Showing posts from 2013

Selfies, Revenge Porn, Teens, and Cyberbullying

The new word of 2013, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is Selfies! In case you’ve been living under a rock this past year, a “selfie” is a photo you take of yourself – usually on your phone - and send to a “friend” or post on your favorite social network.    It sounds like it could be innocent fun until you read this article by Sue Scheff about selfies, revenge porn, teens, and cyberbullying. I found this information extremely informative.   I know you will find it helpful.  If you have children at home or work with teens and preteens, make certain that you read the links included after reading the article.    Finally, I posted a 90 second video on selfies at the end of this article that ALL PARENTS SHOULD WATCH.  I hope I didn't scare the heck out of you, but this is information all parents should know and should be discussing with their children.   In His service and yours,    Al Menconi, editor E-Venge: Selfies, Revenge Porn, Teens and Cyberbullying P

3 Lies Entertainment Tells Us About Sex

By Andrew Byers October 8, 2013 Andrew Byers is a Ph.D. student at Durham University, where he serves as the chaplain for St. Mary's College.   Why we need to unlearn the lessons from our mainstream media sex education. We all remember those awkward “talks” with our parents or those sixth grade reproductive health lectures, but in reality, our primary source for sex ed is not our mom, dad, a local health provider, or our middle school science teacher. Admittedly, few of us want to hear about sex from our moms, and those sixth grade sexual reproduction lectures were just too weird. So where have we regularly turned to sate our wide-eyed curiosity? Besides listening in envious shock at the daring escapades of our bolder (and perhaps slightly exaggerating) friends, we've turned to a source less awkward than parents and science teachers: Screens. The expectations of what sex is supposed to look like and sound like are established in our soci

Just read this quote and it made me cry

Just read the quote below and it made me cry for parents and teens in America.  This is why I'm in ministry.  I never thought of this effect on our children before.  - Al Menconi " friend, Susie, made an interesting point. She confirmed that just like my daughters, hers were totally consumed with their iPhone  update for several hours—first downloading the new software, then excitedly talking about it, sharing screen shots, and finally, we supposed, tweeting about it. 'It concerns me that their world seems to be all about 'what's new and improved,' Susie lamented. I nodded in agreement, but wasn't troubled until she said, 'I'm worried that our kids have lost the ability to remain enthusiastic about anything for any length of time—specifically their future spouses.' She paused. 'I feel like they're being raised in a world where it's common—no, expected—to continually 'trade up.'" — Katie D. Anderson , writing f

How teens, parents struggle to share social media

By  Heather Kelly,  CNN updated 10:04 PM EDT, Fri August 30, 2013  (CNN) -- Carly and her mom are friends on Facebook, but that doesn't mean they share everything. The 17-year-old from Marin County, California, has refined her Facebook privacy settings so that her mother can't see all the posts that fill her Timeline. Her father, meanwhile, never checks the social network. "Right now, my mom can only see things that I post. She can't see anything I'm tagged in or anything that my friends say to me on my profile," said Carly, a high school senior who asked to be identified only by her first name. "She doesn't know that, though. I'm like, 80% sure that every other teenager has done that too." With teenagers and their parents (grandparents, even) increasingly active on social networks, both generations are joined in a delicate dance over privacy, safety and freedom of expression online. Interviews with a handful of teens

What Do We Really Know About Violence & Video Games?

What Do We Really Know About Violence & Video Games? Adam Holz  Sep 20, 2013 8:19 AM   for Plugged In, a division of Focus on the Family  Two of this week's biggest stories have revolved around the complex, intertwining themes of video games and violence. On Monday, tragic news came out of Washington, D.C., regarding Aaron Alexis' shooting rampage that claimed the lives of 12 victims. Analysis of his horrific acts has largely focused on his unstable mental state. But amid the details about possible motivations and influences in his life have come reports that Alexis spent significant amounts of time playing M-rated shooters such as  Call of Duty . "He could be in the game all day and all night," said friend Nutpisit Suthamtewakul. "I think games might be what pushed him that way." Suthamtewakul told the United Kingdom's  Mirror that Alexis could be so engrossed in a game that Suthamtewakul would take food to him so that he wouldn't h

Reconnect: Introduction

Introduction My preteen daughter would not talk to me.  I was traveling around the country speaking to thousands of parents, teaching them how to communicate biblical values to their children.  But my own daughter was barely speaking to me. I felt like a hypocrite. I was an “expert” in communication, yet I couldn’t communicate with my own daughter. Either I needed to find a different line of work, or I needed to find a way to encourage my daughter to open up and communicate with me. More importantly, I didn’t want to lose my daughter. I remember thinking, What’s wrong with her?   She’s just eleven. How bad could it be?   I was certain I could give her a few words of wisdom and get her back on track. So, I asked Annie what was wrong. Her response was a cold, “Do you really want to know?” Uh-oh! I thought this was going to be a little misunderstanding I could fix in a few minutes. Not so. I closed the door to her room and sat on her bed. She looked me in the eye and said,
Boys also harmed by teen 'hookup' culture, experts say Abigail Pesta NBC News contributor Editor's note: This report contains graphic language. Parents are being confronted by the new “hookup culture” surrounding sexting, and how boys are courting their partners in more directly than ever. Experts Dr. Robyn Silverman and Lola Ogunnaike weigh in on the troubling trend. Edgar Su / Reuters file   A young man uses his smartphone. A 15-year-old girl sits in high school English class when a text message pops up on her cellphone. It's from a boy sitting across the room. He hardly knows her, but he likes her. Here's how he chooses to get that message across: Him: "So, are you good at hooking up?" Her: "Um idk. I don't really think about that." Him: "Well, I want my d--k in your mouth? Will you at least be my girlfriend." It's the kind of scenario that's playing out

MTV is Writing Their Constitution

MTV is Writing Their Constitution Last week, I suggested that parents watch the MTV Video Music Awards (The VMAs) this past Sunday night so they would have a better understanding of today’s pop culture. And, more importantly, they would see with their own eyes how this form of “entertainment” could be a negative influence on families.  Did you watch? I’m sure that by now you’ve heard on the news about some of the raunchy parts.   I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been studying pop culture for nearly 40 years and I haven’t been as disturbed as I was after watching this year’s VMAs. Depravity has always been a part of entertainment, but it used to be the fringe culture pushing to be noticed. I’ve never seen it so celebrated as a whole until last Sunday’s program.   I think I was most disturbed that the audience didn’t appear shocked or bothered at all. They seemed glad to be able to show their support for this social carnage.  I know I’ve been accused of exagger

The Origin of God Bless America

I found this article on the Internet without an author credit.  If you know who wrote the original, please let me know so I can give them credit. Until then, I will assume it is anonymous.   - Al Menconi, Al Menconi Ministries  Do you remember Kate Smith? Frank Sinatra considered Kate Smith the best singer of her time, and said that when he and a million other guys first heard her sing God Bless America on the radio, they all pretended to have dust in their eyes as they wiped away a tear or two. Here are the facts. The link at the bottom will take you to a video showing the very first public singing of God Bless America. But before you watch it, you should also know the story behind the first public showing of the song. The time was 1940. America was still in a terrible economic depression. Hitler was taking over Europe and Americans were afraid we'd have to go to war. It was a time of hardship and worry for most Americans. This was the era just before T