Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Last Sunday night, I had a great lesson planned for poverty. But Saturday night, as I was praying and reflecting about the plans for Sunday, I felt a nudge from God to teach something else (I have no other way to explain it). I felt a calling to have a discussion about Facebook, and the recent suicide, with my youth.
Here’s how the evening looked:
• After a few introductory games and activities, we listed out the ways we form our identities
• Next we looked at identities from a Biblical perspective
• Then we discussed the different ways in which someone may portray one identity at school and something totally opposite at home
• This led us to how identities are formed on Facebook
• Lots of good discussions on why people form a different identity on Facebook than in real life
• We had honest conversation about our need to feel affirmed and liked
• We also had conversation about how hard it is to share with someone how you really feel
• A number of youth felt Facebook allows you to say something to someone, both good and bad, that you would never say face to face
• The end of our discussion focused on ways we can allow people to present the identity they want to present at church.
Overall, the discussion went well. One of our youth was friends with Megan—the young girl who committed suicide. I came away from the conversation convinced that: 1) our youth have a strong desire to try on a variety of different identities; 2) our youth really want to be liked; and 3) when things go bad, and people start posting negative comments, if there is no one to turn to events can quickly become disastrous. I think it’s the job of the church to remind youth that the teachings of Jesus accept anyone, particularly the outsiders, and we are always hear to listen.
Labels: Facebook; identity