Warning: This post contains sensitive material pertaining to suicide.
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255
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Tuesday evening I got a very alarmed text message from my friend.
She sent me a link to a news story about a place we visited over the weekend: Hudson Yards, a popular new tourist attraction in New York City.
You’ve probably seen it – there’s a beautiful mall, with an impressive architectural art piece: a 150 foot high, massive beehive-looking structure, called the Vessel, where visitors can climb the interactive steps and platforms, rewarded by sweeping vistas of the Hudson River and the iconic Midtown skyline.
On Tuesday, authorities closed it after a young man ended his life, jumping from the top of the Vessel.
When my friend sent me this, at first, I thought she had mistakenly seen an old article. Because the same heartbreaking tragedy happened over Christmas – in fact, I wrote about about it right here on the blog, the victim being part of the online eating disorder recovery community.
But doing some reacherch, I was heartsick to learn that, no, this was yet another horrific incident. The third suicide at the Vessel, just this year.
But here’s where the real gut wrenching information comes into play.
The ages of the three victims: 19, 21 and 24.
19. 21. 24.
So young. So, tragically young.
All members of GenZ. Each one, having made the decision that their only option was one of cold, finality. May they all rest in Jesus’ eternal peace.
I was gutted, thinking about their families, their friends, classmates. The news stuck with me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it: how these young children felt they had no other way out. No other option. No help. No one to turn to.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people, behind only accidents. And in the past decade, suicide rates have spiked drastically – up 60%. (Time). Sixty percent.
And thinking and praying and thinking and praying, all I could think about was, “Where have we gone so terribly, terribly wrong?“
The lyrics from a popular song a couple years ago goes like this: “I know my life don’t even matter. I know it. I know I’m hurtin’ deep down, but can’t show it. I never had a place to call my own. I never had a home. Nobody callin’ my phone.” – 1-800-273-8255 by Logic
Where have we gone so terribly wrong.
Very few things rattle me anymore, but this certainly did. And my thoughts have been all-consumed by this crisis among our young people. The future generation that we’re supposed to be nurturing and fostering into sound and faithful men and women who will change the world.
And I had some very intense thoughts, which raised some pretty heavy questions that, instead of sitting here harping on, I will just leave you with to consider for yourself.
What is the impact of social media on Gen Z?
Gen Z: The current 10-24 year olds, who grew up with the internet in their pocket or on their wrist. With their life broadcast to the world wide web. The generation that grew up with TikTok, where kids post provocative dances to songs like, “WAP” — standing for “Wet A$$ P*$$y” (excuse my crude french), or other songs proclaiming to “F*** the Police.”
What does the social pressure of online presence do to an adolescent? When peer perception is the ultimate concern, what impact do Instagram “likes” or TikTok “views” have on their feeling of self worth? It’s no longer just having a place in the lunchroom: it’s having a place on the global internet.
What is the impact of such a fiercely competitive cultural structure on Gen Z?
The kids who’ve faced fierce competition to even get into the elite preschools, let alone Ivy Leagues. We’ve seen celebrities like Laurie Laughlin have to serve jail time after committing felonies to get her daughter into “a good school.” What message does that send? We’re making the “be all, end all” be a practically unattainable standard, where the bar is way out of reach. (And don’t get me started on air brushed models.) How would you cope?
What is the impact of the sexually pervasive nature of our culture?
I read the other day that the average age of a child’s first interaction with porn is 11 years old. Eleven! That dehumanization of a person – what does that do to how teens view their own worth? Or the recent explosion of “OnlyFans” – where “everyday” young women sell explicit content to monthly subscribers on the Internet. What is the price of devaluing and commodifying young women, and then celebrating it?
What is the impact of a non-stable home life?
I’ll just say this: the family dinner is a lost art. And it’s a cryin shame. Two-parent households, with the stability of knowing that you’ll come together at the end of the day to debrief and be “loved on” – that is invaluable to a child’s development. Even during adolescence, when all a parent may get is a grunt, or a “yeah, uh-huh.” The stability in knowing that foundation of family is there is priceless. I don’t have to preach about the prevalence of divorce – that’s sadly a statistic we can see in our everyday lives.
What impact has the glorification of gender nonconformity had on our teens?
This is, for me, the biggest one. And yes, I know – most controversial. But what happens when we instill doubt in who an adolescent is at their very core? What is the impact of identity confusion, during adolescence, when they’re carving out who they are in the world? What are the ramifications of a media and culture that glorify those that push boundaries and normalize and celebrate that which is biologically and biblically unsound?
