The Differing Online Habits of Millennials by Koby Milton

When were you born?  If you were born in 1980 and on, you are either a Millennial, or generation Z.


This infographic called: Kids of the past vs internet generation is worth checking out.  It’s helpful to see the differences between 4 different generations.  Is it worse today?  Here are some things that stood out.

  1. 90% of millennials use the internet.  I am not surprised by this, but only 10 percent of millennials and above don’t use the internet.  This really is the new way of life.  I have seen students bullied for not being online.  If you want to see where students are today, they are online.  Millennials are the one to get their news online.  Last weekend, I was talking to a student about T.V.  We were at a cabin watching cable T.V, and he said, “who still watching cable t.v?, this is trash.”  Millennials are going to stream shows they want, or get it on netflix.
  2. Children are 6 time more likely to play a video game than ride a bike.  This is true.  I have been biking with my kids each week, and I never see people out.  If I was to log on to my console to play a video game, the majority of my students would be there.  One of the ways to reach students in my ministry context in the past has been to play online with them.  This has been a successful way to develop a relationship while doing something together.
  3. 54% of millennials have some college.  This is the most educated generation.  The majority of students are graduating and moving on to college.  One of the things my ministry has been thinking through is whats next for students who graduate out of the ministry.  What its he goal?  The goal for us is to have students attend one year at a Bible College.
  4. 22% of 17 year olds read each day for fun.  This one took awhile to decipher.  Students are reading less and less.  What does this mean for students and Bible reading?  Are they reading the Bible on their app?  If only 22% of students are reading for fun, and 26% voluntarily read a book if they read it previously, will it become increasing difficult for students to maintain a Bible reading plan?  Millennials are so focused on screen time, they are ditching reading.  I would love to know what the stats are on millennials reading the Bible through apps like you version.  I wonder if it’s better today or worse?

Check out the infographic below.



A Selfie-Obsessed Generation by Kolby Milton



Okay, I’ll be honest—the last time I took one was last night. I was at youth group, and I wanted to get a picture with my small group of students. People are obsessed with taking pictures of themselves. It’s crazy! Think about it: how many photos in your Instagram feed have your face in them?

When we talk about idols today, one of the big ones this generation is facing is narcissism. It’s all about us. I recently read about how Kim Kardashian photoshopped her Instagram photos. It’s not surprising when we live in a culture that’s so image-obsessed.

A woman named Essena O’Neill quit Instagram claiming that nothing was real about her account. She states in this article in THE GUARDIAN: “Yet I, myself, was consumed by it. This was the reason why I quit social media: for me, personally, it consumed me. I wasn’t living in a 3D world.” Of her FIRST-EVER POST, a selfie that now has close to 2,500 likes, she said: “I remember I obsessively checked the like count for a full week since uploading it. It got 5 likes. This was when I was so hungry for social media validation . . . Now marks the day I quit all social media and focus on real life projects.”

There’s an idolatry associated with social media. What’s the image we’re putting out there? What are we trying to receive from it? Some of the students I work with understand that they could make a ton of money from Instagram if they leverage it right. There’s a thing about being “insta” famous.

The infographic from RAWHIDE.ORG called “Selfie Obsession: The Rise of Social Media Narcissism” is timely.

Here are few things that stand out:

  1. Every year, teens spend the equivalent of seven working days taking selfies. This is crazy!
  2. Traits of selfie-obsessed teens are over-friending and self-promotion. When was the last time you unfriended people? I try to do it every two months. I can’t keep up with my friends at my church, so why would I think having more than 500 friends on Facebook would help build relationships? (With that said, I have built some awesome friendships online, and last year I was able to hang out with a few of those awesome people.) There are warning signs of people who are complete narcissists. If you see any of these signs, you should address it. Our students shouldn’t feel as if their worth is based on the number of likes they have. You are not your likes on social media.
  3. The three Rs of selfie-control: reduce, rethink, reflect. These are gold. I‘ve been saying for years that if your social media accounts aren’t fostering real relationships, then why have them? Everything we do should be leading us to face-to-face conversations—otherwise it really isn’t necessary.

As a youth worker, you probably see this all the time. You might even see other youth workers struggle with a selfie addition. I wonder how we can point people back to the gospel and how we can teach others that our worth isn’t based on something—it’s based on someone: Jesus. This is powerful knowledge for a teenager drowning in a selfish culture.



