blog is an amazingly insightful one on bullying. (NOTE: There is some mild profanity in a block of song lyrics she quotes at the top of the article.) The takeaway? Teens and parents see bullying very differently. We might be missing the way we are trying to address the issue.
- New study shows that teens diagnosed with ADHD present a greater risk to be involved in a wreck. And teenaged boys diagnosed with ADHD may be the most at risk drivers out there.
- A new study shows that teenagers who consume a lot of energy drinks are more likely to develop a dependency on alcohol. The study found that teenagers who took caffeinated drinks on a daily or weekly basis, were at a significantly higher risk for alcohol dependence and heavy drinking in future.
- The Brits are dealing with porn usage among the very young. A recent article in the Daily Mail reports that "One in three children is accessing a 'tsunami' of explicit pornographic images on the internet by the age of ten," while the "average age of a child first exposed to pornography is just 11."
- Here's a great glimpse into the world of pop music. This is the music that many of your students are listening to. If you haven't caught up in a while, take a few moments to watch these videos from last week's American Music Awards. But plan on seeing the kind of explicit, sexually-charged performances and lyrics that you would expect to see. Notable performances? Enrique Iglesias' "Tonight" is as raunchy a song as you will hear, so be warned. Taylor Swift continues to show her talent. Miley Cyrus continues to show that she has very little; Kid Rock and Pink continue to amaze at their ability to hang around. And I need to say that I find Ke$ha's music to be singularly awful. She is a caricature of the current culture surrounding main stream pop music.
That's it for this edition of the ym360 Trends & Culture report. Look for another one the week of December 6.