What is the impact of shows like “Thirteen Reasons Why?”
Thirteen Reasons Why – the wildly popular teenage drama on Netflix about a high school girl who commits suicide and leaves behind thirteen tapes, each with a reason why she took her own life. I have written about the despicable negligence of such highly triggering content. And for good reason. The book and the series has been banned from numerous schools after a rash of copycat student suicides. In fact, one of the the Vessel suicides cited “Thirteen Reasons” in her suicide note. What does the glorification and romanticization of suicide have on our teens?
Lastly, and most importantly, how has our culture’s rejection of God and faith affected Gen Z?
Here’s the thing about all of these aforementioned questions: it’s damn near impossible to navigate such tumultuous waters with a faith life. Imagine doing it without a firm foundation of faith — or even sound morality — to draw from. Rejecting God is also rejecting His love. And I can’t think of a more dark or dire existence than one without having His hope and His love to dwell on in times of struggle.
So, basically, TLDR, being a young person in today’s modern “woke” society… it seems incredibly difficult, if not downright volatile. I do not envy such a connected, fast childhood. I’ll the take the creek and the sticks I grew up playing with…(in the 2000’s).
But one thing’s for sure: the loss of these three lives is truly tragic. I pray that Jesus help shoulder the heavy burden of sorrow that their loved ones will now carry for the rest of their lives. And I pray that they find the peace with Jesus that they were searching for here on earth. May God bless their souls, and may God strengthen our Gen Z here on earth. May they hear His call, and invite Him into the chaos of our modern and troubling existence.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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153 responses to “Is Woke Culture Killing Our Kids?”
Amen, Caralyn. We spend time with our kids in God’s Word and teach them how much God loves them. We help them foster a deep personal relationship with Jesus, and keep them off such things as Tik Tok. We discuss how woke cancel culture & the “social justice” movement are based on lies & hatred, & we make sure they understand their self worth is found in God’s love alone. We have great hope in Jesus, and He is the only hope for healing every generation. May the Lord spread revival through our country and the world, and may these young kids find true hope, love, joy, and peace in the Lord. God bless you.
Thank you Ryan. Yes – that’s absolutely right and the number one thing we need to teach our kids: that God loves them. Thanks for sharing your heart on this. Hugs and love xox
A difficult subject for sure, I have come to believe that we cannot imagine the pain a person is in to take their own life. I have never written about the tragedy our family went through with this but I can speak personally on this issue is that if you are a loved one of the person you just ask yourself everyday “what did I miss”? In our case, it was a young man suffering PTSD from war.
A difficult subject indeed. Oh friend, I am so sorry that you can so personally relate. Gosh – my heart and my prayers are with you. Gosh, so tragic. My He rest in Jesus’ eternal peace. Sending you the biggest hugs and love 💛
Thank you, and keep writing about these issues hopefully it will touch someone who needs to find strength
Yes. Difficult topics are important ones. 💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛
I am sooo very very sorry. 🙏🏻♥️
Sad to say but we’re heading towards dark times. There is a ton of problems that go unnoticed, people would prefer to hide in their own little worlds unknowingly hiding the horrors of mankind.
Last week I dealt with some sort of nightmare, in Illinois our property taxes continue to go up, I’m pretty much at my limits, sad to say but many people in Illinois are in the same boat. I don’t make a ton of money but its enough for me to get by. I’d like to do more to help out the less fortunate but it’s a struggle to even get my finances going.
Many people fear about this, they get taken advantage of and this is why they feel hopeless and potentially with eating disorders. Every one has their own issues but society needs to get back to basics and help each other out instead of fueling their own agendas. They haven’t learned though. I feel we are days behind the great flood. Maybe climate change will be the next thing. I don’t know.
But we continue to build our foundations on sketchy ground. If you seen sinkholes you know this is the typical thing in this world.
Thank you for sharing your heart on this. It really is so terribly sad. I’m sorry to her thy you’re going through that. Know that you’re in my prayer Yes. Back to basics for sure. Hugs and love xox
Well it’s just that it would be nice to have stability. We can’t have stability if things keep changing.