How Teens Media Consumption Has Changed with Infographic


Things have really changed in 10 years.  Do you notice the media consumption today in students?

I don’t know about you, but I have noticed my own media consumption changing.  I don’t have cable tv anymore, and I want to watch shows that are streamed.

Working with parents today with teenagers is difficult.  It really is hard to explain to a parent the complexities of their kids being raised in a digital world.  The parents weren’t, and they are the first generation to raise digitally native kids.  I feel like it’s a learning experience for the way I will raise my kids in a digital world.

This infographic is called: True Facts About Teens And Media: Now & Then.  It’s really interesting, and it’s worth sharing.

Here are some things that stand out:

  1. Teenagers are looking at screens for 7 and a half hours per day.   Is this alarming?  I am not sure.  When I look at my own life I know that I am spending tons of hours each day looking at a screen.  I think it’s so important that we are still helping students get away from technology for a period of time.  I still try to make camp a phone free zone.
  2. 71% of teens have TV’s in their bedrooms.  Having a TV in their room isn’t alarming, it’s the other digital devices.  If parents think it’s ok for their kids to have a TV in their rooms, why shouldn’t they have a laptop, iPad or iPhone in their room?  This is one issue where I think that parents today are really naive.  They don’t understand how destructive these devices can be.  We will be dealing with the ramifications of these devices being allowed anywhere without boundaries for the next 10 years.
  3. On average teenagers send 60 messages a day.  That is just on average.  That doesn’t seem like a ton, but what it shows you is that you should have a texting strategy for your youth ministry.  I have a great texting program that I use all the time to text messages to students.  It’s worth communicating where the students are at.  They are all texting.


Teens & Young Adults Use Porn More Than Anyone Else by Barna Group


Sex sells. Or, to put it in 21st century terms, sex gets clicks.

Smartphones, tablets and laptops have revolutionized the way people encounter images. Pictures and videos are easily accessible with one swipe or click; it takes very little effort to encounter sexually explicit content on apps like Snapchat and Instagram. Even mainstream media is infused with sexualized images and ideas—one needs only to see an Axe commercial, a primetime Miley Cyrus performance or a “reality” show like The Bachelor for confirmation.

This “pornification” of popular culture means younger generations are coming of age in a hypersexualized cultural ecosystem. They, in turn, tend to be more open to sexual experimentation and self-expression—leading to further social acceptance of sexually explicit content. One cannot help but wonder where this self-perpetuating feedback loop will end.

For a landmark study commissioned by Josh McDowell Ministry, Barna Group interviewed American teens, young adults and older adults about their views on and use of pornography. Among many notable findings, researchers discovered that teens and young adults have a more cavalier attitude toward porn than adults 25 and older. In addition, young adults ages 18 to 24 seek out and view porn more often than any other generation. Continue reading


True Facts About Teens and Media, Now & Then by Amy Williams


The meteoric rise in technology over the past three decades has completely changed the relationship between teens and media. Teens are often the first group to adopt a new technology because at that younger age it’s easier for them to pick up new things, but now it seems that every new generation of teens is equipped with a different social skill set based on the advances of technology.

The teens of 1995 were on the forefront of learning to use the internet as part of their everyday lives, today’s teens don’t know how to live without it. They’re focused on finding the latest-and-greatest app that will help them communicate better with their peers. Whereas 60% of teens in 1995 talked to their friends on the phone daily, now only 39% of teens make or receive voice calls at all, while only 35% of teens social with other teens outside of school on a daily basis.

This was partially due to a movement in the mid-2000s in which parents encouraged children to stay inside due to fears of neighborhood safety — not to mention the rapid expansion of the internet. Between 1995 and 2005, the internet grew from 23,500 to 64.8 MILLION websites!

In TeenSafe’s latest infographic, True Facts About Teens and Media: Now & Then, you learn all these facts and more, such as…

  • Did you know that today, school dances are dying out?
  • As teen media usage has grown, teen obesity rates have more than doubled.
  • In 1995, people referred to the internet as the “Information Superhighway.”
  • In 2005, the most popular online activity for teens was sending and reading emails.
  • In 2015, 95% of teens are online!

It’s amazing to see how far teens and media have come — and to imagine where they’ll go next. Check out the infographic below:



Teen Online Dangers by YouthMinistry Media


In the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz in which Dorothy states “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

That is how I am feeling today in the digital world that we live in.  It isn’t like anything else in the history of the world.  We are in a new era.  I often wonder if the changing times today are similar to periods in history where cultures were transformed by the tools they created.  Tools like the writing language, and the printing press.

