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Trends and Issues Archive

End Of An Era: Only One Blockbuster Store Left In US

Yesterday
The last two Blockbuster stores in Alaska are shutting their doors for good next week according to the Anchorage Daily News, which means there is just one remaining relic of the video rental giant still up and operating in the entire United States.    The final Blockbuster storefront standing is located in Bend, Oregon. It outlasted two stores in Alaska—one in the city of Anchorage and one in Fairbanks—that will officially close up shop on Monday, July 16th despite John Oliver’s attempts to keep them alive by...
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Drake's 'Scorpion' Is Just Fourth Album With 7 Hot 100 Top 10s & First This Century

Wednesday
Drake presides over the Billboard Hot 100 chart (dated July 14), as "Nice for What" returns to No. 1 for an eighth week on top and the superstar rapper/singer charts a record-breaking seven songs in the top 10 simultaneously. Concurrently, Drake's new LP Scorpion launches at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with the biggest week of consumption for an album in 2018.   Among Drake's numerous achievements this week, Scorpion becomes only the fourth album ever to generate seven top 10 Hot 100 hits, and the first since...
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Drake Charts 7 Songs on Billboard Top 10, Surpassing Beatles Record

Wednesday
Drake has not only entered Beatles territory — he’s eclipsed it. The rapper currently claims seven of the Top 10 spots on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. That’s insane, and it also smashes the Fab Four’s record of five songs in the Top 10. Of course, the way music is delivered and consumed in 2018 is much different than 1964. And back then, during peak Beatlemania, the band of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr had all five of the Top 5 songs, with”Can’t Buy Me Love,”...
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Crowder, KB, Zealand, Iron Bell Music & 5K High School Kids From Diverse Backgrounds!

Wednesday
What a week it was inside the Indiana Convention Center! Our friend and long-term Team interlínc leader of Church of God Anderson youth ministry (Andy Stephenson) hosted IYC2018 and right in the next hall Ben Stephens hosted the Church of God in Christ Youth & Music Conference. The highlight for everyone was when the two conferences came together for a KB concert followed by prayer time together. As Dr. Stephens put it, “This won’t be seen on CNN, but it should be!”  Andy and Ben paired up African American...
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The Surefire Way To Live Longer – Research Your Students Should Know About

July 9th, 2018
By  J. Warner Wallace | Fox News The Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science (SPPS) released a study last month demonstrating that religious people live longer. The study observed that “self-reported religious service attendance has been linked with longevity,” and confirmed this by examining obituaries from 43 U.S. cities. Researchers found that religiously affiliated people lived between 5.64 and 9.45 years longer than those who were not religiously affiliated.   The...
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Slain Rapper XXXTentacion Track “Sad” Breaks Spotify Streaming Record

June 21st, 2018
June 20, 2018   A track by rapper XXXTentacion smashed the Spotify record for streams in a single day after he was shot and killed at age 20, dethroning reigning pop queen Taylor Swift.   “SAD!,” originally released by XXXTentacion in March, racked up 10.4 million streams Tuesday, according to Billboard. The feat pushed the late rapper past Taylor Swift, whose song “Look What You Made Me Do” scored 10.1 million streams upon its Aug. 25, 2017 release.   The record-breaking number of plays came...
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Trent Reznor On Nine Inch Nails New Album + Perils Of Tech

June 20th, 2018
Punishing synths, dissonant drumbeats, and the occasional sax riff punctuate the latest album from Nine Inch Nails, the industrial rock outfit fronted by Trent Reznor. The project, Bad Witch (out June 22), is the final chapter in a trilogy, and continues the thread Reznor first explored on the series’ preceding releases, Not the Actual Events and Add Violence. Specifically, what is our place in the world today and how do we navigate it? Reznor is still not sure he has an answer, but by splitting the story into three parts, he is...
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Teen's Online Church Draws Young People From Around The World