I hear you there
serious stuff, well written, to the point, it’s the story of old, but it’s not all despair, and young folks realize things are not as they should be, but wisdom is sprouting, the key is, don’t go too fast, their are many fakes out there, waiting to take advantage of anyone vulnerable, as Donald said, ignore his faults, no experience is wasted, as your post displays, how to build the path that leads to well being, takes far more than words, in affect, when you see so many young people on the streets because the planet is in trouble, as is their very own futures too, they won’t remain silent, but will find great solace and hope, when they turn to the words of Jesus, and understand, it’s not word for word, it’s deed to deed that matters, and what is between, or the gap as some say, is the lesson of life, amen.
Thank you friend – I appreciate you sharing your heart on this. You’re right – when we turn to Jesus, we can rest in His hope. Hugs and love xox
Amen and stay well, there is light, and we have to help it along, the new road is opening for many.
Yes – there is light and we must share our lamps with others!
Light is forgiveness in the Heart of God, AMEN, and their is no healing in America without forgiveness, amen
Amen – forgiveness for sure
My heart is sick to hear that. They are all lost at sea and without an anchor. XOXOXO
Truly so heartsick too. Thank you for stopping by. Such a terribly tragedy. Hugs and love xox
The increasing suicide rate breaks my heart, too. When I was a teen and then in my 20s life was full of adventure, great music, family and community. Being young was WONDERFUL. When we suffered setbacks we knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel because of the influence those blessings I mentioned had on our outlook. Social media, video game addiction and the lack of Biblical truth/guidance have removed them from our culture and the price being paid is steep and tragic. May God have mercy on all those who think they have no purpose. They need to know Jesus is the meaning of life…
Truly heartbreaking, Rollie. Truly. Thank you for sharing your heart and your history. You’re right – it was real, tangible, human interaction. We’ve seen through the pandemic how virtual just doesn’t cut it. And we’ve experienced what it’s like not being able to physically worship. Amen – He is the way truth and life! Hugs and love xox
The WOKE culture divides, victimizes and rewards poor decision making. Thank you for your continued inspiration in our dark times! We need more Aloha
It really does – it divides and it breeds hate. Thank you for sharing your heart. Hugs and love xox
I actually volunteer on a website called Groundwire, that works with kids, adolescents and young adults ages 14-28ish. They contact us via ads like JesusCares.com, and they come to us with anything from questions about sexuality to cries about wanting to commit suicide. We’re able to listen, help, and lead them to Jesus. It can be scary, but we’ve seen many give their lives to Christ in the middle of their fear. I wanted to put it out there as a resource not to glorify myself in any way, but to put it out there for anyone who needs someone to talk to.
Oh wow that is such powerful work. Thank you on behalf of society for doing that!! Oh my gosh I have chills! Hugs and love xox
Caralyn, thank you for sharing this message. Before Christmas one of my friends committed suicide. He was 50 and a Superintendent of a nearby school district. His Mother was my secretary for 8 years when I was a M.S. Principal. Two weeks later a 14 year old hung himself at the Nixa Junior High, Nixa, MO. A student found him. Russ, my 50 year old friend, was a life-long Christ follower. He was raised in a Christian home with parents that have been married over 45 years. The 14 year old felt bullied at school. People are looking for relief. Literally relief. I relish my childhood memories; and there were tough times. But I pray daily the blood of Jesus over my adult children and grandchildren. I’m appalled at the exploitation of young women and the laissez-faire attitude of “this is all normal”. Or “these are just the times” and we should accept this progression. It’s digression. Keep letting your light shine. We need to be a light to this world. And step in to help those being led astray. I will pray for the families of the young victims you wrote about. It’s all so heart-breaking and tragic. God bless you; stay safe and blessed. xoxo 💚
Oh KL, oh friend, I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. Oh my goodness what a terrible tragedy. Oh my gosh. This is just heartbreaking for your whole community. Gosh, I am joining you in that important prayer – may Jesus blanket them in His mantle of peace and mercy and love. Oh my goodness. Thank you for sharing that deeply harrowing news. God bless you. Hugs and love xox
Thank you so much my friend. His name was Russ Moreland. And he has a beautiful wife and two children grieving and confused. And his parents are as well. As is a whole community. Some time has passed now. But I picked up a card at Wal-Greens yesterday that was so beautiful. Many times those that have experienced loss will have an onslaught of sympathy at first….and then days, weeks, and months go by; at those times I must remember that I need to reach out again and again. Thank you so much for your prayers. And I’m glad we are all prayer warriors for one another. Hugs and love to you sweet lady.
