Youth & Culture

Keeping up with current youth culture trends and stats can be a daunting task, as they pretty much change every 6 months..or sooner!  I’m certainly not a self-professed expert in youth culture, but I do work with teens & families, and keep my ear to ground as best I can.  I’ll post weekly stats, articles, media/entertainment trends, videos, etc…anything relating to youth culture.  So come on in and take a peak, and if you’ve come across anything note-worthy, gimme a shout and let’s share the insight!

Check out the state of Canadian youth ministry, as well as a new book, Elastic Morality, from the same authors on the beliefs and behaviours of young Christian adults in Canada.  Also, the EFC ‘s youth and young adult roundtable has just released their research into why younger adults are leaving, and staying, in the church. Check out Hemorrhaging Faith

A GLIMPSE INTO THE PORTHOLE OF YOUTH CULTURE: THE 2012 MTV MOVIE & VMA AWARDS  
Jonathan McKee, author, speaker and founder of the  Source For Youth Ministry, gives his 4 cents from the 2012 MTV movie & VMA awards, and what implications they have for youth culture, both now and in the coming days ahead.

COMPREHENSIVE YOUTH SURVEY RESULTS 
In the fall & winter of 2010/2011, Group Magazine did a survey with 23,000 teens that attended their Group work camps. I consider Group to be the foremost ‘word’ on youth ministry in digital/print format, and the task team they have in place is comprised of veteran youth workers spanning every denomination you can think of, from a variety of church ‘flavors.’  Though this survey was conducted in the US, I would doubt the results would vary much from the opinions and expressions of Canadian teens…but you be the judge of that!  I’d love to hear your thoughts, and with your permission, to forward those thought to Group Magazine editor Rick Lawrence for future reference (you can remain anonymous if you’d like!).

Going Super Deep With Teenagers Pt. I (extensive results from teen responses)
Going Super Deep with Teenagers pt II (rest of results, plus responses from veteran youth workers)
Going Super Deep Survey (list of actual questions used)

WHAT’S TRENDING?
**This section isn’t to endorse or promote any media/entertainment outlet in particular, but rather to keep you dialed into the current media/entertainment culture trends targeting youth & adult audiences.  I encourage you to check things out on your own, and use biblical wisdom and spiritual discernment as you choose your family media intake!
WEEK OF SEPT. 10th ’12

HOT BUTTON QUESTION OF THE MONTH   (Archives)
Q:  My 17 year old son informed me that he no longer believes in God.  Where do we go from here?

A:  A very real, scary situation that can occur all-too-often in many Christian homes.  It’s quite common for older teens/younger adults to spend some time ‘wandering for a season’ in their faith journey, not that it makes it any easier on parents and families.  However, some teens need some time to process their faith on their own, and God is still in control and fully capable of leading them to encounter His truth.  It’s also quite likely that the person wrestling with these doubts hasn’t fully given up on God, but has allowed some cloudy worldview to settle in and cause them to question what they really believe about God.  The main thing is to give space to allow them to process things, but make sure you keep the lines of communication open…and pray, pray, pray for Holy Spirit to lead them back to a renewed relationship in Christ.  Here’s Dr. Burns response to this question.

COOL SITES
Sloppy Noddle
Relevant Magazine
Clash Entertainment
Boarders for Christ
Walking on Water
Steelroots
XXX Church for Teens  NEW
The Rebelution
Real Life Answers
Candy Stand
Your Story
Hear It First
The Youth Culture Report  NEW

WHAT’S MAKING NEWS?   (archives)

?????????????THE SECRET LIFE OF TEENS  NEW
Just where exactly is the “average” teen spending their time online?  While this infograph certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, it does shed some helpful perspective on the online habits and where-a-bouts of the typical teenager.  The stats raise some alarming questions for parents to address with their youth, and the disconnect between trust and awareness.

09bits-pew-tmagArticleKINDNESS & CRUELTY OF TEENS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING
With newer and tougher laws, and an aggressive assault by schools against cyberbullying, how do young people still separate bullying from just being mean online? And when it happens, what do they do about it?  A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center attempts to flesh out these complex, often painful threads of teen life on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

MORE TEENS USING ‘ROIDS & PROTEIN POWDER TO GET RIPPED  
When it comes to body image today, things haven’t really changed much since ‘back-in-the-day’…lean and muscles are still in!  It’s also likely more common for teenagers to turn to diet, exercise, protein powders or steroids than ever before in hopes of bulking up and enhancing muscle development, a study finds.

LOSING CONTROL
Teenagers have been using and abusing alcohol, marijuana and controlled substances of various kinds for many generations now. Sadly, you don’t have to look far to find young people who’ve had their lives devastated by these toxic tyrants, and if you’re a teen, you likely know someone who’s surrendered far too much control of their life to these vicious substances.

A FATHER’S ADVISE IS KEY IN TEEN SEXUAL ACTIVITY  
New studies suggest that adolescents are having less sex if their fathers take initiative and talk to them more about sexual matters.  

AVERAGE TEEN HASN’T MEET HALF OF FACEBOOK ‘FRIENDS’  
Have you ever wondered just how many of the ‘friends’ someone has on their facebook account are actually friends with the person who ‘friended’ them?  An Ofcom report suggests that the average 12-15 year old social media user hasn’t met 1-out-of-4 of their online ‘friends.’  You can also read the source article from Guardian UK online magazine.

