Brett.Ullman

Category - media

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

In my Loneliness research, the conversation on how Social Media might be affecting a new generation keeps coming up. Here is a great yet scary article. Just because we like social media does not mean it is good for us. Love to hear peoples thoughts on this.

I’ve been researching generational differences for 25 years, starting when I was a 22-year-old doctoral student in psychology. Typically, the characteristics that come to define a generation appear gradually, and along a continuum. Beliefs and behaviors that were already rising simply continue to do so. Millennials, for instance, are a highly individualistic generation, but individualism had been increasing since the Baby Boomers turned on, tuned in, and dropped out. I had grown accustomed to line graphs of trends that looked like modest hills and valleys. Then I began studying Athena’s generation.

Around 2012, I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviors and emotional states. The gentle slopes of the line graphs became steep mountains and sheer cliffs, and many of the distinctive characteristics of the Millennial generation began to disappear. In all my analyses of generational data—some reaching back to the 1930s—I had never seen anything like it.

The experiences they have every day are radically different from those of the generation that came of age just a few years before them.

Psychologically, however, they are more vulnerable than Millennials were: Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones.

But the allure of independence, so powerful to previous generations, holds less sway over today’s teens, who are less likely to leave the house without their parents. The shift is stunning: 12th-graders in 2015 were going out less often than eighth-graders did as recently as 2009.

One line in the article stopped me.

So what are they doing with all that time? They are on their phone, in their room, alone and often distressed.

I feel like I could have just pasted the entire article. Just a taste above.
Please click here for the entire article.

Brett Ullman: Topics for your Church, Conference, School or Camp

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all enjoying your summer. As we begin planning another school / ministry year I wanted to send out a blog with information on all of the talks that I do. Below is a list of the topics that I offer:

(1) The Walking Wounded – This talk is looking at how we as Christians can have a practical yet Biblical approach to help people struggling with mental health. It includes my own journey struggling with anxiety as well. It answers the question “What do you do when you or someone you love is struggling with Anxiety?”
Promotional Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzLLIMTHz1I
Designed for: I do this talk for many Sunday morning church services as well as special nights for parents / students. In schools I do this for High School age.

(2) The.Sex.Talk (Parents Edition) is a version of my sex talk designed for parents. It is NOT a talk about the new Health Curriculum but a talk about how we as parents can help our kids create a Biblical worldview in the area of sex. It is meant to be very practical to help parents in this bridge these topics with our kids.
Promotional Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8VI7Acaj6w
Designed for: Parents & a similar version for High School Students

(3) media.faith.culture – the disconnect – This is a fully re-done talk. This talk is a broad talk looking into how we connect our faith with our culture (music, movies, social media etc). Answering the question of how do we connect our ancient faith with our modern world.
Designed for: Grade 7-8 (Could be 6-8). High School & Parents. This is my most common talk for Sunday morning services, youth groups as well as Schools (Elementary and High School)

(4) The Porn Project – is my brand new talk on pornography. It is less about pornography and more about how we as Christians can break free from our struggles with this and how to help our kids in this journey as well
Designed for: Parents & High School Students

(5) Dating.for.life: The Questions – In this new update of my dating for life talk I have gone back to the basics. In this new talk I answer 8 questions on dating: What is dating? When should I start dating? How do I start dating? How do I break up? etc.
Designed for: High School Students

(6) The Man Talk – The Man Talk is what it sounds like – a discussion about what it’s like to be a Man today. It’s a real talk, a meat and potatoes approach to issues pressing us from all sides. In this talk I challenge men to be better husbands, fathers and boyfriends.
Designed for: Men’s Breakfasts or special events at church

If you are interested in any talk please let me know. you can find more information on each talk off of my www.brettullman.com website.

Thanks for your time,

Brett Ullman
Executive Director
Worlds Apart
www.brettullman.com

P.S. I also have a large resource blog on my website www.brettullman.com. You can just go to the site and click on the headings and find hundreds of great resources I have posted this past 2 years in categories like mental health, sex and porn, media, spiritual disciplines, parenting and many more.

Quit social media | Dr. Cal Newport | TEDxTysons

Great Ted talk. Well worth the time to watch. I am NOT saying we all need to quit social media. I do think we need to engage in social media carefully and not just with indifference.

… constant exports from your friends constant curated, positive portrayals  of their life. can leave you to feel inadequate and can increase rates of depression.

Fundamental mismatch between the way are brains are wired and this behaviour of exposing yourself to stimuli with intermittent rewards throughout all of your waking hours. Its one thing to spend a couple of hours at a slot machine in Las Vegas, but if you bring one with you, and you pull the handle all day long, from when you wake up to when you go to bed; we’re not wired from it. It short circuits the brain and we’re staring to find it has actual cognitive consequences, one of them being this sort of pervasive background hum of anxiety.

Love to hear your thoughts.

 

Sherry Turkle: Connected, but alone?

One of the best TED talks I have heard in years. Please take a few minutes to watch this.

So just to take some quick examples: People text or do email during corporate board meetings. They text and shop and go on Facebook during classes, during presentations, actually during all meetings. People talk to me about the important new skill of making eye contact while you’re texting. People explain to me that it’s hard, but that it can be done. Parents text and do email at breakfast and at dinner while their children complain about not having their parents’ full attention. But then these same children deny each other their full attention. This is a recent shot of my daughter and her friends being together while not being together. And we even text at funerals. I study this. We remove ourselves from our grief or from our revery and we go into our phones.

When I ask people “What’s wrong with having a conversation?” People say, “I’ll tell you what’s wrong with having a conversation. It takes place in real time and you can’t control what you’re going to say.” So that’s the bottom line. Texting, email, posting, all of these things let us present the self as we want to be.We get to edit, and that means we get to delete, and that means we get to retouch, the face, the voice, the flesh, the body — not too little, not too much, just right.

How do you get from connection to isolation? You end up isolated if you don’t cultivate the capacity for solitude, the ability to be separate, to gather yourself. Solitude is where you find yourself so that you can reach out to other people and form real attachments. When we don’t have the capacity for solitude, we turn to other people in order to feel less anxious or in order to feel alive. When this happens, we’re not able to appreciate who they are. It’s as though we’re using them as spare parts to support our fragile sense of self. We slip into thinking that always being connected is going to make us feel less alone. But we’re at risk, because actually it’s the opposite that’s true. If we’re not able to be alone, we’re going to be more lonely. And if we don’t teach our children to be alone, they’re only going to know how to be lonely.

There’s plenty of timefor us to reconsider how we use it, how we build it. I’m not suggesting that we turn away from our devices, just that we develop a more self-aware relationship with them, with each other and with ourselves.

 

’13 Reasons Why’ holds many important lessons for parents of teenagers

As a full time speaker who spends 1/2 of his life speaking to high school age students I think this article is a great wake up call for parents. I find that many students today seem to be raising themselves with parents who are so busy with the downward spiral of their own lives that they have little time / capacity left to be actual parents to their own children.

Successfully parenting today’s teens requires close supervision, effective limit-setting and SM monitoring. Identifying symptoms of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal thoughts is imperative for early intervention and improved outcomes. But what is most important for parents — and lacking in 13 Reasons Why — is curiosity. Curiosity about teens’ friends, hobbies, homework or hairstyle choices. Parents too often dismiss their teens’ emotions as entitled, or their school-related struggles as trite, which leads to a feeling among teens that they are misunderstood and alone. But adolescence isn’t trite. High school experiences and the decisions made during those formative years shape teens’ mental and emotional development for life.

Please take a few minutes to read this article.

Click here for the entire article.