Oh, I will pray for him and his family. Yes, I think that’s true – again, again and again. Knowing that someone is there for them I’m sure would go a long way. Amen. Xoxoxo
Well written and well said Caralyn. I’m going to repost on my blog in hopes that it can spread awareness to others. Hugs and Love xOx (keep praying)
Thank you so much Kamina. Absolutely, I appreciate you passing it along. Sending you the biggest hugs and love xox
It is my pleasure 😊 I appreciate you writing it. The truth will set us free! Big hugs 🤗
💛yes it will
The cultural chaos we are experiencing is nothing new. These ills have been around a long time. They were much the cause of God deciding to destroy all mankind except for the 8 that got on the Ark. They were prevalent in Sodom during Lot and Abraham’s time. We can find various other examples, none more clear than the Greeks and then later the Romans. The decadence, immorality, greed, selfishness, deceit and depravity have been a big part of the fall of many ruling entities. It killed the Roman empire. The actions of our government and the increase i corruption and depravity all across the nation is the result of us turning our backs on God, as a nation. Paul gave a great dissertation of what that is like and the resulting consequence in Romans 1:18-32. God help these young people. There are as many stories of young folks coming to Jesus and giving their lives to God, you just never hear it in the natural media. May this increase and the negative decrease. May God Bless America, again.. and all its inhabitants.
Thank you Dennis for sharing your thoughts on this. You’re right – we are products of the fall and we are seeing that play out. Hugs and love xox
Sadly, life has been cheapened so much. No opportunities and no getting people interested in something.
Thank you JB for sharing your thoughts on this. Cheapened indeed. It makes me so sad to see how the sanctity and value of human life has plummeted. Hugs and love xox
You are welcome your Caralynness. Sadly, many so-called Christian institutions have been big contributors. Hugs and love to you.
School is not helping. they are confusing kids more by brining the politics into schools and the gender stuff. Hugs to your friends loss.
I agree – school should be a place where kids can be kids and can be free to learn, not a political breeding ground. Thank you for stopping by. Hugs and love xox
Caralyn, I have been really wondering about many of these very things. I was the horrible mom who didn’t let my kids have a phone until they were 15 and about to start driving, and even now I still cringe to think of what it does to me – let alone them.
Have you heard of Alisa Childers? She’s an acquaintance of mine that I like to walk and talk theology with. She just interviewed a guy from the band, Skillet, and it has some excellent thoughts about some of these topics and how even some pastors are getting sucked in to woke culture and forgetting the gospel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZeVE5JZyC0
Hugs and love! I’m praying for this generation. Right now, I’m also working in a middle/high school and trying to tuck nuggets of Truth into the minds of these kids. Even at a Christian school, there’s a sad amount of disregard for Christ. Because of this, I worry for them when life gets tough… 🙁
Hi Heather, thank you so much for hearing your heart on this. Oh my gosh – that was the right time! I think when they get the responsibility of a License they get the responsibility of a phone. I haven’t heard of Alisa, it I’ll definitely check her out. Thank you for passing along her info! Me too a joining you in that important prayer. Oh that’s so important what you’re doing! Praying for you! Hugs and love xox
I have written about suicide over many years and talked with experts and one thing is abundantly clear – – the reasons for the increasing rates of suicide among people of all ages aren’t clear.
These so-called “deaths of despair” take many forms from drug and alcohol addiction to suicidal thoughts and suicide itself.
Common factors seem to include economic distress, feelings of hopelessness and lack of self worth. These feelings can be triggered by many things and trying to pinpointing what in society is to blame is a fool’s errand – – other than economic stress, which may make suicide appear a viable alternative.
Suicide may be a way to preserve the self as self seems to melt away when faced with being destroyed existentially. Perhaps eating disorders are a form of suicide too.
As for the sculpture at Hudson Yards, the management was warned before it opened that the railings were too low and would attract suicides.
Experts warn that there are many more attempted suicides than completed ones and often suicides are an impulse. That’s why keeping guns locked up is one way to prevent suicide. If it’s not easy to kill yourself the impulse may pass and one can seek help.
Getting help is another issue. Often the medical and psychological help a suicidal person needs isn’t covered by health insurance. Also, resources to prevent and treat people prone to suicide are scarce and overstretched with long waiting times. There’s not a lot of money earmarked for suicide prevention and treatment.
