History

history

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”  Ecclesiastes 1:9

The next generation has all of history at their fingertips. Literally. One problem: having it available and knowing history are two entirely different things.

Edmund Burke stated: “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”

I know it is stretch in this day and time when technology has changed the landscape to say that history repeats itself, but in many ways, it does.  If it didn’t, then you wouldn’t have ongoing efforts to erase or even rewrite history.

The Cultural Revolution in China was an attempt to purge the impure elements of Chinese society. It was an all-out attack on Chinese society by Mao Zedong. It resulted in the death of at least 1.5 million people. It attempted to erase history.

It was a repeat of Stalin in Russia and the French Revolution in the late 18th century. In both cases, the intellectuals, scholars and elderly were attacked, imprisoned or killed.

In Russia, the “bourgeois” or ruling class were all but exterminated. It was done under the auspices of an ideology, but it really was about power. It’s always about power.

So, what we have learned is that, if you don’t like your history, you can try and eliminate it like Stalin and Mao. Or, you can use a more subtle tactic which is to rewrite it. You just revise history to fit your narrative.

That’s happening now in many school systems in America. The College Board came out with a controversial AP U.S. History (APUSH) which is revisionist. The proponents deflect any criticism as coming from “ignorant” chauvinists.

It is still a battleground, particularly when 55 Scholars from a broad variety of disciplines protested its changes. The changes emphasize the warts or “blemishes” of the past, not on the achievements or successes.

This is a big deal.  In 2015, Congress was called on to withhold funding from nonprofits that developed APUSH because it “emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history while omitting or minimizing positive aspects.”

The revisionist narrative is that all whites are responsible for slavery and are to be condemned (no matter that they didn’t do it, but they are condemned since their forebearers may have been involved).

The result is a push for “reparations” to those in the current generation whose forbearers were “oppressed”. The idea is that the victims should receive some monetary benefit from those whose ancestors were responsible.

In effect, all whites are racists – the revisionist history is based on white supremacy.  And if you buy that, then you, as a white, are unable to fix it unless you fork over some money.  That narrative doesn’t bother to note that slavery exists today.

In fact, slavery is a bigger problem than it was 100 years ago. There are an estimated 45 million in slavery today. Instead of attempting to eradicate slavery entirely, those pushing this narrative want to make victimhood its goal.

Slavery and racism have become the new “original sin”.  Once you have sinned, you cannot be redeemed. That’s a dark message today, and it is being broadcast in the media and in our school systems.

One problem:  it is not the original sin.  That happened back in the garden when Eve, then Adam, ate the forbidden fruit.  The bible is full of flawed leaders, but the message is clear that even a flawed leader can make great achievements and be redeemed.

King David was flawed: he had Bathsheba’s husband killed so he could have an affair. Yet he was called a man after God’s own heart. Imagine what a revisionist version of David’s conduct viewed in the prism of the #MeToo movement would look like today?

Geoffrey Botkin wrote a telling article on why the public schools teach revisionist history. He traces it back to the early 20th century when a group of educators from Columbia Teachers College received funding from large foundations (Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie) to change the curriculum for history in schools.

He quotes Sam Blumenfield who said: “The plain truth is that there has been in this country a deliberate plan to change American education so that the American people can easily be led into socialism.”

Botkin’s research found that the foundations that supported the revisionist mission had several motivations, including an attempt to “mold people through schooling“, and “eliminate tradition and scholarship“. There was a “clear intent to weaken parental influence” and “overthrow accepted (theological) custom”.

Their goal was to create Perfectionism as the “new secular religion aimed at making the perfection of human nature, not salvation or happiness, the purpose of existence”.

No surprise that a majority of the next generation find socialism preferable to capitalism.

The challenge as a Christian is not to put your head in the sand but recognize that a battle is being waged for the minds and souls of the next generation.  The revisionist agenda wants to eliminate the significance of the past and religion by putting society and the future on man’s terms.

God, in this agenda, gets shown the back door. We cannot let that happen.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  Help your mentee look at original sources for history – not doctored textbooks. Help them to analyze them through a Biblical grid to come up with their own conclusions.

FURTHER RESOURCESWhy the Public School System Teaches Revisionist History (2010)

The Dumbing Down of America by John Gatto

It’s the 21t Century. Yet Slavery is alive and well. Washington Post

WORSHIP: Listen to This We Know. Passion.

