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  • Writer's pictureKelly Knowlden

Chancellor's Challenges: Understanding Gen Z Culture

Sometimes I find myself completely unable to identify with the students that we serve if for no reason than they live in a world that I do not identify with at all. I am dinosauric in my ability to manipulate technology beyond the use of typing on the computer and calling on the cell phone. (One of my kids asked the silly question about why I don’t use my phone to keep track of my calendar?!? I also tend to look up phone numbers in the phone book, and rarely think first of finding information on the computer.)

However, since I need to deal with students who live in this world, I have felt compelled to figure out a means to keep up to speed with the latest technology information. So, I receive an email every week from a group called Axis. It is designed for parents and has this as its reason for being:

“Axis exists to help parents connect with their kids by the transforming power of Jesus. Many parents tell us they’ve found a healthier path because of our resources and our commitment to them. Yet too often, we still hear from parents who are stuck in fear, shame, defeat, and are desperate for hope.”

The email usually highlights latest technology fads, alerts to concerning songs or videos that are popular and even “how tos” in talking to your kids about these and many other topics. Here is an example of some of the topics covered more recently: The latest meme, “How it started vs. How it’s going.” This meme juxtaposes the beginning of a relationship, job, or even the year in general and its current status.

Another one called “Sweet Dreams for Quaran-teens” highlighted a study conducted by the Institute for Family Studies that indicated that while adults have experienced a greater sense of depression during the pandemic, teens on the other hand actually experienced less depression and loneliness during that same time compared with a similar study done in 2018. The thinking is that it is because teens are actually getting more sleep!

Other topics include what Zoom is planning to unfold in 2021 and why Fleetwood Mac on Spotify had its 1997 hit “Dreams” become a Gen Z favorite. All this to say, if you are a parent of kids from ages 11 up, I would recommend clicking on the link below and subscribing to Axis. It will empower you to be involved with your children in ways that are relevant to their world and gives you tools to ask questions that will help them think about what they see and hear without just letting it become the background noise of their thinking.

Subscribe to the Axis Blog. It’s free!

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