One of the realities for youth today is that there is absolutely no “OFF SWITCH” left for them in their relational lives. On several fronts it has become almost impossible to experience a healthy childhood. The rate and intensity of exposure to adult related opportunities and problems seem to confront kids at increasingly earlier years than in the past. The lack of learning and personal filters that students have yet to develop coupled with the pressure to lose their innocence has impacted students in ways that most definitely cheat them long term.
As youth leaders there are several messages we need to help students absorb and apply to their life.
1. All the world is not your stage.
Just because you have an audience online or on your phone and you can be heard all around the world it does not mean that you are entitled to say whatever you want, however you want, and whenever you want to.
2. Normal is okay.
You don’t need to feel that you have to be sensational or risky to be heard. Media gravitates to drama, sex, and unhealthiness because it sells. This is why Jersey Shore exist. It’s not because this is the way you should live your life.
3. Everyone is watching.
Before you hit send, press enter, or act on an impulse realize that it’s all being recorded.
4. Take a break.
If you can’t turn off media outlets you might have an addiction. Think about what the addiction is ultimately to and what it says about you. Validation, affirmation, guidance, hope, and love are served best within the context of face to face and life on life.