Review: Right Click – Parenting Teens in a Digital World

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Daughter using laptop computer with unhappy mother sitting alongside

Right Click helps Parents learn more about how their student interacts with digital media and why. This is the first generation to grow up in a completely digital world. They talk to their friends, they watch tv/movies, they listen to music all through this new digital world.

Because of that, the author calls the students  “digital natives” because they grew up in this world and adults “digital immigrants” because we bring “expectations about how and why people use media”. As adults we may use it in our daily lives but we will never be fully involved in digital media like our students. The Author also points out that “In their world, media means interactive” and that even though it might look like they are not being social by being on their phones, they are interacting with their friends, maybe like we did by calling them on the phone.

It is full of stories for parents, data, statistics and information from digital media scholars. It also ends each chapter with discussion questions to help parents start talking about the digital media with their students.

One particularly helpful insight was how the author describes social media as “the new school lunchroom” The lunchroom has been a place where young people experiment with identity formation, asking “who am I.”  “Parents often under appreciate how a quick scroll through social media for a teen can be like looking around the lunchroom” Thinking back on my own teenage years, I can remember the first time I walked into the cafeteria at a new school, in a new city and trying to figure out where I “fit in”, and who I should sit with.  Looking at social media through that lens really helps us digital immigrants understand how students are using this new technology.

Overall, Right Click is good resource for both student ministers and for parents to learn more about digital media and how/why students interact with it. It is a resource I will be recommending to parents in my student ministry setting.

Image attribution: Jupiterimages / Thinkstock

 

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Mike has been working in student ministry for around 10 years now. He got his start in student ministry as an intern at St. James United Methodist Church in Montgomery, AL, and after a few years he was hired as an associate over the middle school. He is currently serving in Mobile, AL as a youth minister at Christ United Methodist Church. Mike has a passion for building relationships with students and to teach them about God’s love and grace. You can follow Mike on Twitter: @mikeyrollins and on Instagram: @mrollins83

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