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GI – W = E

formulas

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  James 1:5

This was a new formula to me.  I remember E = MCwhich came from Einstein. It’s part of his theory of relativity. I have only a vague idea what it means, but I do remember the formula.

The formula above was created by Denis Prager, a columnist for the Hoover Institute. As he notes, it is not a formula taught in schools.

It stands for Good Intentions WithoutWisdom Results in Evil. Prager says that the term “rules of life” is another term for wisdom. Those are the pithy little sayings that almost always are true.

Prager explains that life has rules, just as natural science does. I have my own favorite “life rules”.  You can ask my kids which ones they remember. They will quickly come up with examples. Things like:   “Happy wife = happy life.”  After 53 years of marriage, I can attest to that bit of wisdom.

As I thought about this, I couldn’t escape remembering one of my mother’s favorite sayings: “The road of life is paved with good intentions.”  But it’s still a road, sometimes unpaved and bumpy.

Prager’s list includes one:  “Human nature is not basically good”.  This is straight out of the Fall from grace by Adam and Eve in the garden. He continues:  “Ingratitude makes happiness impossible.” You don’t have to reflect long to confirm that.

Prager’s theme is that the more that people live by rules of life, the better off they will be, and the better our society will be.  His PagerU website gets a billion hits a year by mostly those under 35 who are searching for “rules” that make sense out of life.

A provocative book by Jordan Peterson is titled “12 Rules of Life: An Antidote for Chaos”.  The premise of the book is that our next generation is searching for something that works in the post-Christian cultural vacuum where a biblical background provides structure.

One of Peterson’s rules in the book made me chuckle. Rule 10 is: “Do not bother children while they are skateboarding.”  I get that.

Peterson’s book has sold millions of copies, predominantly to the next generation who are searching for answers and not finding them in the usual places from their peers or adults in their life.

They have been taught to pursue “self-esteem” instead of self-control and it hasn’t worked well. Instead of leading to a fulfilled life, this “rule” has “led to moral and professional failure”.

Perhaps the best example of Prager’s formula is communism. It was initiated by good intentions of the rank in file, yet it led to the greatest mass murder ideology in the world. The leaders saw communism as a route to power.  It’s estimated that 100 million died..

Communism started as a means of building a beautiful future for humanity, one which would eliminate inequality and enable people to work as hard or as little as they wanted. It would provide citizens “free” education and “free” health care.  Proponents were convinced that they were good because their intentions were good. Sound familiar?

But what actually happened is another story. The advocates of communism (or socialism today) believe that good intentions is all that matters. It’s foolish because they don’t ask the question what will happen if their policy is actually enacted? In fact, they never ask that question.

A majority of the next generation favor socialism. It sounds good, and it’s intentions are good, so why not? Well, it never works. Ever. Every time socialism is touted as “the answer” it leads to a disaster, yet each time it’s proponents say: “this time it will be different.”

My way of saying this is that Good Intentions without Wisdom leads to Bad Consequences.

Climate change comes to mind.  It’s a good idea to be concerned about the environment. That’s the good intention. But the world is not going to crash in the next 10 years as some predict. In fact, over the past 50 years, there have been dozens of predictions of the end of the world due to climate change that didn’t occur.

The issue is not climate change. Climate has always changed. Most of the east coast of America was under glaciers at one time. The question is: how much change is an anthropogenic phenomenon?

Yet climate change activism has been taught in schools and now is accepted as true, even though it is not, contrary to what 16 year-old Greta Thornburg said at the UN recently.

The challenge here is that the next generation has been taught to believe a lot of things that come from good intentions. But they have lost the ability to do critical thinking on their own and challenge those ideas.

.MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  You are in the best position to help your mentee navigate through what appears to be popular ideas which often don’t get challenged by social media.

FURTHER RESEARCH: The Equation that Explains Evil– Dennis Prager

Wrong Again: 50 Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions – Competitive Enterprise Institute

Over Half of Millennials Identify as Socialist  American Institute for Economic Research

100 Years of Communism – and 100 Million Dead– Wall Street Journal

12 Rules of LIfe: An Antidote for Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson

WORSHIP: Listen to God of Wonders by Paul Baloche

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Reflections

 

reflectionFor now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:2

This might be a short post. It was not what I was thinking about writing this week, but it is a topic that keeps me on my toes spiritually and it kept cropping up in my mind.

