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Social Media Encouragment

       And now that last week we posted about a way to “monitor” things students are doing within social media and their phones, this week is about the complete opposite.  Despite many of the negative aspects to social media, there are so many positive things for which it can be used.  We have seen this within our own ZPC youth family with students connecting with other students to talk them through a tough time, to encourage each other in scripture, and to reach out when others don’t feel included.  Continue to celebrate these WINS with our students!

       Recent research has shown that things like that can happen when students are encouraged to use social media in a positive way.  Let’s be honest, we don’t like it when our friends get hurt, and neither do students.  So when this happens, many times a student’s close friends can, and will, come to the rescue.  According the article below, social media can strengthen friendships, create new friendships, provide a sense of belonging and support, and help kids express themselves.  We have also experienced this at ZPC as we have been able to connect with students with which we typically wouldn’t connect, allow students to contact us in ways that are more informal, and keep up on things that are of highest importance to specific students.  Click the articles below that demonstrate the positive aspect of social media among students.

Discussion questions with MS students – How have you used your words in person (or social media) to encourage someone lately?  If someone anonymously posted about you, would it be positive or negative?  How have you seen someone use social media for good?  Can you name a person that is constantly posting encouraging or positive things?  Why do you think they do that?

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Teen Safe

       Once a popular social media app or website for students garners the attention of parents and adults, a new one pops up!  Obviously it is impossible to monitor everything our students do, and nor would we want to, as it wouldn’t allow them to make mistakes, from which they can learn.  However, there are services out there that can monitor the texts, calls, and sites on our student’s phones.

       I was watching a CNBC special called “Dishonesty: The Truth About Lies,” and saw an interesting study regarding truthful behavior.  The study went to two universities and asked students to take a test.  At one university, students had signed a code of conduct policy at the beginning of the year acknowledging the policy regarding cheating.  However, students were not reminded of this, and many students “cheated” on this particular test given to them.  Meanwhile… at the other university, they asked students to re-sign a form reminding them of the code of conduct policy they signed at the beginning of the year (the school actually had NOT made them sign such a policy at the beginning of the year).  And NONE of the students cheated, simply because they had been reminded right before the test to act with integrity.

       We can encourage truthful and righteous behavior through consistent reminders that we are disciples of Christ.  Check out the articles below:

Discussion questions with MS students – How do you feel about having a parent/adult being able to see your social media?  Does it concern you or are you ok with it?  What if Jesus saw your posts (cliché question, but still powerful nonetheless)?  Are your comments encouraging or discouraging to others?  Do you understand things are not really private/anonymous?

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