Times are changing.  I am currently 31 year old, and I am the last generation to not be raised natively in a digital world.  I am raising kids who are.  These are interesting times.

This is an infographic called: Teen Tech Dangers and the infographic is from the company called PhoneSheriff.

Here are a few things that standout: Continue reading


What Americans Are Watching in 2014  by Barna Group

May sweeps are in full swing and producers are pulling out all the stops—plot twists, all-star guests and didn’t-see-that-coming cliffhangers—to compete for viewers in the overcrowded TV market.

Fans of reality shows like American IdolThe Amazing Race and Dancing with the Stars will find out if their favorites come out on top. Primetime dramas like NashvilleGrey’s AnatomyThe Mentalist and NCISwill kill off beloved characters (only to resurrect them in a “shocking” fall premier). And popular comedies like The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family will marry belly laughs and happy endings.

A decade ago, when anybody with an aerial on the roof, a set of rabbit ears or even a well-placed coat hanger had access to the broadcast airwaves, network TV shows could regularly expect 20 million viewers to tune in to big season finales. Now that TV is digital—and delivered not only to the 60-inch screen at home but also to mobile devices any- and everywhere—who is watching?

In a new nationwide study, Barna Group asked adults 18 and older what shows they watch—and if they’re watching at all.

Who’s Watching?
Three quarters of Americans say they watch some TV every day—but the amount of time they spend watching varies greatly. Adults are almost evenly split between those who watch one to three hours (51%) and those who watch four or more hours per day (44%). A large minority watches five or more hours of television per day (30%).

On average, women (3.4 hours, median) watch more TV than men (3.0 hours). And, as a rule, TV watching increases with age. Elders, adults who are 69 and older, watch an average of 4.4 hours per day, while Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) watch an average of 3.8. Gen-Xers (born between 1965 and 1983) and Millennials (born 1984 to 2002) watch fewer hours: 2.5 and 2.7 hours, respectively.Practicing Christians tend to watch more television than non-Christians. Practicing Catholics watch an average of 3.5 hours per day and practicing Protestants watch an average of 3.1 hours. By contrast, adherents to faiths other than Christianity watch 2.6 hours of TV per day and those of no faith, which includes self-identified atheists and agnostics, watch 2.7 hours. Interestingly, church attendance seems to make little difference in the number of viewing hours. Those who attended church within the past week, those who attended within the past month and those who have not attended at all within the past six months all watch an average of 3.2 hours per day.

Continue reading


Kids and Technology


How do you use technology in your youth ministry? 

We need to figure how to to work better with a digital native culture.  One thing that I know, is that we are not going back.  We not going back to a pre-digital era.  I have talked with a few youth workers who think that reading on a digital device hurts retention, and that they recommend students to only read paper Bibles.  Reading this infographic called, “Kid Tech”, should make us wonder how we will help students read the Bible, and how we can use their devices in their spiritual relationship with God.

Here are a few things that stand out from this infographic: 

1. 7 out of 10 kids are using tablets.  This past christmas a ton of the students in my youth ministry got iPads, and iPad mini’s.  I was amazed at how many students received these expensive devices, but it shows a new era of digital consumption.

Seeing students with iPads and iPad mini’s makes me think how we can help them use those devices to draw closer to God?  We have talked about setting up a texting service that would text out a verse for 30 days.  We have tried to use bible reading plans, and scripture videos, and anything else that might “stick”.  I feel like this is still an adventure, and we are quickly learning how to reach teens who are digital natives.

2. iPad students out perform non-iPad students.  This is really surprising.  The stats I have been reading say that kids who use digital devices don’t retain information as print.  I don’t believe this.  I agree with this infographic when it says it offers a deeper engagement.

Kids are quickly adapting to a digital world, and people who didn’t grow up in it are struggling…and will continue to struggle through a digital era.

I heard of a youth group recently who’s pastor keeps all the students phones while they are at the youth group.  I wondered why you would take away their device?  When I preach, I want my students on their phones.  I want them to have a Bible app, and know how to use it.  I want the students I lead to tweet out passages, and thoughts.  I want their faith to affect their whole life…including the digital life.

Those are two things that stood out to me.  What else stands out to you from this infographic?  Continue reading