How Teens View Social Media

Interesting lessons within this graphic…from my perspective:

  • Even after the admission of most teens being “addicted” to thier social media devices teens still prefer face to face contact. This tells me that no matter how many texts or FB messages I send, that personal contact is the only way to build deep meaningful relationships. The texts and other stuff can supplement that or be convenient, but without face to face time you will never get to really know a teenager.
  • Facebook is dominate. I think this is because of the combination of messages, photos/video uploads, status updates, and the infamous “like” button. Facebook has it all. But be warned, what you put on FB will be seen. No matter how deep in some obscure album that picture is, someone will comment on your behavior or associates. People do read into status updates and know what you have been saying on FB. Just as in all of life we must guard our integrity on FB and live in a way not to bring shame to ourselves and our God!
  • Teens (really, all of us) need a break from social media sometimes! We need to encourage teenagers (and ourselves) to unplug once in a while and spend some undistracted time alone. Preferably with God. Remember that verse, “be still and know that I am God”. It is getting harder and harder to be still in our media driven culture. Take some time everyday to reflect and unplug and allow yourself not to be a slave to social media, and encourage this in teens in your lives.
  • Social Media highlights the insecurities of some girls and adds pressure to be perfect. 57% of girls feel left out after seeing photos of friends without them, 45% of girls worry about others posting “ugly” pictures of them online, 28% of girls have edited photos of themselves before posting it online. These stats reinforce the truth that we need to guard our daughters hearts! While it is also true for the guys, it is crucial for the girls. We need to train them that they will only truly be satisfied in Jesus Christ and His love for them, everything else will fall short. We need to constantly be saying and living the fact that true beauty comes from within. We need to remind them that Psalms 139 says we were “fearfully and wonderfully made” in exactly the way God intended, and God doesn’t make mistakes! The Gospel tells girls (and everyone) that God loves us despite our imperfections and has made a way for us to have the one relationship that will truly satisfy us. The Gospel proves that we are priceless in the eyes of God! He sent His perfect Son as a sacrifice for us. And because of Jesus’ victory over death we can overcome all things!

These are the times we live in. We need to see our culture through the lens of the Gospel of Jesus, and social media is no exception. Social media is a great tool, but like any tool, it can be used to build up or tear down. I strive to be biblical in all that I do, even in how I interact with social media.

Your fellow worker in the field, Adam

New “Rules of Engagement” for Teenage Communication

In a brave new world of social media and wireless devices there are new rules of engagement for communication within the rising generation.  Here are some trends that are developing with today’s teenagers.  Click HERE for a link to Fuller Youth Institute article or here for the original article.  Or just suffer through my commentary on these 7 points.

(FYI, this write up doesn’t even touch the dinosaurs known as landlines and email.)

 1.    Face to face communication is tops among teens.

Despite what you may think, real interaction is still the best get to know a teenager. And they seek it out with people who offer it to them. Will you offer?

2.    They keep their phone calls brief.

Losing an understanding of the “unwritten rules” of the phone conversations, teens typically keep calls under four minutes.  Voice calls are considered more appropriate for adults.

3.    Video chats (facetime, skype, oovoo…) are becoming more popular.

From study groups, to roommates home on summer break, this is real face-to-face.  Non-verbal queues are conveyed here making phone/text deficient.

4.    Facebook and texting are important tools for dating. 

The relationship status on Facebook is a public announcement of the beginning and end of relationships.  Texting allows quiet communication in most any context. Beware.

5.    Teenagers use Facebook emotionally.

Adults use it as just another (possibly lesser) avenue of communication, while teens see it as an extension of real relationships.  The comments, statuses, and photos are a collective part of the relationships therein.

6.    The most common Facebook activities are “liking” and creeping.

That means checking out other people’s profiles without commenting…

7.    Mobile phones are the new smoking.

Not that phones cause cancer, but smoking was once a social tool for status and belonging, like your phone is now.


Why even bring up these trends in communication among teens?  Because Romans 10:14-15 reminds me, “But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things!”

Are we doing all we can to effectively communicate the Gospel?  Are we speaking their language?

Teenagers are natives to the digital age, adults are immigrants.  Having been born and raised in a different culture, adults must intentionally learn how to relate to the natives we live among everyday.

Your fellow worker in the field,  Adam