Sexual Consent… App?

sexual consent appWe’ve seen apps helping people hook up, apps for people who just want to “cuddle”… I guess it’s no surprise that now some college students will rely on an app for sexual consent.

In a world where laws are emerging requiring mutual “affirmative consent” in attempt to prevent or reduce sexual abuse, miscommunication or regretted sexual activities, I guess I should have guessed this app would surface.

The app is called Good to Go, and it is already drawing criticism. The app targets college-age adults in an attempt to create a pause before sexual activity so that both parties can agree to what is about to take place. Here’s the YouTube ad for the app:

When one of my readers, Tom, forwarded me information about this app, I found myself shaking my head for multiple reasons. But as a researcher of youth culture, I found the app fascinating, yet another exhibit of evidence that today’s young people are growing increasingly dependent on technology for communication… even about the important stuff.

It’s one of my growing concerns about this generation. Screen time replacing face-to-face time. The inability to understand social cues during interpersonal communication. A decline in intimate friendships.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen young people choosing screens for important communication. In my book Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, I highlighted an intriguing study where doctors compared face-to-face dialogue to communication through screens. In this study, researchers observed the effectiveness of doctors using computers to collect data from teenagers because “young people will type more on a screen than they will share face-to-face.” Doctors surveyed teenagers about subjects such as self-injury or feelings of depression. In face-to-face interviews, 52 percent of the students responded. That number went up to 69 percent when students could use a computer to respond.

“A teenager who is sad and maybe even considering suicide may be reluctant to tell a doctor about life-threatening troubles. But the same teenager is far more likely to tell a computer a secret that he or she would be hesitant to share with even a close friend, much less a clinician who may be a friend of the family.” (ABC News)

If teens are much more comfortable with screens, then maybe an app catalyzing important conversations isn’t such a huge leap.

What’s next? The will you marry me app? (Or, sadly, and more likely, the will you cohabitate with me app?)More-Than-Just-The-Talk-BLOG

What is your reaction?


Posted in Jonathan's Rant, News, Sexuality, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Social Media, Youth Culture | 1 Comment

Parent Reactions

teenagers-phone-adviceI love hearing feedback from parents after they attend one of my Parenting the Smartphone Generation workshops– it’s fun to hear how their kids respond when the parents arrive home with all this new information (knowing that I’m telling their parents to start paying attention to what they are watching, what sites they are browsing, etc.), and I’m always curious to hear how the parents responded to the glimpse I gave them of music, TV, video games and other entertainment media.

A good friend forwarded me the feedback from a church in Amish Pennsylvania where I spoke about three weeks ago. They actually printed the parent feedback right in one of their newsletters to the church.

Here’s the feedback, as printed:

Parents talk about
Jonathan McKee’s Parenting Workshop

We contacted families who attended the Parenting Workshop for some feedback on what parents learned. Here’s what they had to say:
The biggest thing I walked away with is RELATIONSHIP with guidelines. Not rules and say this is what I say and this is what I do. I have been through this before and yet every couple of years things change drastically.  I pity our teens and the distractions that are so prevalent.
I did attend the workshop and found it very informative, though somewhat frustrating and frightening!  It’s going to be a job to keep up!
Loved it-and hope it was recorded so other folks can benefit from this information! Thanks to all!
I think a silicate workshop for kids and the dangers of social media would be very beneficial for the students.   
This was an awesome workshop, and we walked away with some of his books to work through with our kids. Most things I was aware of, but the video game portion brought a better awareness for me in that area.
I learned a lot and I thought Jonathan did a wonderful job.
Mr. McKee was a very good speaker. I enjoyed the workshop.
It was very good and well worth the time. It made me look at things differently.
We attended church and heard him speak & then came back Sunday night, too. I like his perspective on working with kids & technology. We are hosting a Korean teen and he is always on his phone. So Jonathan advised us to wait a week & pray and then talk with our child to come up with guidelines. He said to give your child a heads up but not to go into detail until you had a week to pray. I like that.
My daughter begged me twice not to go so of course like any good parent, I went :)
I thought the speaker was incredible — both enlightening & entertaining at the same time.
All I can say is WOW !!! We sure need to make some changes. It was very hard coming home and keeping my mouth closed. I had the list ready to go, 1-2-3 , but of course we will wait 1 week until we take action. Our son also was prepared. We walked in the door and he very quickly stated that we CANNOT make changes to his phone, ect….for 1 week!!  Sometimes we wondered if he ever listens to the sermon, well, here we have proof that he did. Of course, he would hear something that pertains to his fun! I just thought his reaction was very immediate.  We just had to laugh at him!!!

Posted in Entertainment Media, Music, Parenting, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Social Media, Speaking/Training, TV, Youth Culture | Leave a comment

10 Things That Made Me Pause in Uganda

Uganda-childI’m in my second week of my visit here to Kampala. Three days left. We’ve done three full days of training, I’ve spoke at several schools, met with youth workers, preached three services yesterday (three 2-hour services… a little longer than I’m used to. Wow!), and spoke at an Anglican conference that brought people from all over the region. It’s been a crazy week… with some amazing moments!

