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Youth Discussion Topics: 7 Urgent Issues You Must Address

3. Internet Addiction

According to Common Sense Media, half of teens “feel addicted” to mobile devices. Two-thirds have a smartphone. On average, they spend nine hours consuming digital media daily.

What drives kids from “normal” internet use to tech addiction? Factors include anxiety, depression, ADHD, escaping reality, becoming someone else online, etc.

What to watch out for:

  • When devices seem more important than face-to-face time with friends.
  • When time online impact grades, hobbies, or sleep.
  • Teenagers meeting strangers or being threatened online.
  • Unhealthy eating patterns, or high caffeine intake to stay awake.
  • Making lots of friends they’ve never met in person.
  • Experiencing anxiety when there’s no WiFi.
  • Neglecting their appearance or hygiene because they’re distracted by tech.

4. Hook-Up Culture

About two-thirds of teens are involved in hook-up culture. It accepts and encourages casual, impersonal sexual encounters. The focus is short-term physical pleasure with no commitments or attachments. More boys report being involved in the hook-up culture. But more girls report regret about involvement in it.

Sexuality and hook-up culture are urgent youth discussion topics. Directly address the prevalence of immorality and the pressures of navigating it. Then offer kids a path to freedom through a friendship with Jesus.

5. Drugs & Alcohol

By senior year, half of teens have abused an illicit drug at least once. But overall, teen drug abuse is flat or dropping, with a few exceptions. The slight downturn appears in alcohol, marijuana, inhalants, cocaine, and prescription drug misuse.

To counteract drug abuse, the U.S. Office of Adolescent Health recommends:

  • Strong positive connections with family, school, and religion.
  • Parents who set clear limits and enforce discipline.
  • Reduced access at home to illegal substances.
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