Free Resource: Are We Raising Our Children to Be Brands?
"My post didn't get enough likes, so I took it down..."
"I've got to come up with a clever caption, or people won't like my photos..."
These are both statements I've heard from students in our youth ministry in the past two weeks. The reality is, social media is a great tool for connecting but also becomes a battleground for teens to control their image and what people think about them.
In marketing, we call this concept "branding." Things that fit the positive image that an organization wants to promote are "on-brand," and everything else is procured, removed, or adjusted to fit the brand look.
Social media has the same effect on students and young adults. In this 20-minute video, Donna Freitas examines the effect of social media on a student's relationships.
In her survey of 884 college students at Christian and secular schools, she found that 73% of students strive to appear happy or positive with anything attached to their real names (read, their social media accounts).
Freitas claims that we are now raising our kids to be brands. Do you agree? Ask your teens if they agree or disagree. Ask them what pressure they feel when posting anything online. We encourage you to watch Freitas’ entire 20-minute talk together, then allow your teens to respond.
As Christ-followers, we want our students to find their identity not in their appearance, but in their relationship with God. Challenge them to think through what God's Word says about them and how they can find their identity in the gospel.