"We limit how much technology our kids use at home."
Steve Jobs on the release of the iPad
Culture 5:11's Mission is to fight for dignity by bringing awareness to teens, young adults, and parents about the counter-worthy messaging in the culture. The goal is real worthiness and true beauty. We're advocates for dignity. Aligning family values with media consumption, encouraging a discipline around the use of social media, and educating on the addictive nature of pornography are important tools to empower self-worth. This negative messaging is looming everywhere in modern culture including the media (commercials, TV, movies, music videos), all forms of social media, and pornography. This messaging can directly attack a young person's worthiness over time by telling them that they are not enough. Let's counter the message with truth.
Worthy Enemy number 1-the media can be found almost everywhere in our society and is heard loud and clear by males and females of all ages. Teaching kids to align family values with the media they consume is crucial. The media can lie about a woman's true beauty. From movies to music videos, women are often included for their sex appeal and as objects of men's fantasies. When the media objectifies women, it reduces them to body parts, diminishing a women's wholeness and real beauty. Naming this objectification and pointing out its contradiction to reality is one way parents can educate girls and boys on the importance of true beauty. A beauty that requires body, soul, and mind to be part of the equation.
Worthy Enemy number 2-social media usage can negatively affect both genders. Experts suggest that parents monitor their teen's social media usage. Girls and boys are pulled into a world that can be hidden from their parents. Suddenly much of the messaging they receive on worthiness comes from social media and their peer base. The greater the number of views or likes collected, the higher the perceived worthiness of the user. Consequently, teens are constantly checking their phones to determine their own social status. This can be dangerous to a teens self-worth, and extremely self-absorbing Social media programmers have confirmed that apps are designed with the intent of addiction. They admittedly prey on a teen's need for recognition and community. That's why parents should encourage a discipline around the use of social media. But don't take it from me, rely on the words of the technology king himself, Steve Jobs. He stated this when asked about his kid's usage of the iPad:
“They haven’t used it,...We limit how much technology our kids use at home.” (NYTimes article,Sept.10,2010―Nick Bilton.)
Parents have an opportunity to offer other avenues for identifying worth when they limit tech time for their kids.
Worthy enemy number 3 - pornography, attacks both genders dignity. Important for parents to know is that the average age of first exposure to pornography is 11. Many experts have noted that most of this early exposure is accidental and not sought out. That's why experts at Protect Young Minds recommend that parents begin educating on the addictive nature of pornography as soon as their kids have access to the internet. When kids are educated about pornography's addictive nature and its ability to rob viewers of authentic relationships it may help them make a different choice around viewing pornography. The objective is to provide them with education about the negative effects of pornography so they can make informed decisions about its usage.
Finally, the goal is to instill worthiness in our children. Identifying, naming, and fighting some of the counter-worthiness messaging might just provide the awareness and education children need to believe in their own self-worth. Of course, the old fashion “your worthy and uniquely made” is always a great choice but being prepared to expose the enemies might just help in the fight for dignity.