In our current time, there are numerous trends that are “popular” to teens on social media. Earlier this year, I remember the Tide Pod challenge swept the nation by storm. As a result, many kids tried ingesting the detergent liquid and had to be rushed to the hospital. In the summer, my wife showed me a video of kids snorting condoms and taking them out of their mouths. Little did many of these teens know they would receive immense notoriety but not for the talents but by receiving media coverage for their medical risks.
These teens were so desperate for fame that they would risk their lives. All in hopes to get views and likes online but viewers don’t care at all about their well-being but see them strictly as amusement.
This is what today’s youth culture has resorted to. Flashy attempts at fame and fortune in order to fit in with the crowd.
As I think about this growing phenomenon of going viral, this got me thinking: what greater recognition is there than to be recognized by the living God. God won’t celebrate harmful decisions because He is all good. God won’t entice us with wealth and riches because he understands that those things can cause us to have divided hearts.
Definitely, the current youth needs a crash course on humility. In fact, there’s no greater source of humility than The Litany of Humility which specifically addresses much of the current obsession with being liked and admired by others. This exaltation of self is prideful. Moreover, these aren’t authentic relationships being built online. These are people tuning in to have a demented comic relief that’s potentially fatal. Instead of laughing, people should be warning them of the great damage possibly committed against themselves which is totally unloving.
Most importantly, the children that imitate these trends operate under the belief of “Social media made me do it.” Conversely, think if more teens flipped that approach around with Jesus. Instead of caught being bad, what if teens were caught being saints operating on the belief that “Jesus made me do it” on random acts of charity. How much better would the state of life be if that were so?
Queen famously stated in the cult classic song “Under Pressure”
That burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on the streets”
Pressure is a horrible influence that really pollutes our youth’s free will. Instead of making the best decision on right and wrong, they simply act on what the group upholds as truthful or virtuous. In this current moment of social media influencing teen’s rash behavior, teens could utilize the guiding light of Scripture to inform their conscience.
In all, the obsession with viral fame speaks to a larger spiritual connection of man with God. All the influences and cravings point the soul back to God. The desire to be loved, recognized, and conformed to some form of likeness reveals a huge opening for the role of faith.
May we pray for the conversion of our youth.
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