More Dangerous: Shark Attacks or Selfies?

Several months ago, I shared an infographic talking about our selfie obsession.  It shared some of the following statistics:

  • 74 percent of all images shared on Snapchat are selfies.
  • 1,000 selfies are posted to Instagram every 10 seconds.
  • There are 93 million selfies each day, which would represent 2,583,333 rolls of film.
  • 19 out of 20 teens have taken selfies

I don’t think any of that is surprising to anyone who frequents social media.  For whatever reason, I forgot this stat:

More people died from taking selfies in 2015 than from shark attacks.

Of course, I had to look it up.  Here’s what USA Today reports about it:  in 2015, 12 people died while attempting to take a selfie; 8 people died from a shark attack.

Here’s how some people died:

  • a man fell down a staircase at the Taj Mahal’s Royal Gate
  • a couple fell of a cliff trying to capture a picture
  • a man shot himself while posing for a selfie

Another website tells us that 49 people have died from selfies since 2014.  How crazy is that?

I started looking at this as I was preparing for our small groups this week.  We are talking about how excited we are to share the good news with others.  As followers of Jesus, we should be energized when it comes to sharing what we know about Him with others.  We love to share selfies and social media posts with others.  We get excited when our favorite team wins.  We rave about the latest movie we watched. But do we (or better yet, do I) look for opportunities to share about news that is both really good and that really matters?

Good question for us to think about.

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Selfie Obessession

The “selfie” has become a pretty popular thing (no news flash there). I have actually found myself taking “group selfies” on our trips with students. And the last couple pics have turned out pretty well…if I do say so myself.

But then I wonder if a group selfie is really a selfie because there are many “selves” and not just a “self” in the picture.

Anyways…this infographic is pretty interesting as it gives the stats on how many selfies are out there. Just think – 93 million selfies taken each day. WOW!

There is a story of how damaging the selfie obsession can be and some tips for people to consider as they take selfies.

Interesting information for parents, teens and those who care about students.

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Progressive Dinner #impacteatandgo

Group SelfieThis weekend we took our IMPACT students on a Progressive Dinner. The idea of a progressive dinner is definitely not new, but it creates a good opportunity for students and adults to spend time together around a meal.

We had three stops for our evening (salad, main course, dessert) and our hosts were awesome. The weather was nice enough that after finishing a course, we could go outside.

To add another element to the evening, we had various photo challenges at each home. We encouraged students with smart phones and Instagram accounts to take different pictures and post them on IG with the hashtag #impacteatandgo. It made it easy to search all the pictures that our students took.

While getting ready for the evening, I read about a website – ink361.com – which allows you to connect to your Instagram account. Then, you can search for specific users or hashtags. I plugged in our hashtag on that site and it pulled up all the photos we took.

It was a fun evening with a good balance of structure and free time. We had good food, took some fun pics and enjoyed hanging out together.

Here are just a couple examples of the pics our group posted:

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Instagram Will Kill Your Youth Ministry (a repost)

instagramI was just finishing up my previous post about social media when I saw a link to this article. It was originally posted on YouthMinistry.com and speaks to another danger of social media.

I thought the author had some excellent reminders to leaders involved in youth ministry. We need to have relationships with our students, but we need to guard them to make sure they are appropriate. This provided some good food for thought.

You can read the original post here.

Social media has swept across this great nation like wildfire. Facebook is on its way out. If you still use MySpace you’re most likely a stalker—or very lonely. Twitter is still rocking along quite steadily and has yet to be completely infiltrated by preteens and stay-at-home moms. Vine represents the latest trend in video social media. And Instagram has firmly captured the market on pics. All of these sites host the massive “no, no” that I would like to delve into for a brief moment, but perhaps Instagram and Twitter host the largest majority of the crimes.

I am, of course, talking about the local male youth pastor taking a “selfie” with one of his female students. Some of you might not think that this is a big deal, but it carries major implications. And quite frankly, it seriously ticks me off. Every time I see this pop up on my timeline I want to throw my iPhone and kick a puppy. Seriously bro, how could you be so dumb? Here are some of the reasons why this is inappropriate.

1. A description of the crime
I’m not talking about posting a group pic of several students or even a group pic of several of your female students and you along side them. I’m talking about the pic that only includes the youth minister and a female student. This crime is only intensified when the two are extremely close. To make matters worse, I often see the youth minister and the female student hugged up on each other. The youth minister further brings criticism against himself if this offense is repeated on a weekly basis. Seriously bro, stop now.

2. It’s straight-up creepy
Every time we see that pic pop up on our timeline we all think, “That dude is a creep.”

3. Rumors spread quickly
If a crazed teenager grows angry at you, it is not uncommon for them to make up horrific stories about you. You can read real-life stories of this on the Internet. Don’t give anyone ammo to use against you.

4. Ministers of the gospel must be above reproach.
First Timothy 3:2 tells us that “an overseer must be above reproach…”

Ephesians 5:3 states, “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.”

Posting picks of just you and a female student certainly leaves room for speculation. As a minister and a Christian, we must work to remove any room for criticism in the realm of sexual immorality. Don’t ride alone with a female student. Don’t counsel alone with a female student. And don’t post selfies with female students.

Daniel is the Student Pastor at Clearview Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL. You can join the conversation at danielbeckworth.com.