Building Authentic Relationships In A Fake Relationship World, is the title of the second workshop I get to teach at SYMC.
Last night as I was leaving youth group one of my “Senior” guys was laughing about “SnapChat” pictures he likes to send people. I told him some facts about SnapChat he never knew (like how the company does indeed save your pictures, they are not truly “gone,”) and he was shocked. It lead to a conversation about the way we get to know people and go deep. We would rather text than talk in person. However, a study done by Brigham Young University found that it’s more satisfying to send a “loving” text than it is to receive one. Facebook has been dwarfed by Instagram in the teen world as a place where they post a “seflie” and create a persona of who they want to be. Did you know in some sociological circles they believe this actually helps with and is important to identity formation?
Here’s the thing. Those of us in ministry all know that relationship is the way we grow. The teen years are awkward and communication is difficult to begin with. Face-to-face relationship building is a challenge with this age. Then we add in social media and digital formats where we can “hide” our “true selves” and it feels impossible. What do we do? How do we navigate growing in relationship, while embracing the world our teens are living in?
I feel like I have more and more conversations all the time about how to engage this digital culture in a relational manner. This has involved me digging and researching what those in my group are doing as well as the rest of the world. It’s also caused me to be creative in my interactions with students, and even learn to educate parents.
In a predatory world the days of simply picking a student out and taking them out one on one are gone. In some churches and ministry this is “against the rules.”
So how DO we navigate this new world of relationships? Come to my workshop, let’s hangout and talk about it!
Leneita / @leneitafix