The Deadening Effect of Popular Culture

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David Kinnaman writes an article for Christianity Today entitled "The Rise of Digital Urban Tribes" on discipleship of the next generation. I found these two paragraphs provoking:

...we underestimate how much young people are shaped by the massive power of the digital tools, consumer culture, and media of the broader American culture. Thomas Bergler's work in The Juvenilization of American Christianity gives us a fabulous phrase for this: "the deadening effect of popular culture." Of course, many Christians recognize and bemoan the impact of media and technology on young people. Many, however, miss how much the influence is increasing and how much every age group is feeling its effects. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the typical teenager is using more than 10 hours of media per day, far more than previous generations. Is it any wonder when you mix and stir human nature, reality television, and social media that one-quarter of today's teenagers believe there is a "definite" or "probable" chance they will be famous or well-known by age 25? Call it the American Idol effect....

In addition, our research shows that typical parents are just as "addicted" to media and technology as are their teenagers, just in different ways. In an ironic and telling shift, the teenagers we interviewed complained that their parents' use of technology was inhibiting quality family time.

Read the full article.

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