Tag Archives: teens

Teens Use Media 9 Hours Daily

Lightstock-Stock-Photo-Pearl-Smart-Phone-AddictionFor the past few years, I have heard the statistic that students spent 7.5 hours of their day connected to some type of media. A recent survey from Common Sense Media shares that students on average spend 9 hours every day connected to media.

For parents and people who work with students, it’s kind of important that we know what students are spending their time doing. What was interesting to me in the article was that only 10% of teens rank social media as their favorite activity. Model Essena O’Neill created a buzz on social media when she announced she was quitting social media because posts are edited and just try to get more views.

It would be interesting to engage in a conversation with students in your world and find out what they do with their time on media. Maybe it is social media, maybe it is texting. Whatever they do to fill the time, it is pretty clear that media is a huge part of it.

Here’s the text of a brief article related to this Common Sense Media survey posted on Check it out and maybe find out what your students do with media.

New York—According to a report from the nonprofit Common Sense Media, teenagers spend about nine hours each day using media for their enjoyment. That doesn’t include media use for homework.

Calling the numbers “mind-boggling,” James Steyer, the group’s CEO, said teenagers “spend far more time with media technology than any other thing in their life. This is the dominant intermediary in their life.”

The study also found that 67 percent of teenagers have their own smartphones, poorer kids have less access to technology, and boys gravitate toward gaming, while girls prefer social media. Only 10 percent of teens rank social media as their favorite activity, however, and Steyer believes that’s because checking those sites now feels like a requirement. “They don’t love [social media],” he said, “and that’s good, in my opinion.”

One person who stopped loving social media is Essena O’Neill, a 19-year-old model who had more than 1 million followers on various platforms. This week, she announced she’s quitting social media, saying it made her miserable and wasn’t “real life.” Post are “edited and contrived to get more views,” she told followers before deleting her pages. “Social media is an illusion.”

O’Neill said she followed famous people on social media, trying to emulate them. But then she realized, “I didn’t live in the real world, I lived through screens. And I created a celebrity construct of myself, believing it would bring me happiness. That couldn’t be further away from the truth.”

O’Neill, who’s launching a website called “Let’s Be Game Changers,” said, “I no longer want to spend hours and hours of my time scrolling, viewing, and comparing myself to others. I want to do something, anything, something radical, something a little different. I want to use my imagination, my individual mind, my unique take on the world.”


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Posted by on November 9, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Teens Still On Facebook

facebookThere have been different voices talking about what social media outlets teens are using. For the last year or so many people have been saying that teens are moving away from Facebook. With the growth of Instagram, SnapChat and other outlets, the fairly common opinion was that students were abandoning Facebook.

As someone who works with students, I’m always looking for ways to communicate with students and I go back and forth between social media outlets. Most times, I use both Facebook and Instagram along with a group texting service.

A recent article from the Pew Research Center shows that teens chose Facebook most often out of the social media options. From a survey of teens ages 13-17, it shows that 41% of teens use Facebook most often. While they are using other social media utilities, it’s interesting to me that Facebook leads the way.

Social media continues to change.  I wonder what will be popular when my almost 2 year old reaches the teen years.  Right now, Facebook seems to be on top for teens.


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Posted by on July 20, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Celebrating Small Groups

Small Group wierd no wordsSmall Groups have been a key part of our ministry for the past number of years. We think one of the best things our students can do is to meet consistently with a group of students and adult leaders to connect, study scripture, pray together, serve together and support each other. I am continually grateful for the small group leaders we have who meet regularly with our students to build trust, encourage and model what it means to follow Jesus.

One thing that I have become convinced of is the need to celebrate the “wins” that happen in student ministry. When you have students for 7 years (6th – 12th grade), it is important to celebrate when good things take place. Much of the fruit of student ministry doesn’t show up sometimes til years later and discouragement can easily set in.

This weekend I saw where our small groups are developing fruit. There are a few wins we celebrate.