June 12th, 2018
Like many teenagers, Daniel Herron, 16, of Tacoma, Washington, has a busy life. He’s a member of the Sea Scouts, the nautical branch of the Boy Scouts of America. He serves on the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Board, helping to award thousands of dollars to local organizations. He’s active in his high school’s Bible study group.   And he’s also the founder and pastor of an online church that has attracted more than 4,500 members. Not a “pretend” or...
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Become a More Productive Learner

June 7th, 2018
Today we consume five times more information every day than we did in 1986, an incredible amount that’s equivalent to a 174 newspapers…a day. That probably includes a lot of Instagram posts, but it’s not only social media. The corporate e-learning space has grown by nine times over the last 16 years, such that almost 80% of U.S. companies offer online training for their employees, making more information accessible to them than ever before.   One would think that this would translate into increased...
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Poll: 20% Of Christians (?) Don’t Believe In The God Of The Bible

April 30th, 2018
“Do you believe in God?”   The question seems simple enough. But a Pew study released this week suggests that belief in God is far more complicated than a binary answer would suggest — and that belief in God and religious identity don’t always correlate.   Four in five American adults say they “believe in God.” Of these believers, 70 percent say they believe in the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible, while 30 percent say they believe in another higher or spiritual power. (According to the...
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Schools Fret As Teens Take To Vaping, Even In Classrooms

April 30th, 2018
By COLLIN BINKLEY Associated Press   BOSTON (AP) -- Sneaking a cigarette in the school bathroom? How quaint. Today's teens have taken to vaping, an alternative to smoking that's so discreet they can do it without even leaving the classroom.   Health and education officials across the country are raising alarms over wide underage use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products.   The devices heat liquid into an inhalable vapor that's sold in sugary flavors like mango and mint - and often with the addictive drug nicotine....
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Avicii Death A Coming-Of-Age In Electronic Music Boom

April 23rd, 2018
Avicii came to define the new age of radio-friendly EDM in 2011 with "Levels," which entered the top 10 across Europe with its sample of soul great Etta James in between synthesizer riffs that soar with stadium-packing power (AFP Photo/Attila KISBENEDEK)   New York (AFP) - Rock 'n' roll had Buddy Holly, the psychedelic era had Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin and grunge had Kurt Cobain. Now electronic dance music has Avicii.   The Swedish DJ's death Friday at age 28 marks a symbolic coming-of-age for a genre that remains...
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The iPhone Is Hands Down 'The Dominant Device Brand Among Teens'

April 11th, 2018
Teens are buying more iPhones each time Piper Jaffray Senior Analyst Michael Olson runs his periodic survey. 82% of teens surveyed have the iPhone. Olson, unlike many analysts, sees the iPhone as somewhat of a strength for Apple going forward. Teens continue to love the Apple. That's the big takeaway of Piper Jaffray's semi-annual "Taking Stock With Teens" survey. The survey of roughly 6,000 teens, with an average age of 16.4 years, found 82% of respondents own an iPhone, making for the...
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The 'Condom Snorting Challenge' Is Every Parent's Worst Nightmare

April 2nd, 2018
Viral videos posted on social media show teenagers snorting condoms as part of a so-called "condom snorting challenge."    In the videos, teens put an unwrapped condom up one of their nostrils and inhale until the condom comes out of their mouth. Like other viral challenges, the condom snorting challenge has been around for years but recently reemerged on social media.    In San Antonio, Stephen Enriquez, who teaches drug and alcohol prevention to parents, has also started to teach parents about dangerous...
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Porn Is Not The Worst Thing On Musical.ly.

