The Selfie World of Teens

Our teens are navigating an increasingly technological and complicated world. How do we help them find their identity and purpose in Christ when everything else is pulling them in different directions? Our Identity & Purpose study was created for just that reason. 

“Behind the Screens of the Selfie World of Teens” by Kristen Hatton in the latest issue of byFaith has some great insights and stats. What issues are you facing with your teens?

As Emma scrolled through her social media feed Sunday evening, she felt more and more depressed. In every picture her friends were perfect. Why couldn’t she be them? Her life was boring compared to theirs. Besides seeing plans she had been left out of, she also noticed how many more “comments” and “likes” everyone else received on their photos. “I need to delete my post,” Emma thought. “I’ll just look like a loser if I don’t get more likes.”

Caroline was scrolling through social media that same Sunday night after a full weekend of fun. She couldn’t decide which of her pictures to post; she wanted to make sure it wasn’t the same one another friend had already posted. But she needed to decide quickly as she knew it was important to post at just the right time to get the most likes. Typically, she got hundreds within minutes, which gave her great satisfaction. She loved the attention and had become dependent on it for self-confidence boosts.

For Emma and Caroline, and a vast majority of teenagers today, social media is significantly influencing their identity and worth. While struggles with self-image are nothing new for teenagers, the degree to which they are stuck in self — and the accompanying behavioral sin and mental health issues — should sound an alarm for the church.

In the past, teens were blissfully unaware of what their peers were doing at any given moment, most of the time, so they were free to enjoy who they were with and what they were doing. But now there is never a time they aren’t faced with a steady stream of images that become the backdrop to how they view themselves and interpret the world around them. What teenagers see on their screens becomes their truth, and the truth about who God is and who He says they are has no bearing.

As they scroll through Instagram, they see friends who are prettier, skinnier, more popular, more accomplished, and who seem to live more exciting lives. They also see what they’ve been left out of and wonder, “Why was I not included?” They compare… [read more at byFaithonline.com]

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