We celebrate when we see growth. I talked with one of our junior high small group leaders and he shared how he has seen growth in his group. They are starting to ask more questions and they have volunteered to lead the group. For the next few weeks, each of the guys in the group will prepare and lead a devotion for the group. It’s a great chance for them to get into the Word to read it, understand it and prepare to share it with a group of peers.

We celebrate when we see service. In just the past 10 days, I’ve seen where our groups are serving together. Several members of two of our high school girls groups showed up on a Saturday to serve at our concession stand that will benefit our 1MISSION project. Most of them couldn’t say for the whole event, but they came and served alongside their small group leaders.

One of our high school guys group is serving in our Upward program. Almost every member of that group is either helping with the technical side of the games (running lights, clock, etc.) or serving as referees for the games.

I know that our students are growing and serving in other ways that we don’t always see, but it is encouraging to see specific examples of how our students are growing and serving.

We continue to look for ways to make our small groups better, to equip our leaders more and add additional leaders. While we do that, I think it is worth to time to stop and celebrate the wins.

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Posted by on February 2, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Images over Words

snapchatSeveral weeks ago I posted about the growth of Instagram and how it surpassed Twitter in number of users. It appears that people prefer images over words.

After meeting with a group of junior high students, Tim Elmore found that trend is showing up in how teens communicate with each other. Text messaging is being replaced by apps that allow teens to share images.

Here’s a small portion of what he posted on May 6th about the growth of images over words.

Snapchat — an app that allows users to send photos to one another that disappear after a few seconds—has taken over many teen’s portable devices. So has Instagram. It may well be the future of phone interaction. Just like Facebook, once parents and teachers began to figure out how to use text messaging, students were bound to find new ways to communicate.

It wasn’t that long ago I reported to readers that teens today send about 3,000 texts a month, or about a hundred a day. That’s changing now. And not just for teens but for all ages. As a whole, people are texting less now than we used to. According to Chetan Sharma Consulting, “The average U.S. cell phone user sends about 628 text messages per quarter, down 8 percent from a year ago.”

Technology and communication are ever-changing. We’ve gone from land line to cell phone to email to MySpace to Facebook to Twitter to Snapchat and other forms of staying connected. For those who work with students, it’s interesting to see where the trends go.

What do you see students using to communicate with each other?

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Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Uncategorized


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How Teens Use Cell Phones

Youth Ministry Media shares infographics about teenagers and technology.  The recent posting, Teens Cell Phone Usage, provides some interesting information.

A few things I noticed:

1) 75% of 12-17 year olds have a cell phone

2) Teens send/receive 2,108 texts a month (wonder how that stacks up against youth workers?)

3) 70% received a text from someone not in their contacts.

There is some good info for parents, too.  I am a big fan of texting as a tool to stay in touch with both teens and adults.  Good to see how it is being used and also to be aware of how we need to be cautious.


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Posted by on December 9, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Teens, FB Friends and Social Media

Youth Ministry Media is a resource I have referenced before. They seek to help youth workers communicate with teens. They provide interesting information the use of social media in our culture and some free resources for youth workers.

Over the weekend they referenced two different pieces of information from Pew Internet and American Life Project. One had to do with the average number of friends teens have on Facebook and another that talks about what they share. Interesting that girls on average have more FB friends and that sometimes teens post false information to protect their privacy.


teens and social media

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Posted by on June 10, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Texting While Driving Fact Sheet

iPhone“We’ve been talking on the phone for 80 years. We’ve been driving for 100 years. It’s only recently that we’ve tried to combine the two.”

That is a quote that is featured on the Texting While Driving Fact Sheet provided by The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding. CPYU is providing this information to teens and parents to help raise awareness of the dangers of texting while driving.

You can view/print the Fact Sheet online at CPYU’s Digital Kids Initiative webpage.

Feel free to pass this on to other parents and teen drivers.

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Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Uncategorized


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