Here’s 10 things that caused me to pause and take notice in Uganda:

Uganda-worship-danceThe Worship
As much as I travel, I get to hear A LOT of different worship bands. I’ve heard some of the best… but nothing beats worship over here in Africa. First, EVERYONE sings out at the top of their lungs! Men too. (Here’s a 15 second video of 1300 Ugandan young people singing in the church where I preached.) They sing in different languages, sometimes even letting loose with a tribal yipe… so fun. And the dancing! I wish American teenagers would learn to dance like this. It’s not sexualized like almost every American dance-move has become…it’s truly feeling the music, worshipping and dancing to the Lord. I can’t get enough.

Holding Hands
It isn’t uncommon to see two men walking holding hands. In America this means something completely different. But here in Uganda, two heterosexual men will just hold hands and walk. Several times a Ugandan male friend would grab my hand and walk with me. It’s kinda cool.

My Package
Even though most of the people in Kampala speak English, there still are some phrases that differ and come across funny. Maybe I’ve been working with junior high kids too long, but I almost lost it when I was introduced in church yesterday like this: “We are so lucky to have Jonathan McKee this morning. He has so much to offer. He has a big package.”

Every kid wears a school uniform. You see little kids walking to school in adorable matching shirts, skirts and ties. Even in the church services I preached at, entire sections filled with teenage girls all wearing the same bright purple or bright peach uniforms.

When the people in Kampala talk with each other, they’ll talk in English, then slip into Luganda. Yesterday before I spoke, a local rapper performed. His rap would slip in and out of English, Luganda and then another tribal western language. The young people were chanting back to him in multi languages… really fun.

Death Race
Last year my daughter Alyssa came to Uganda to minister and speak about purity in secondary schools. Next year my daughter Ashley is coming to do the same. And frankly, my only hesitation with sending any of my family here is the way people drive. A New York cabby is 20 times as safe as the most careful driver in Kampala! People drive terrible. No one stays in any lanes, pedestrians do NOT have the rideaway… in fact… if you are a pedestrian and you don’t move… you will die. The roads here are INSANE!!! (I’ll try to post an Instagram video with a sample in the next few days.) Which brings up…

boda-bodaThe ‘Boda Boda’
The first thing you’ll notice when you drive in Kampala is that at any given time you will see about 40 motorcycles on the road, taxi-ing someone on the back, dodging in and out of traffic like a bunch of lunatics. A motorcycle taxi is called a ‘boda boda.’ Traffic is terrible in Uganda, so most people jump on a boda boda to get where they need to go. On our first day we saw one plow into the back of a van. It’s amazing anyone is alive on the roads here.

The Shilling
The currency in Uganda is the Shilling. The weird part is that one-dollar is about 2600 Shillings. So this means that something really cheap is easily 3,000 to 5,000 Shillings. It’s weird for an American who is used to hearing the cost of items being one dollar, or 20 dollars… or even 100 dollars. If you order a burger at a cafe, it’s 14,500 Shillings. When you buy expensive items they are in the millions.

My good Ugandan Friend John was sharing his heart for Uganda. He loves the country, has hope for the people, but, like many Ugandans, he is frustrated by much of the chaos (the crazy roads, the lack of good water systems, drainage, etc.). So we asked him candidly. “John, this country has so many good people, it has good soil, and rests next to one of the largest lakes in the world… what’s the problem.”

I’ll never forget John’s answer. He said, “One word: leadership.”

The government has huge issues, which start at the top, bleed through the entire infrastructure and trickle down to the front lines. So when you’re driving on the poor roads alongside the streets that have no drains or garbage cans, if you get pulled over by the police, they’ll expect a bribe. It’s sad.

In spite of this corruption, this younger generation has hope. When we hosted a free training for youth workers in the area, we had over 140 excited young men and women attend (very few over 30-years-old). When I offered giveaways, they all wanted a book over anything else. They are desperate to learn! This educated generation is eager to try new things, open to new methods and tired of systems that don’t work.

The government is even showing signs of hope. A new ‘Mayor’ of Kampala has started repaving roads, installing drains, and cleaning up the city. Our friend John sees this as a glimmer of hope for the future (and John has seen a lot of dark times, even having to flee the country with his family in his youth).

That’s why I’m excited about offering training to these young ministry leaders. Uganda doesn’t need handouts. They need to be encouraged and equipped to keep up the good work and keep their eyes fixed on Jesus, the true hope in hopeless times.

Posted in Faith, Leadership, Travel, Youth Culture | 5 Comments

A Glimpse of Youth Ministry in Uganda

youth-ministry-ugandaAs I write to you at this very moment, my dad is teaching a little over 120 youth workers about how to prepare a sermon.

I wish you could see it. We’re in the basement of an Anglican church, and when I say “basement”, understand I mean dirt floor, echoing cement walls, and exposed electric wires that function most of the time (we were in the dark for a good 12 minutes of one of my workshops yesterday… I just kept going).