The whole business is very complex and won’t be solve with simple, easy fixes. To paraphrase Camus: They say someone commits suicide for a reason, but it may very well commit suicide for two reasons.”
Thank you for sharing this insight Steven. What powerful information. Very sad. Very sad indeed. I agree I think responsible gun ownership is a must. Thank you for stopping by. Hugs and love xox
Amen… I do NOT envy kids growing up this day in age… so much more tumultuous of waters 😬 just gotta keep praying 🙏
I agree Vera. Troublesome indeed. Amen – power in prayer. Thanks for stopping b. Hugs and love xox
I had a friend in the navy, but lost track of him a few years ago. He was a Lt. Commander and probably has his own ship by now. I mentioned to him once about an article I saw about a crewman on a carrier committing suicide. HE said it happens more often than we hear about. It’s because their generation have been too sheltered/woke/snowflaked and can’t handle the pressure of serving on a warship. Simply, whatever the individual cause for each, the underlying cause is a lack of resiliency.
Social media: I wrote an article last Wednesday called Irreversible Damage. It’s a bit longer than my usual fair. Not about ED, but it deals with social pressures and the effects of Iphones on kids. You might find it interesting, a summary of an news article with a link to it.
Competition: I’m type “A” and always been driven. The department chair in my undergrad years told me that I was the most self-motivated student she’d ever had. My therapist told me last year that C students tend to be happier than A students. I think she’s on to something…
Porn: Irreversible Damage mentioned above cites porn as a definite cause in young women mistakenly “diagnosing” themselves as gay. The article is about gender confusion, but the pressures leading to it are eerily similar to those that contribute to ED. At least in my “outsider” opinion.
Home Life: I recall my daughters teling me they were about the only ones in their schools as kids that still had both parents and were the envy of the rest for that.
Faith: I ended Irreversible Damage with the observation that many of these problems would diminish if not go away, if God hadn’t been asked to leave and kids could still learn about him.
You’re hitting some really good topics lately, writing some really great articles!!
Wow Jeff, thank you for this awesome response. I will definitely go back and check out Irreversible Damage. I think the iPhone, though great, has done a dose on our kids and of society’s “people skills” – we’re simultaneously more connected and more isolated than ever. It’s wild. How interesting about pornography – I never considered that link but it really makes a lot of sense. And amen – we need God back in our schools our homes town square our governing bodies. We need His guidance terribly. Thank you
For the encouragement. Means. A lot. Hope you and your girls have a wonderful weekend. Hugs and love xox
Hugs back to you! Great weekend!!
Such a well thought out post. It’s so well put. Caralyn, you needed to write this out. I pray others who feel they are falling can catch this entry. Hugs from Dallas, Tx. God’s grip – Àlan
Thank you Alan, I really appreciate that. Yes, I will join you in that prayer! Glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox
I heard a ministry person say a couple of years ago that Gen Z is not lost, they were left. That line has haunted me since. From a Christian perspective it’s true. They’ve been left, by at least one parent, by culture, by the church, by the government, by everyone. They are out wandering because they rebelled. We left them.
Oh wow what a powerful line…they were left. Yes. They really were. Wow. Powerful. My goodness. Lord, have mercy. Hugs and love xox
A beautiful post and you so kind thank you so much
Thank you. Hugs and love xox
The illusion of anonymity has allowed many to become cruel, vindictive and antagonistic. The fact we even have a “cancel culture” is a travesty. The notion that people will actively pursue others to destroy their lives for not agreeing, or worse, daring to not think a certain way is something straight out of the 1930’s. Great post, I sometimes which I had more tolerance and forgiving something I admire my christian friends for immensely. I hope someday those who harm others are held accountable, if not in this life, in the next.
You’re right about that. The anonymous cancel culture is dangerous. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. Hugs and love xox
Yes, and as the Grandpa of three, it scares me to death.
Thank you James, I will definitely pray for your grandchildren. Hugs and love xox
I could not agree more with the views you have put out in the post. I have my own story that involve contemplating suicide.
Having social media as a bench mark for happiness, success and human interaction leads us down a dark spiral.
Internet today is an echo chamber of conformity. It more often than not confirms our biases and views. The space for diverse views is shrinking with each passing day. This is what has given birth to the cancel culture. People are no longer willing to listen or accept a view that does not confirm.
