Technology and the Teen Brain

I heard an interesting interview the other day on NPR (Click here to listen to the entire interview) about the effects of technology on the brain. The author was discussing the influence of technology in our everyday lives. One of the things he described was the low level of stress that is now a constant fixture in our lives. This stress is from trying to keep up with ever changing technology and the need to constantly scan for new and more relevant information. This information could be that new e-mail, text, twitter, or facebook message. The lives of our teens are clearly affected by this stress as they are already living in a pressure cooker of stress, between work, school, and friends; many teens experience an overwhelming level of stress.

As ministers, are we providing tools and skills to cope with this ever increasing stress? Are our youth ministries providing times of silence for our students to hear the still quiet voice of Jesus? Or are we just part the increased level of noise and activity? As we continue to adapt to newer and newer technology, we are left with the unfortunate opportunity for everyone to know about everyone, but no one to truly know us. This sense of loneliness and isolation can be damaging to our students. It is important to provide a place for students develop safe relationships. I challenge you to continue to wrestle with these questions and seek ways to model behaviors that help to connect our students to Jesus.


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