A song by Keith and Krysten Getty is titled “Speak, O Lord.  The lyrics:  “Take your truth and plant it deep in us.”  It continues: “Shape and fashion us in Your likeness;  That the light of Christ might be seen in us today.”

If we want to be a role model for others, the song hits it on the head. We should be the role model Jesus gave us and be His reflection to the world.

In my power point presentation on mentoring, I use a quote from Jim Henson who created the Muppets. Henson said:  “Kids don’t learn from what you try to teach them.They learn from who you are.”

As the above picture shows, sometimes what or who we think we are reflecting doesn’t correlate. That’s why it is hard to live this life alone: we can’t rely on ourself to be sure we are reflecting Jesus. As Jeremiah 17:9 notes: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

When we become more like Him, we reflect, as it were, Him to others around us. But, if you are like me, we mess up constantly, so the task is not about perfection but about progress. If we blow it, we should take stock, learn from our mistakes and commit to be better in the future.

In today’s world, many of the next generation have not had parents who were role models. We are in a post-Christian and Post-Truth era.

Some have come from single parent households, often with absentee fathers. Some have lived with parents who were critical, harsh, neglectful or even abusive. They may even feel guilty and think that God the Father is judging them the same way.

Their view of our Lord is tainted by the distorted image they have seen here on earth.

While each of us can’t fix the past, we can be ever mindful that “who” we are will be a reflection to our children, mentees and the world around us.  We may be the only image of the Lord they get to see.

I had lunch with my wife and one of her bible study friends this week. Her friend, Barbara, told a story that occurred while she was visiting Dallas on business trip. She visited a large well known church, but when the service was over, she was unable to use Uber to get her back to her hotel. So she called a yellow cab instead.

When she got in the cab, the driver, noting that she had just left a church, asked her if she could explain the trinity: God the Father, Jesus the son and the Holy Spirit. Her response was classic. She said the trinity was like water which can be in three forms:  ice, liquid and steam. But they are all water.

Over the next couple of days, she called the same cab driver when she needed transportation. On her last trip, she asked the driver if he had ever made a faith decision. He said “Yes. I just gave my life to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

Barbara didn’t try and give a theological dissertation on the trinity. She was winsome and used an analogy that is easy to understand. She was not critical, judgmental nor confrontational. She was just reflecting Jesus.

We can all learn from that.

That’s the challenge: we need to do start each day with the goal of being more like Jesus to others.  Oh, and I didn’t say it would be easy. Human interaction, even among Christians, is fragile and often fraught with emotions.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  Who are you reflecting today?  You need to be authentic and transparent.  Admitting your failures goes a long way with the next generation who seek authenticity in people they trust.

WORSHIP: Listen to Speak O Lord with Krysten Getty

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Truth

1

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me. John 18:37

Have you ever been to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico?  Neither have I, but the name is intriguing. According to a write up, it has a population of around 6,500 people, and there are 12,034 reviews of things to do and places to visit or eat on Trip Advisor.  Who knew?

The name of the town fits well with my theme:  there are consequences when one doesn’t believe in truth.  Laura and Michael McAfee devote an entire chapter to this topic in their book Not What You Think.  The chapter is entitled “Our Problem With Truth”.

It is worth reading because it explains many things in a fresh way. I have touched on this topic frequently:  most millennials make decisions based on emotion and crowd-think (i.e. what others think, usually from social media).

The McAfees start with the crowd-sourcing notion – millennials put more stock in what their peers think than from traditional “experts” from institutions. Some have labeled this group-think”.

We live in a post-Christian era.  It is now described as “post-truth” which was the word of the year by the Oxford English Dictionary in 2016.  Post-truth is defined as where “circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in the shaping of public opinion than appeals to emotion or personal belief.”

Or, in the words of a professor, “objective truth is unknowable”. It ultimately comes down to your own interpretation and what you think. Wow!

Let’s think about that for a second. If my sense of right and wrong is my truth, and your sense of right and wrong is your truth, what happens when you drive and decide that motor vehicle laws are wrong so you can be reckless without impunity.

