Next week I’ll be at a conference speaking to young people about deciphering truth in the midst of lies. We’ll be looking at several influences like social media, music and other entertainment media, observing the subtle messages they communicate.
Let’s try one.
Here’s a Diet Coke commercial you may have seen– I saw it in a movie theater before the most recent Avengers movie:
Some interesting advice:
It makes me feel good.
Life is short.
Just do you… whatever that is.
And then of course the slogan:
Because I can.
(I can’t figure out if that slogan sounds more like the answer a kindergartner responds when asked, “Why did you break all your friends crayons?” or the answer a serial killer provides.)
What did you get from this?
How do these messages compare with what we’re seeing in our culture right now?
The polish dog, the hand-dipped ice cream bar, the chocolate swirl frozen yogurt… all gone! Costco, here are 7 bad decisions you made in your food court that are costing you loyal customers like me.
And I was loyal. My wife teased me that Costco food court was my favorite restaurant. Your food court is indubitably better than the completion, hence my surprise. Is there new management or are you just getting sloppy?
My go-to order back in the day was your polish dog meal, half of a piece of pizza (my son gladly added the other half to his pile), and your hand dipped ice cream bar with almonds for dessert. Sadly, I can’t order most of these now. (Oh the nostalgia.)
Today I’m working on a brand new workshop for parents, teachers and youth workers helping kids experiencing bullying.
Notice I didn’t say “helping kids who are bullied.” This is where my training will immediately differ from others. I’m not just advocating help for kids who have been picked on, but help for the bullied, bullies and bystanders. After hundreds of interviews and 100+ hours of research for my upcoming book The Bullying Breakthrough… I found that most kids fall into one of three categories Continue reading “Helping Bullied, Bullies AND Bystanders” »
Fewer high school students are drinking, having sex and using drugs… but the CDC still says the findings of their most recent teen risk assessment “leaves room for concern.”
And please don’t undervalue my use of the word “fewer.” I really mean “a whole bunch!” We’re not talking a few percentage points. For example, in 1997 a whopping 37% of kids “currently” smoked cigarettes (in the 30 days prior to the survey). In 2017 only 8% “currently” smoke cigarettes. That’s a huge decrease!
Why is this? Why the overwhelming decrease in the number of kids engaging in many of these risky behaviors, and what are these concerns the CDC is referencing about their new survey results?
Whenever I talk with young people about their mobile devices I ask, “How many of you think people are spending too much time staring at their devices?” An overwhelming majority of hands will go up.
Yet if you followed those same teens for 24 hours, you’d probably catch them “spending too much time staring at their devices.” (And before we start labeling anyone hypocritical… adults are in the same boat).
Let’s review. Teens are aware that phones monopolize too much of their time, but they aren’t really doing much about it.
We’ve all heard stories of tech companies concocting evil plans to launch new gadgets and apps addicting children to their devices. Sound like a rumor? Sadly, these legends have proved to be true on many levels. Like when former Facebook president Sean Parker had second thoughts about what the social network was doing to our children’s brains and cast a little insight behind the scenes.
A few months ago I was eating dinner with a couple who had been in youth ministry for several decades, took a 5 year break, and just began serving in youth ministry again this year. The husband leaned over to me and said, “Jonathan, everything’s different! I’ve got kids who say they’re ‘pan’ or ‘a-gender’. I’ve got a girl who doesn’t want to be a she or even a he… she wants to be a ‘they.'” Then he asked me, “What the heck has happened in the last 5 years?!!”