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Fall is officially here and the weather is feeling great! Things are starting to feel a little more normal as students are returning to school on campus. Football has started! Baseball playoffs are in full swing! Holidays are right around the corner.

This month we will start planning activities for spring with the intention of moving to a consistent and complete schedule. There will be many familiar events as well as some new exciting events. My goal is to evaluate the ministry effectiveness of everything and plan a year that is intentional in providing opportunities for students to grow in their faith, act on their faith, and have fun doing it.

I also plan to move toward providing more resources and opportunities for growth in faith-based parenting. I believe that effective youth ministry includes family ministry as well. Look out for more information on this at the beginning of the year!

Shane Johnson has done a great job updating the Hampton FBC website as a hub to get information, register for upcoming activities, and connect to online material. I encourage you to take a look and bookmark it as a quick go to for information involving all Hampton FBC ministries.

While we are meeting on Wednesday nights at 6:30 we will continue to stream the service online at 
H1 Students Youtube

We will continue Sunday Night Discipleship at 8:00 pm on Zoom until we can start Sunday School on campus. We'll keep you updated when that happens. 

If you have any questions please feel free to email me below!

Nathan Wood

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Wednesday Night Worship
Breakfast for Hampton PD
Social Media

There seems to be a lot of ideas and debate about social media these days. Kids jump around from platform to platform as trends change. Questions about protection and safety come up every so often as a new app hits and the bad actors take advantage of its popularity.
As a parent you want your kids to be independent and build good relationships with others. You want them to be involved with things that might give them a psychosocial advantage. But, is social media really the best avenue for that type of growth?
I would argue, as an outsider that cares enough to tell you the truth, that social media has become more of a hinderance to your child’s safety in the past 7 months.

1. The Goal of Social Media is to Make Someone Rich.
The original days of Facebook and MySpace were groundbreaking in providing networking opportunities for anyone no matter where you were. You could promote your new band, connect with distant high school friends, and share recipes with anyone. Those were innocent days.
Today, Facebook still has a hand in its original purpose which is why my grandmother uses it so effectively everyday. However, social media in general has moved to making gazillions of dollars off of your addiction to see what’s happening. 
That gazillion dollars is used to leverage information that you would not otherwise consent to give a stranger and uses it to influence society to help give themselves power and authority. It is arguable that Facebook now has more authority than the US Government.

2. Social Media is leading more teenagers to suicide.
Research on this topic is difficult. One report would claim a direct connection between the 57% increase in teen suicide and social media use. Another report may claim that social media has only become a platform for teens with existing mental and emotional disorders to express their afflictions accompanied with suicide. 
However, after reading several reports, there is a common connection dealing with the amount of time on social media. Teens spending more that 3 hours a day on social media are more likely to display suicidal thoughts in some avenue of their life. I could not find any specific numbers but we all know that our kids are near the 3 hour daily usage if not exceeding it.
1 in 4 teens has admitted having thoughts of suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic. You might want to ask some digging questions.

3. Social Media Challenges Betray a Sense of Security
Remember planking? Only a few people were
seriously injured by laying flat in obscure places. My favorite social media challenge was “cone-ing”. Order an ice cream cone in the drive thru, and when they hand it to you grab it upside down by the ice cream and drive away immediately.
Then, somewhere along the way we jumped to eating Tide Pods. Kids were hospitalized and some were dying, but the trend continued until Tide Pods were pulled from the shelves. 
The problem wasn’t with the Tide company. It was
with the influencers that convinced teens that eating laundry soap wrapped in plastic was funny. It’s like the crazy phenomenon at the Grand Canyon. On one side there is a guard rail overlooking the Colorado River below. On the other side there is no rail. More people fall on the side with the rail than on the side with no rail.
Why? Because of a false sense of security. If I see
popular people eating soap and nothing happens, then it must be ok. Unfortunately, the kids who ended up in the hospital didn’t make the Instagram main feed.
Now it’s chugging Benadryl. Kids are
dying. Influencers are laughing. Tic Toc is profiting. 

4. Predators are Taking Advantage Every Way Possible.
Imagine leaving your teenager at home alone for the weekend but removing all the doors
and windows before you go. Then, post a sign in the yard that says “Unattended Teenager Inside”. What would you return to on Monday?
Social media isn’t much different. 
Are you aware of what apps your teenager has on their phone?
Are you aware of the safety measures those apps have put in place to protect your teenager?
Is your teenager aware of what a predator might convince them to do?
Is your family aware of what to do if a predator makes contact?
There are several types of predators on social
media. Sexual predators get most of the attention. 20% of teenagers have received sexual solicitations online. 33% of victims are boys.
Identity predators know that they can steal information, use credit, and you’ll never know until your teenager tries to open a credit card or buy a car. 75% of teenagers are willing to share personal information online.
There is tons of information at Innocent Lives Foundation on ways to monitor and protect your teens on social media.

The bottom line here is that I see so much harm come from social media. During the pandemic, teens have become more involved and more reliant on social media for their socializing. Should everyone delete their teenager’s accounts? Maybe, but probably not...
The best thing to do is be informed, be involved, and be cautiously suspicious. Unattended access is too dangerous. Social media providers don’t care about your kids like you do!
H1 Students
Hampton Students
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