Society breaks down when everyone’s interpretation of right and wrong starts colliding with each other (literally).  It leads to confusion. McAfees believe there is a need for truth, although there is dissatisfaction “with modern secular substitutes for truth” by millennials.

C.S. Lewis said it this way: “You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.”  I would hope that having near death experiences is not needed for most millennials.

The authors think even the most skeptical millennials are really is searching for truth. Millennials “hunger for an answer and desire to find something valuable that we can believe in and trust.”

That said, millennials are fleeing the church.  They are seeking ways to find truth that are new and non-traditional.

In a way, even I succumb to crowd-sourcing.  When selecting places to eat or visit on a trip, I look at reviews posted on TripAdvisor or Yelp.  They are instructive on the simple decision of where to eat. But millennials do this for larger life choices “such as whether to believe in God and what values and morals to live by.”

There is a common world view among millennials which shapes and undergirds their lives. It has a name – moralistic therapeutic deism– or the view that “God is distant and wants us to be good people so we that we feel good about ourselves.”

For moralistic views, millennials believe that life is best lived by being a good, moral person. That often means being nice, kind, respectful or tolerant of others. It also means self-improvement and trying one’s best to be successful.  This is what the McAfees call a “do no harm” principle. It is “essentially personal and isolated.”

“Therapeutic” is really a feeling of “feeling good, happy, secure and at peace”. Confrontation is to be avoided at all cost. The result is tolerance.  Yet Christianity often results in confrontation – first with oneself and then with others.

That being said, millennials are often on a quest that leads them to dissatisfaction, not happiness, according to most research.

The millennials concept of deism acknowledges the existence of God, but it is a God that is not demanding. His job, according to their thinking, is to solve their problems and make them feel good. He is always on the job but is distant and does “not become personally involved” in their lives.

It is no wonder that we are facing dire consequences to the lack of belief in truth.

The challenge here is that the millennial worldview has been distorted by crowd-sourcing and group-think. That’s the bad news. The good news: despite their reliance on each other for decisions, they remain unsatisfied with the results. They are searching for truth in all of the wrong places and they are finding “no comfort in the crowd.”

MENTOR TAKEWAY:  You can help a millennial mentee who struggles with truth. It is a valuable investment of your time.

FURTHER READINGNot What You Think– Available from Amazon

WORSHIP: Listen Love Comes Down by North Point

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The “I” Generation

dandelion-761760_1920

But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him.  1 John 2:5

There have been attempts to use the “I” word to describe the next generation – Tim Elmore and Jean Twenge  came up with “iGen” which is a play on iPhone and iPad from Apple. There is merit to the association because the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 changed the digital landscape of the world.

The McAfee’s, millennial authors of Not What You Think, said that getting an iPhone in college was a huge step for them. Groundbreaking, actually.

The McAffee’s wrote a book to millennials, by millennials, and it contains some interesting stuff for non-millennials. I really like their chapter on who or what is a millennial using five “I” words:

Immense.  It is the largest generation, now exceeding the Baby Boomers, the generation that grew up following World War II. In America, they number around 78 million. In other parts of the world, their numbers are even a larger proportion of the population. In Africa, for example, the median age of an African is only 19. The sheer size of the generation tilts them into knowing that they are in a position to be culture-changing.

 Informed.  This, of course, has an upside and a downside. What makes millennials different is not just the information that they have at their fingertips, but where they get (and trust) their information. Millennials have a basic distrust of all institutions such as business, government or education, so experts from those fields do not have the same weight as a friend who has had firsthand experience.  Sixty percent obtain news and analysis on-line rather than print or other media. This can lead to groupthink.

 Impatient.   They want their information fast and have little tolerance for having to wait in line for anything. Again, the downside is they want fast advancement in their careers, which is often an unachievable expectation. They seek instant gratification and instant results.

 Impassioned.  According to Thom Rainer, 90% of millennials “believe it their responsibility to make a difference in the world.”  A smaller percentage (60%) believe “they will make some great contribution in their lifetime.” They are interested in working for causes, and 75% of millennials made a financial gift. They also volunteer more than any other generation.

 Integrated.  They are digital natives and are integrated with technology, which creates a new level of social integration. Nearly 100 percent of millennials own a cellphone. While they may be socially connected, they are often not intimate with real friends. Platforms like Facebook permit them to put on a good face for others, yet that same media often causes unhappiness and loneliness when it seems others are having a better time doing wonderful things.

