Tim Horton’s coffee cups can be turned into bio-fuel. How cool is that! Check out the link. And keep drinking coffee!!!! I wonder if it works for WAWA cups…
I found this website the other day that I thought might be helpful for parents who have difficulty understanding their child’s text messages. The web-page will decode text messages for you. I tested it for a while it seemed to be pretty accurate. I would be curious to have a teenager test it as well. Enjoy
Any good parent has taught their child to play nice and to not hit others, but how do we teach this in the new landscape of social media? Bullying is just a click away, the embarrassing photo, the insulting comment, texting about a person as they are standing in front of you. Our mothers taught us not to throw sand in the sandbox, but who is teaching our teens how to use social media appropriately? Most parents seem to be unaware that the bully can now be in the bedroom texting in the middle of the night.
As youth leaders, are we lovingly confronting our teens when they cross the line? Or, are we ignoring these issues and allowing them to fester in our youth ministries? Clearly social media is here to stay; I know I can barely go a few hours without checking Facebook or updating my status. As Facebook positions itself to take on Google, the web is only going to become more and more social. For some reason these messages of not hitting or throwing sand don’t seem to readily apply themselves to the anonymous nature of the internet. Maybe it is because teenagers and children can’t see the harm they are causing or maybe it reveals the true nature of our hearts.
I believe we need to teach our students and our families a better way. You teach “don’t hit” not only because it is wrong, but because it destroys community and dehumanizes others. This online teasing and bickering destroys and erodes our community and our humanity. We need to teach our children and our students the way of love.
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.