Just do you

Posted on: 07/12/18 6:35 AM | by Jonathan McKee

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?

Refreshingly brutal advice to young guys

Posted on: 04/24/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Today’s guys face a lot of distractions… a lot more than I faced as a young man.

Let’s be honest. When I was 13 in 1983 I had access to porn, drugs, and raunchy entertainment media.

  • But porn wasn’t just a click away in my pocket, it was in a magazine at my friend’s house if we dared to sneak into his dad’s bedroom.
  • Marijuana was available, but it wasn’t mainstream or encouraged… and it sure wasn’t legal.
  • I loved movies, music and television, but my house had one screen and a boombox. Now I have a dozen screens, and my entire entertainment media library is available in the cloud. Name a movie or music video. I can watch it within seconds, regardless of rating.

But I think the biggest difference between then and now is Continue reading “Refreshingly brutal advice to young guys” »

What age should my kid be on social media?

Posted on: 03/16/18 10:21 AM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s one of the biggest questions I hear from parents at my workshops each month. “What age should I let my kids have a smartphone?” or “What age should I allow them to get SnapChat, Insta and all the other social media apps they want?”

We’ve posted some great resources on TheSource4Parents.com recently that will help answer that question, including a brand new article posted just this week titled, Parenting Middle Schoolers: More Than Just Surviving This Transitional Phase. But parents of high school students shouldn’t ignore that article, because in the early part of the article where I talk about “Delaying Social Media” I not only provide some brand new research about the undeniable connection from social media to the rise of depression in America, but I also provide some helpful questions you can ask your kids to engage them in meaningful conversation about this subject Continue reading “What age should my kid be on social media?” »

3 Reasons Why Today’s Teens are Depressed More Than Ever Before

Posted on: 10/31/17 11:33 AM | by Jonathan McKee

If you’ve picked up a newspaper in the last few months, you’ve probably noticed article upon article about the rise of teen anxiety, depression and suicide. It was just last year that suicide moved up to the second-leading cause of death among US teens.

The question everyone is wondering is why?

Experts are speculating, and most of their theories have one “device” in common: the smartphone.

I can’t say I disagree. In fact, I see 3 ingredients catalyzing this unprecedented increase in teen anxiety and depression Continue reading “3 Reasons Why Today’s Teens are Depressed More Than Ever Before” »

Why 13 Reasons Why

Posted on: 05/1/17 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Suicide, upskirt photos, social media, bullying… it’s almost as if someone posted a hidden camera in the hallways of the high school down your street. The realism is a little too close to home, and parents are beginning to worry.

Should our kids be watching this?

If you have teenagers, work with teenagers or even have crossed paths with a teenager in the last month, you probably have heard them talking about 13 Reasons Why. It’s the newest bingeable series from Netflix touching on everything teenager Continue reading “Why 13 Reasons Why” »

Do Carl’s Jr.’s Sexy Ads Sell?

Posted on: 03/10/16 9:43 AM | by Jonathan McKee

memphis-bbq-Carls JrDoes sex sell?

Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s is known for their over-the-top sexy ads. From Paris Hilton sensually washing a Bentley while eating a burger, to two girls getting in a scuffle at the BBQ grill and seductively intertwining to eat the Memphis BBQ burger.

The question is… do these ads actually sell burgers?
Continue reading “Do Carl’s Jr.’s Sexy Ads Sell?” »

3 Steps Preventing Bullying and Gossip

Posted on: 01/12/16 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

CyberbullyingMOVING TEENS FROM COMPASSION TO ACTION- WITH A YOUTUBE VIDEO AND SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS YOU CAN USE!

“Lord, will you please help all the kids who are bullied around the world.”

That was my nephew’s prayer.

A few years ago I wrote a vulnerable article about bullying- Voices of the Bullied– sharing the story of my past and trying to garner some sense out of the experience. In that article I noted: there’s a lot of people talking about bullying… who haven’t been bullied. Continue reading “3 Steps Preventing Bullying and Gossip” »

9 selfies per week

Posted on: 09/29/15 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

teenagers-selfieShe holds her phone up at a high angle and strikes a sexy pose.

“Click.”

She inspects the picture. “Nope. Too much arm fat.” She tries again.

After four or five tries she captures the image she wants. Now to apply filters…

Funny… five years ago no one even knew what a selfie was. Now, Millennials average 9 selfies per week, spending an average of seven minutes perfecting each one before posting. That’s adds up to about Continue reading “9 selfies per week” »

PG Porn

Posted on: 08/4/15 10:23 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Selena Gomez PG PornLast week as I prepped to talk with parents about their kids’ phones, I browsed through the music video charts and noticed some interesting trends, especially from some of the “child actresses” our daughters grew up recently watching on TV—Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez. Their two music videos at the top of the charts are what I call PG Porn—extremely sensual visuals, with scantily clad girls writhing in pleasure… but with no official nudity driving the rating up. It’s the kind of video that drives a junior high boy to either click on something more severe… or to take a cold shower.

And what are these videos teaching our daughters? Continue reading “PG Porn” »

From SnapChat to Tappy

Posted on: 01/20/15 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

tappy appIt’s called Tappy. It’s the newest app acquired by Tinder, and the buzz is that it’s Instagram meets Snapchat.

The conversation begins with a photo, and then becomes chat. All messages disappear after 24 hours.

It’s everything young people want: pics, social media, anonymity and of course… it’s ephemeral. The first two elements aren’t bad, but the latter two are where young people frequently get into trouble.

Let me explain.

Parents should beware of any app promoting a lack of accountability. Anonymity only breeds irresponsibility. If you don’t believe me, look at the Continue reading “From SnapChat to Tappy” »