Is it really?
I just recently read an article titled; How Social Media is Destroying the Lives of Teen Girls. In many ways it is a very scary article. In fact it is worthwhile for you to read.
The article is interacting with an author who wrote a book about the effects of social media on teen girls. In a nutshell this article argues that teen girls are being objectified, sexually harassed and are addicted to social media.
Teen girls being addicted to their phones is not news to any of us. However, I needed to be reminded that girls are being objectified and sexually harassed with social media.
We have heard the stories of girls being pressured to give promiscuous pictures or being called vulgar names on social media. So as youth workers what do we do? Here are 3 things…
Bring it to Light
We must talk about issues like sexual harassment, objectification of females and what part we play in all of this. When we ignore issues we are encouraging them to continue.
When we talk to students about these issues it doesn’t always have to be as a sermon. You could…
- send a text to all your students
- have a 5 minute talking point at your next gathering
- create a small group lesson
- for a month make it a point to bring up these issues in all of your one on one conversations
Talk about Identity
Everyone is made in the image of God. As such, EVERYONE should be treated with dignity and respect. There are no exceptions.
We need to teach our female students to treat themselves with dignity and respect. They also need to be taught on how to put themselves in situations to encourage this attitude in themselves.
We also MUST teach our male students to be men and to never objectify anyone. That when this happens it goes against the very character of God.
Promote Communication Not Social Media
We are created for face to face communication. So much is articulated by voice inflection or the slightest muscle twitch in the face. This is impossible to articulate in the typed text of social media.
I don’t think we should vilify social media but we should also recognize its many limitations. We should also celebrate the importance of face to face communication.
How about you? How do you see social media and youth ministry?