March 7th, 2018
My daughter is ten. She wants me to get Musical.ly on my phone so she can make funny lip-sync videos. Everyone has it, she whines, even the kid whose mom is an FBI agent/social worker/pediatrician/nun. Wow. Well. In that case…   I download the app while she’s at school but it won’t let me explore without an account. I create a profile under Chardonaynay47 only to delete that and opt for something less momish, gummibear9. One word sums up my experience: Nowayismykidgettingthisapp.   Musical.ly looks...
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What YOU Need to Know About Juuling

March 6th, 2018
One of the biggest topics right now in high school parent newsle
One of the biggest topics right now in high school parent newsletters everywhere is the Juul. It’s a popular e-cigarette system that looks a lot like a USB flash drive—you may have seen one in your teenager’s room, figuring it contains an essay on The Great Gatsby. Based on Twitter and Instagram posts with the hashtag #doit4juul, students are “juuling” wherever, whenever—in school bathrooms, in libraries and under their desks in class. They’re getting away with it because the device is discreet, the...
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What Parents Need To Know About Sexting

March 6th, 2018
Sexting is defined as the sending or receiving of nude or seminude images or sexually explicit text messages and can happen when one person pressures another to send a nude or seminude photo. For teenagers, this scenario can happen between people who are dating or those who just started to like each other and one teenager is asked to “prove” they like the other person. Sexting can also happen when one person sends a nude or seminude photo to another without asking for consent first. Sexting can lead to the spread of the photos...
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Less-Cool Facebook Losing Youth At Fast Pace

February 12th, 2018
Note: This is a trend that we have noticed for a couple years. Interesting that the news is picking up on it. With mom, dad and grandma signing up in increasing numbers, Facebook is losing younger users in the United States at a faster pace than previously estimated, researchers said Monday.   A report by eMarketer said Snapchat is drawing youths away from Facebook at a quicker clip than Facebook-owned Instagram.   Facebook is still growing in the US market, according to research firm, mainly due to increases in usage by older...
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Phone-Addicted Teens Aren’t As Happy...

January 29th, 2018
Tech Crunch 01/23/18 To no parent’s surprise, too much smartphone use makes teens unhappy. So says a new study from San Diego State University, which pulled data from over one million 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders in the U.S. showing teens who spent more time on social media, gaming, texting and video-chatting on their phones were not as happy as those who played sports, went outside and interacted with real human beings. But is it the screen time bringing them down or are sadder teens more likely to insulate themselves in a...
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Does Google Home Know Who Jesus Is?

January 25th, 2018
Some Users Say
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Audio technology like Google Home and Amazon's Alexa are becoming a dominant source for information. But now, it appears one of the most common names is unknown to Google Home. And some people are sounding the alarm about what the technology tells you when you ask about Jesus. Brentwood resident David Sams owns a Google Home and an Amazon audio speaker. He says both give two different answers when asking "Who is Jesus Christ?" "I even asked Google who is David Sams? Google knew who I was,...
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US Schools..Already 11 Shootings This Year

January 24th, 2018
Editor Note:  Our hearts are broken for the students on our middle school, high school and college campuses. Please join all 60 Campus Alliance member organizations in praying for our students and reaching out to them with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Huffington Post January 24, 2018 The two students killed by a fellow high schooler Tuesday in Benton, Kentucky, weren’t the first victims of such violence this month. So far this week, three shootings have happened at or near schools. Eight more took place in the first three...
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Pop Music in 2017: Glum and Glummer

December 22nd, 2017
Attention! This New York Times 12/22/17 article is a must read for youthworkers! Our students' world is a desperate one and the songs they are clicking to listen to reflect (by the billions of streams) how widespread this issue is.  Beware (but dont avoid) Explicit Lyrics Ahead! “Push me to the edge/All my friends are dead,” Lil Uzi Vert intones in “XO TOUR Llif3,” at first in a matter-of-fact chant and later in a slurred, raw singsong. The backing track is a bass line going nowhere slowly, oozing to bind...
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Over Half Of US Kids On Track For Obesity By 35

November 30th, 2017
 Miami (AFP) - More than 57 percent of children in the United States will be obese by age 35 if current trends in weight gain and poor eating habits continue, researchers warned Wednesday. The risk of obesity is high even among children whose present weight is normal, said the report in the New England Journal of Medicine. "Only those children with a current healthy weight have less than a 50 percent chance of becoming obese by the age of 35 years," said the study, led by researchers at Harvard University. Some 36.5 percent...
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Smartphone Addiction Creates Imbalance In Brain

