The Word, the Web, and the Youth

I served as the National President of the United Methodist Youth Fellowship in the Philippines between June 2006 to May 2008. It was a great experience and helped me develop into the person and leader I am today. 

On November 19-20, 2007, I presented a paper entitled The Word, the Web, and the Youth as part of the Philippine Bible Forum organized by the Philippine Bible Society. Back then, Internet technologies such as blogs and social media started to takeoff. I explored the ministry implications of these technologies with young people. 

This paper represents some of earlier writings and it is one of my earliest efforts to understand the issues, trends, and challenges that young people are facing. In the process, I also wanted to help our church address these issues.

Reading it now, ten years later, some of it has become obsolete. That’s how quickly the Internet and the Web is evolving. But there are still some insights worth going back to. 

This paper was published on the compendium of papers presented during the Bible Forum.

Abstract

The Bible is the timeless word of God (Isaiah 40:8, NIV). Through the Bible we gain wisdom, guidance for our everyday lives and solace in times of trouble and grief. More importantly, it helps us to know God more deeply. This paper seeks to describe the characteristics of modern young people and their culture. The internet, Friendster, blogs, online communities, video games and other online platforms affect the social skills, the learning processes and the spirituality of young people. Undoubtedly, the Bible is still relevant in the lives of young people. But do they perceive it that way? This paper will present a cursory glance on the issues being faced by young people and the relevance of the Bible to these issues.

A set of strategies will then be proposed in order to make the Bible more relevant to young people. Three main principles will be used in proposing this set of strategies. First, creative, “out of the box” methods should be used in presenting the stories and message of the Bible. Interactivity is the language of this generation so qany effort to reach young people should have this element. Finally, practical and contextual issues will serve as gateways in teaching “deeper” spiritual truth to young people.

Lastly, this paper will call for the establishment of a think tank body or a network that can help recognize the trends in youth culture and how churches and ministries can present the Christian message more effectively. The Philippine Bible Society, together with other youth and campus ministries can assist in setting up this body.

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Breakup in the Time of Virtual Pag-ibig

I’m not really sure if young Filipinos still know the song “Isang Linggong Pag-ibig” by Imelda Papin. But, it accurately describes the kind of whirlwind romance not meant to last.

These days, though, love has moved to cyberspace and Virtual Pag-ibig is everywhere: lovers who have to deal with LDR (Long Distance Relationship) because one of them needs to work abroad; those who fall meet their beloved through online dating sites; maybe that hopeless romantic waiting to captivate a boyfriend (or girlfriend) from a rich country to spice their love life and save them from poverty; or just the usual boy or girl who connects with their loved one online.

It doesn’t just happen during Valentine’s Day, but here are ways that people break up relationships online.

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How Parents are Monitoring Teens’ Internet Usage

Every morning at work, I try to monitor my Twitter list of people and organizations working with young people. Through this, I have come across interesting research, trends, and articles on youth ministry and youth development work around the world.

The PEW Research Center came up with a new report on how parents are monitoring how teenagers use the Internet in the United States. Here are a few of their findings:

“A Pew Research Center survey of parents of 13- to 17-year-olds finds that today’s parents take a wide range of actions to monitor their teen’s online lives and to encourage their child to use technology in an appropriate and responsible manner.

Moreover, digital technology has become so central to teens’ lives that a significant share of parents now employ a new tool to enforce family rules: “digitally grounding” misbehaving kids. Some 65% of parents have taken their teen’s cellphone or internet privileges away as a punishment.

But restrictions to screen time are not always consequences of bad behavior, parents often have rules in place about how often and when their teen can go online. Some 55% of parents say they limit the amount of time or times of day their teen can be online.”

The report also includes an Infographic of some statistics:

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5 Social Media Habits to Develop this 2016

I hope you are having a Happy New Year so far! We have left behind the successes and defeats of the past year. It’s time to face the present and the future.

Since we’re already more than halfway through the second decade of the twenty-first century, we just can’t live without Social Media anymore. Let’s make it worthwhile by working on 5 Social Media habits to develop this 2016.

Learn something new.

We don’t really have an excuse for not learning anything new. There’s YouTube for recipes, learning to play the guitar or piano, ukulele, or even this awesome Chapman stick (which, by the way, is being played by Abby Clutario, the lead vocals of Fuseboxx, a Filipino band I like). Continue reading

5 Lessons We Could Learn from the Leaked Celebrity Nude Photos

There’s one thing that an Oscars award will not do: protect you from the invasion of privacy online.

That is what Jennifer Lawrence probably learned the past few days as nude photos of her and a couple of other celebrities got leaked online. Initially uploaded on 4chan, the leaked photos found their way to Reddit.

That’s when the world started noticing.

All the major news outlets covered it. One by one, the affected celebrities spoke out against this invasion of privacy. If you want a good summary of this issue, read this piece by Alan Duke at CNN.com.

Jennifer Lawrence

This post is a bit long. Clocking in at more than 1,300++ words, it’s an important issue for most of us yuppies, who are very connected to the Internet and other cloud-based services.

Victoria Justice (singer-songwriter) admitted that she may have been faced with a serious violation of privacy.

Mary E. Winstead (who starred in Final Destination 3, Death Proof, and Scott Pilgrim vs the World) also tweeted:

Even if you’re not a celebrity but you like fiddling with your Android or Windows phone, or iPhone, here are five lessons we should learn from this incident.

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Internet: Friend or Foe

This is the transcript of my presentation at the Celebrate Family Seminar of the Greenhills Christian Fellowship on June 27, 2009. The emergence of the Internet is one of the most amazing things that happened in the twentieth century. It revolutionized the way we handle and access information.

Simply put, the Internet is a network of networks, a massive interconnection of computers all over the world. It is different from the World Wide Web, which is a wide collection of interconnected documents, hypertext and hyperlinks. The Web is but one of the communication services being provided in the Internet.

Features of the Internet

  • Email
  • World Wide Web
  • Remote Access
  • Online collaboration
  • File sharing
  • Streaming media
  • Voice over Internet Protocol

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E-Addiction, Studies and Being Ragna cum Laude

Do you find yourself being online the whole day and the whole night? You may start by researching something at Wikipedia. Afterwards, you’re chatting with your friends, checking out the Friendster and Multiply accounts of your friends and the friends of your friends.

Do you just love video games? After classes, you may troop to the nearest Internet Cafe with your friends and play DOTA, RAN, Cabal or the latest online game craze. Continue reading