To which, I would add one of my own “I” descriptive word:

 Incomplete.  They lack soft inter-personal skills, savoire faire and EQ.  They have been known to take their parents to a job interview. When they land a job, they have become ghost employees by never showing up for the first day of work,  nor contacting their new employer to tell them they are not coming – ever. This is an area where the millennials are in the most need of mentors.

They are also spiritually incomplete, and the majority have little or no bible literacy, That same majority believe there is a God, so there is an opportunity to connect the dots which is why the McAfees have written their book.

While the McAfees are writing about millennials, some of the traits listed above also apply to Gen Z, who are now just entering college. Gen Z is not as large as the millennial generation, but they are all informed, impatient, impassioned,  integrated and, yes, incomplete.

Like all attempts to characterize a diverse generation, I found these descriptions a useful overview of the next two generations.  It may be of interest that the millennial in America is not that different from a millennial in other parts of the world such as Africa.

The challenge here is to tap into the millennials and guide them along their path.  One thing that is important:  once you have gained their trust, you can speak into their lives, even if you are not from their generation.  Trust, however, means being transparent and authentic.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:   Mentoring a diverse and large generation requires understanding what makes them tick. Learning about their distinctive traits is key to being able to communicate with them.  They are incomplete; they need your guidance.

FURTHER READING10 Things to Never Do When Starting a Job

Not What You Think– Available from Amazon

WORSHIP: Listen to What the Lord Has Done in Me by Hillsong.

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Think Again

millennial

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

When I encounter millennials, I am often surprised at their defensiveness over their label. Admittedly, it has some baggage. Recently, at a birthday party, I spoke with a young woman who is a millennial by her age, but was reluctant to identify with the label.

She asked me: “Tell me something good about millennials?”  Her question really indicated a bias that being labeled a millennial is something negative. It is not, although it may seem that way due to all of the cultural traits and obsessions this generation has garnered.

To any millennial reading this, I want to assure you that I do not “look down” on millennials. Paul exhorted Timothy in the same way – “do not let others look down on you because you are young”.

I see millennials as the next (and largest) generation and I see potential.  Like generations before them, I see them as the future of the world and my goal is, in some small way, to help them on their path to maturity, leadership and influence.

I have spent a lot of my life investing in them by mentoring, and still do. It is rewarding and challenging. Some of my mentees have made good decisions. Some have not. But that’s life, I suppose.

When I mention things like “millennials hate church”, I get some affirming nods from them. The reality is that millennials generally have a deep distrust of most institutions: business, education, government, and yes, even the church. Any large organizational institution is on their distrust list.

One millennial who attended my Friday morning bible study said that the negative attitude towards the organized church is partly because of the hypocrisy they see going on. People who profess being Christians do some very un-Christian things.

I can relate to that. That very attitude kept me from becoming a Christian until I was 38. When I went to Church,  I was put in the position of listening to people I knew,  and what they said in Church and what they did outside of Church didn’t remotely align.  I thought they were phonies and I wanted no part of that.

Our church has an email prayer chain which is contains prayer requests of the members. Many of them deal with health issues. One recent one, however, hit me. It was a prayer request by someone who had renewed his faith but was having a hard time integrating into church because of his bad experiences with other Christians.

After I came to faith, I realized being a Christian in a church does not mean you are a finished work of God. If you go to the hospital, you are going to see sick people. If you go to Church, you will see people who are imperfect and broken. That’s where they are. That’s one of the reasons for Church – to worship God and to become more like Jesus. Sometimes people take only baby steps along the way.

From that, I want to turn to a new book, written by two millennials who just turned 30. It is titled Not What You Think.  My daughter shared it with me.  It was suggested reading to parents of students at Iron Academy, a Christian boys school in Raleigh. It is good stuff.

It challenges some preconceptions about millennials. It is not about how to engage them in church. It is about how to engage them with the Bible. As I have noted, there is a remnant of millennials – something around 27%  read the bible once a week – and the vast majority are what are termed “bible open”.

The latter may have had some Christian family background but are not currently engaged. Three fourths of millennials consider the Bible to be a holy book, and 56% believe it contains everything you need to lead a meaningful life.  These are statistics provided by Barna Research.