November 30th, 2017
CHICAGO, Nov. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Researchers have found an imbalance in the brain chemistry of young people addicted to smartphones and the internet, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 46 percent of Americans say they could not live without their smartphones. While this sentiment is clearly hyperbole, more and more people are becoming increasingly dependent on smartphones and other portable...
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Thoughts on Vegas and Why Men Keep Doing This

October 10th, 2017
Note: This post by Charlie Hoehn has some great applications to what we do in student ministry and we wanted to make sure that you see it It’s tempting to say the mass shooter's motive was simply “pure evil,” or to blame the media or guns, but that absolves us of looking deeply at what each of us — as individuals, family members, friends, and community members — might be missing. Now, I’m not a psychiatrist. And I don’t know much about the Vegas shooter. I’m just a guy who studies...
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The Danger More Pressing than Sex and Drugs in Your Youth Group

October 10th, 2017
 A new study of today’s teenagers contains both encouraging and troubling findings for parents, pastors, and youth group leaders concerned with reaching “Generation Z.”   According to the research, teenagers in the early 2010s tried alcohol later and had sex far less often compared with their predecessors: About 54 percent of high-school students in 1991 reported having had sex, while only 41 percent did in the early 2010s. For student pastors who have been fighting the war against partying, pregnancies and...
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Cheap Sex and the Decline of Marriage

October 10th, 2017
Why is marriage in retreat among young Americans? Because it is now much easier for men to find sexual satisfaction outside marriage, argues Mark Regnerus of the Wall Street Journal. Read his article here.    
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How Teens Spend Their After-School Hours

August 29th, 2017
 Smartphones are changing the way an entire generation spends their time. Teens (or iGen, as some have named them) have come of age in a world dominated by devices and unfettered access to the web—and it’s dramatically altering their behavior. According to a recent article in The Atlantic, author Jean Twenge shows that although teens are partying and drinking less, they are feeling more depressed and isolated than ever as they spend increasing amounts of time glued to their smartphones.   In his new book, The...
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New Research: One Kind Of Teenage Friendship Results In Healthier Adulthood

August 23rd, 2017
Parents often think teenagers are overly obsessed with their best friends. They should let them be. New research published in the journal Child Development shows that teens aged 15 and 16 who had a close friend, rather than a bigger peer group featuring less intense relationships, reported higher levels of self-worth and lower levels of social anxiety and depression at 25 compared with their peers who were more broadly popular as teens. Read the whole article here.
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ALERT! Bruno Mars' Trending and Sensual Music Video

August 15th, 2017
Youth Leaders Give Their Perspectives
  Bruno Mars is a definite musical talent, and his popularity is undeniable. That’s why his latest music video, "Versace On The Floor” had 8 million views in the first 24 hours after its release. (Whoa!) The video (and the song's lyric) is very seductive, sensual, and sexual. We asked of Team interlinc youth leaders, “How do we deal with such an overtly sexual song and video that will be seen by almost every kid in our ministries?” Here are a few of their responses. - - - - - - - - - “This song and...
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30-Year Disney Veteran Helps Readers Find Their “Happily Ever After”

August 9th, 2017
“Hello! This is Jody Dreyer from Walt Disney Studios. I would like to come to visit interlinc and discuss having you work on our new film, ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.” When the switchboard operator in our out-of-the-way office in the countryside outside of Nashville relayed the message to our President, Allen Weed, his response was, “Sure," (it’s got to be a joke)," tell her to come on out and see us.” Well, it was no joke, and she came! That one-hour meeting (which wound up...
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Have Smartphones Destroyed A Generation?

August 4th, 2017
More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis. This is a “must read” article for youthworkers and parents in the September issue of The Atlantic.  Here’s what the writer Jean M. Twenge has to say... "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...
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