Jonathan-CONNECT-UgandaDad and I are team-teaching this enthusiastic group of young leaders (I think the oldest person in the audience is 35). They are educated, they are sharp, they are dedicated… and they are starving for resources and training.

So much fun!!!

We brought almost 100 books with us to give away this week. I handed out 20 this morning and it was as if I was handing a glass of cool spring water to someone stranded in the Sahara. The coordinator of their local youth leader network held up one of the books I had brought (Doug’s Purpose Driven Youth Ministry) and said, “We will keep several copies of this in our library for you to borrow.” Immediately you could people’s face light up, practically raising their hands, “Where do I sign up to borrow that?”

As we wrap up today we will have trained them in the following:

-       Connecting with Youth

-       Planning Activities that Engage Youth

-       Preparing Biblical Sermons

-       Training the Trainer

-       Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers!

Uganda CertificateI had better quit typing… we’re about to give out certificates to all the youth leaders who have completed this two-day training. I was just told we are awarding 134 certificates. Wow!

I’ll try to share more of what I observe in the next few days (my thoughts last year).

Keep us in your prayers. I’m speaking at a large convention here tomorrow, then teaching University student leaders on Saturday, then speaking at “secondary schools” through Tuesday. (Here’s the breakdown.)

Thanks for your prayers!

Posted in Speaking/Training, Travel | 2 Comments

The Good Lie

It’s always fun when a quality film comes out that points to faith and hope, and maybe even shows churches in a good light.

This little feature clip just crossed my desk yesterday. It’s a film called The Good Lie, and it looks like it’s going to be excellent. Reese Witherspoon… with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer behind it. Wow.

Maybe I’m biased because I’m heading to Africa this Sunday… but this looks GOOD!!!

Posted in Entertainment Media, Faith, Movies | 5 Comments

Training Leaders in Uganda

Jonathan ShoulderThis weekend my dad and I pop on a plane to Uganda, a 23 hour itinerary… which is pretty long when I’m wearing this stupid arm brace for my shoulder.

Most of you have followed my shoulder injury, my surgery 4 weeks ago, and Instagram posts like the one I sent two weeks ago… declaring “four more weeks” wearing this thing! Well, the good news is that my shoulder is healing nicely, and I’ll actually get to ditch the arm brace halfway through the Uganda trip. And frankly, maybe this injury will remind me how much I need to depend on God throughout this trip, pointing to Him, not myself (II Cor. 4:5-7). Continue reading “Training Leaders in Uganda” »

Posted in Speaking/Training, Travel | 2 Comments

Free Online Training

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 7.40.40 AMI constantly receive emails from people who can’t come to one of my training workshops, but wonder if we provide any free online training.

I’ve always answered, “Yes!” and provided a link to our Free Training Tools page, which includes a myriad of free online video training. But here’s the link to another training… this time… an entire workshop I taught online via “webinar” earlier this year titled, Grappling with the Smartphone Generation.

NOTE: I don’t typically like these kind of “online training webinars”… because they’re a little static and dry Continue reading “Free Online Training” »

Posted in Internet, Movies, Music, Parenting, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Social Media, Speaking/Training, TV, Youth Culture | 1 Comment

Traveling Near You

Jonathan-McKee-speaking-BSeptember is already here and I’m about to begin spending a lot of time in airports! That might just mean I’ll be coming to a city near you. Check out my fall schedule and see. Here are some of the highlights… staring with Eastern PA this weekend:

September 6 and 7, 2014 (Lititz, PA)
This Saturday night I’ll be training youth leaders at Grace Brethren Church of Lititz. Then Sunday morning I’ll be preaching in their services and teaching my Parenting the Smartphone Generation workshop later that afternoon.

September 14, 2014 (Woodville, TX)
I’ll be preaching in the morning services at First Baptist Church Woodville, then teaching my Parenting the Smartphone Generation workshop early afternoon following lunch.

Continue reading “Traveling Near You” »

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Nicki Minaj and Other Top Female Role Models

MTV-VMAs-Nicki-ArianaThis last Sunday night MTV revealed something new about today’s most popular music stars… they are mostly female.

It was an incontestable reality at MTV’s VMAs this year. Ladies swept the awards. In fact they won almost every single award except Best Male Video.

So what are our daughters gleaning from these female role models?

The VMAs
Sadly, the entertainment industry is providing most of the role models for many young people today. And if you glimpse at a show as powerful as the MTV VMAs, a show that last year was cable’s #1 entertainment telecast of 2013 among 12-34 year-olds, you’ll discover who many of these role models are, and you’ll garner a pretty accurate a sampling of their content and fashion choices.
Continue reading “Nicki Minaj and Other Top Female Role Models” »

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

In Your City

Faith-HappeningsFinally… someone created an online hub for Christian happenings!

It’s like this. Every time someone brings me out to their city to speak they always want to publicize their event, their training, or their conference… and depending on the city, some have some good “word of mouth” networks to get the word out… but most don’t.

For years I’ve been commenting, “I wish their was one ‘hub’ where people could go to and see what events, resources, speakers, etc. were available in their own area.”

It’s finally here! And by a group I trust.
Continue reading “In Your City” »

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