One thesis of the authors, Michael and Lauren McAfee, is that millennials are susceptible to “group think”. They often eschew input from traditional sources for news, and instead are more likely to believe what others think for their perspective of what is true. This is a little like the blind leading the blind.

I will unpack some of the book written by the McAfees in future posts. They have researched their generation objectively and accurately (based on my own study). They correctly write that millennials are easily stereotyped, yet they are very diverse which makes those stereotypes inaccurate in many cases.

The authors admit, for example, that they (the authors)  fit right in with many of millennial attributes, but as Christians, they are very different. Their journey is intriguing.

Our challenge, as always, is to help our mentees become the best they can be, which often includes helping them along in their spiritual journey.  This new book is packed with useful information for parents and mentees alike.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  Every mentor who meets with a millennials or Gen Z mentee should read Not What You Think as a basic resource book.

 FURTHER READINGNot What You Thinkis available from Amazon.

WORSHIP: Listen to This We Knowby Vertical Church Band. Beautiful song.

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Screen Time

Screens

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.  Proverbs 22:6

I have been writing this blog over the past three years. Many of those posts deal with the adverse effects of the digital world on our next generation. Less happiness, higher rates of anxiety, loneliness,  sadness, hopelessness, depression  and, sadly, suicide.

Most of the evidence has been anecdotal – reports by psychiatrists and the medical community of the uptick of these disorders. One of the most popular courses at Yale (Psych 157: Psychology and the Good Life) is a course on how to have more happiness. Twenty five percent of the student body have signed up for it.

The evidence has been anecdotal. Until now. The verdict is in.

JAMA Pediatrics Journal recently published a study of 3,826 adolescents in Canada. The study is titled “Association of Screen Time and Depression in Adolescence” and it was published in July, 2019.

It shows definitively that “each hour of screen time increases the severity of depression in teens.” Not just screen time, but involvement with social media and video games.

No, that’s not a misprint. Most parents who care about their children have tried to help them limit screen time, often by locking up their phones overnight. But screen time includes mobile phones, television and the internet.

Some of the consumed content plays a role, too. Girls who watch television depicting “idealized bodies” leads to greater dissatisfaction with their own body. “Comparing yourself to others on social media leads to lower self-esteem.”

This study on the impact on mental health of screen time is reminiscent of the finding that smoking cigarettes causes cancer fifty years ago. It is an “Aha” moment that should not be missed.

In essence, every hour of screen time increases the risk of adolescents being vulnerable to “anxiety, depressive episodes, loneliness, sadness or hopelessness.” What could be more damning?

This is a clarion call for parents and mentors to take action. I don’t think any parent would knowingly give their child something that would harm them. But the ubiquitous use of social media is just that, and not doing anything about it makes adults enablers.

Tim Elmore suggests (and I agree) that you print out a post on this topic and discuss it with your children. It’s no longer conjecture that excessive screen time = vulnerability to depression, loneliness, anxiety or worse.

Weaning an adolescent or millennial out of their digital world will not be easy. Tech companies have invested millions in getting a generation hooked on social media. That’s why tech executives in Silicon Valley send their children to schools devoid of computers, like the Waldorf School.

Another Bay Area school – Brightworks– is a low-tech school. Sixty-per cent of the student body have parents in the tech industry. It’s founder, Gene Tulley is quoted as saying: “We don’t have many rules (about tech in the classroom), but one of them is that if you want to play a video, you have to make it yourself.”

Hopefully, the tech industry will wisely start taking steps to help adolescents get normalized lives with limited screen time, but I doubt it. The tobacco industry could have taken that tack years ago, but instead, it chose to deny the link of smoking to cancer. They spent decades litigating the connection.

The challenge here is that tech industry is dedicated to getting you addicted to their product. As an adult, you can take steps to help your adolescent realize that it can be harmful to their mental health.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  Mentors are in a position to guide their mentees in limiting their screen time. It is now a mental health issue.

FURTHER READING:   JAMA Study on Screen Time/Mental Health

 Psychology Today – Teenagers Facing Depression

Jean M. Twenge – The Atlantic on Have Smartphones Destroyed the Next Generation?

Silicon Valley Parents Choose Low and No-Tech Schools– The Good Men Project

WORSHIP: Listen to Good, Good Father

MentorLink:For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

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