CARING AND CARELESS  
Author, speaker and SourceFYM president Jonathan McKee offers a quick look into the risky lives and attitudes of today’s teenagers that he describes as “caring, but carelesssensitive to causes, but desensitized to the lure of risky behaviors in their lives.  

TEENS BENEFIT FROM SPENDING TIME w PARENTS
A new study suggests that even though many teens may try to avoid encounters with their parents and friends together, private parent-child encounters may actually increase during these critical years. The study suggests those one-on-one times may raise a teenager’s self-esteem and social confidence, especially if it is time spent with Dad!

SHOULD YOU CRAM FOR A TEST?  
Should teens stay up late the night before a test and cram as much information in their heads as they can, or should they go to bed and get some rest? Teens may not like the answer, but the study showed ‘sacrificing sleep with an all-nighter for extra study time is counterproductive’.

TEEN DATING VIOLENCE IS NO JOKE
An insightful & educating article from the Toronto Star re: the rising issue of teen dating violence, and the nonchalant attitude that is prevalent among many in our culture.  There are some in society that seem to get a laugh at the expense of those that have been victims of abuse, but they might not be laughing if they knew the consequences.

Exposure to Sexual Content in Popular Movies Predicts Sexual Behavior in Adolescence  
A recent July 17th news story from Science daily suggests something that was likely already known…that what you watch can have significant influence and impact on you!

1 in 12 Teens Have an Anger Disorder?  
Harvard Medical School recently published a report that although most ‘average’ teens have some kind of violent, angry outburst during their adolescence, nearly 8% have regular violent outbursts that would fall into the category of a mental health disorder.  There’s some controversy in the study and the definitions, but it’s worth the read.

THE ONLINE BEHAVIOR OF TEENAGERS  
Today’s teen has a limitless array of ways to access the digital and web community…that’s not a major news flash.  But if behavior is greatly influenced by exposure and desire, then the online life of a teenager may not line up with everything they’re telling mom and dad.  What do you think teenagers…is this report accurate?

 

HIGH-TECH TEENS DISTRACTED AND DISCONNECTED?
I’m not sure this is really ‘news’, but at least this article from NBC’s Jacksonville, FL affiliate station, FCN, supports what many of us likely already know…today’s high-tech teens are visually, emotionally, socially and relationally distracted.

FEWER TEENS HAVING SEX?
Although the initial stats seem to be encouraging, I’m still not sure how anyone can be too thrilled that almost 50% of young girls 15-19 surveyed are having sexual intercourse before marriage.  Teen pregnancy rates are also down, but use of contraceptives are up, and more teens are still engaging in risky sexual experiences…so there’s work to do before we start celebrating too much!

TROUBLE WITH TEXTING TEENS?  
The following three articles offer some insight into the struggles and frustrations the texting generation is experiencing, and causing, particularly among youth.
 Youth Culture Window post: (More) Trouble with Texting
 ReadWriteWeb article: Why Parents Care About Teenager Texting
 Common Sense Media‘s report: When Texting Turns to Torment
What are your thoughts on the Pro’s and Con’s of texting?

SUICIDE RATES RISING AMONG CANADIAN GIRLS 
A new survey from Reuters suggests that, even though the overall teen suicide rates are down in Canada over the past decade, the rates for female teens is unfortunately rising.  Some of the reasoning behind this may be due to the perception many girls have of themselves, and their appearance.  Thanks to the Youth Culture Report for the links!

HOW FACEBOOK CAN AFFECT RELATIONSHIPS…AND WHAT’S THE APPROPRIATE AGE FOR FB?  
The world-wide-web has changed just about everything about how the world operates, including our relationships…and yes facebook is a leader in the culture of change with relational connection!  So exactly how can facebook affect relationships?  And for those parents who struggle with the question; what is the appropriate age to allow our child to have a fb account? here’s another infographic for ya, although you as the parent are the final word!

TEENS WATCHING MORE TV, NOT LESS  
Recent surveys have hinted that today’s teens are watching less television, and instead replacing that time with other media avenues (gaming, social networking, web surfing, etc).  But is that perception true?  While it’s true that today’s teen (and all of us for that matter) have a much broader range of media devices and outlets to compete for our attention, many analysts aren’t too convinced that TV programmers need to start panicking yet.  Read on…

TEENS TURNING TO YOUTUBE FOR ANSWERS TO THE QUESTION: “AM I UGLY?”  
As if cyber bullying, Photoshop fashion and teenage self-esteem struggles weren’t big enough issues, there’s a growing and disturbing trend hitting the Youtube scene.  Scores of young teens (some as young as 11, and mostly girls), unsatisfied with their perception of themselves, are taking to the world of Youtube to seek the opinions of others on their appearance.  You can check out the Time magazine & The Globe and Mail articles on this issue, as well as my blog post here.

Comments
  1. painterboy454 says:

    Hi passengersershawn,
    Below is the link to a YouTube karaoke video of the song “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga with praise and worship christian lyrics called “Chose This Way”. With these lyrics this song can be sung to the Lord by our youth!

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