This puts in a fear if you try to be more authentic instead of being a sheep in the group. It doesn’t help foster relationships. With it being confirmed by pop-culture, mental health is glamourised. If you want to see how much people respect themselves, you can just see the names of their Twitter handles.
Lot of young people address themselves as sluts, bitches, shit and other words that have negative connotations.
Thank you friend for sharing you thoughts on the difficult topic. I’m glad it resonated with you. You’re right – social media cannot be out bench mark for happiness. So true. Hugs and love xox
Yeah, it’s painful
And to consider the stories. 19. 21. 24.
I see God as having a long-term plan, well-underway; and so, wider social despair, is heart-breaking.
I love your prayer…
thank you David – it really is so heartbreaking. Hugs and love xox
… oh wait, it was a rhetorical question, wasn’t it.
lol…sad but true. thanks Greg for stopping by! Hugs and love xox
I have never seen the 14 3 reasons show, but I don’t get why it was even made.
Hi friend, i know it is just an awful premise. And to think that Selena Gomez, who is idolized by that age group – was the executive producer of the show. outrageous. thanks for stoppign by. Hugs and love xox
Impact of unstable home life, as you mentioned, contributes much to the emotional stability of children. It causes lack of empathy and emotional intelligence. Outside environment is also bad and poisonous, but then the charity begins at home. Thanks for sharing an article of paramount importance.
i think you’re so right about that, KK. thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. Hugs and love xox
All of these are very true. Children that “have it all” may not have as you say time and love (at least their idealized version) and see suicide as an easy solution. Parents are exhausted and extended family can help but boys in particular need the involvement of father !! There are many narcissistic under-involved over saturated social media parents but it’s not “cool” if they’re not hooked in. Comparative cultures especially those who still work in nature, exercise and find meaning in the universe can find healthy alternatives
thank you so much Barbara for sharing your thoughts on this. I am SO in agreement- that role of a father is of vital importance in the shaping of young men — and women. in the eating disorder community, the lack of a father — aka “father hunger’ — is a big reason why girls develop eating disorders. thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox
Where is the leadership and morals in the country? You have a racist person as president and also a ignored eye to a pandemic,same person who ignores police brutality,NWA made a song that needed to be said,Black people in America have been discriminated against for over 400 years,
Anyway this society in America only values the dollar and not the dream that dr Martin Luther king Jr spoke about,also nothing new under the sun,drugs been around forever,
This country ignored the Vietnam vets and yet it nearly cost Muhammad Ali his freedom go figure?
The WAP song is from the same industry that hustles All kinds of things, its nothing new under the sun do the history a hundred years ago and see which era had tougher and which era was fishing for a better tomorrow
thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. Hugs and love xox
GenZ was raised mostly without real knowledge of God, their Creator. They have flimsy threads as anchors, anchors that are frayed by the evil of unbelief as they get taught evolution, that man is his own god within, that science cannot prove God (yet God created science…..) and there gerenerally is no moral compass. We, the sophisticated new age, are the architects of a lost youth.
thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. you’re right – the architencts of a lost youth — i love how you put that. Hugs and love xox
This post resonated so strongly with me. As a middle school English teacher, I am very alarmed and concerned about Gen Z. Many of my students can’t read, yet they all have the latest iPhones and spend more hours on social media than they do in school. There’s absolutely no accountability at home, and all of my students come from low-income, single-parent households. I’m a millennial in my twenties, yet I can’t believe how much things have changed in our education system since I’ve been in school. You’re right about the high rates of depression and suicide, and I agree that all of the factors you’ve listed are to blame for this crisis, especially “our culture’s rejection of God and faith.”
You can only keep praying for them and highlighting the dangers of living in other people’s shadow.
A healthy distraction like talent hunts, might not be such a bad idea at this point.
Thank you for being a millennial with a positive difference. 💐
hi Katie, i’m so glad this resonated with you. Oh gosh, what an important age group you get to work with an influence. what an important job you have!! it’s harrowing to hear this “front lines” report. big big prayers for these young people. Hugs and love xox
and also – know that I’m praying for you as you work with them!
There are so many parts to this unfolding tragedy, but I have come to believe that the greatest threat is social media.
Hi Cindy! thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. It really is a tragedy of epic proportions. thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox
Succinct points you’ve raised here. I truly fear for this generation. Woke culture is a trap and only God’s love can help us.
thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. yes – only God’s love. Lord, have mercy! Hugs and love xox
I know someone who works in an ER at the hospital I work for and they see young people for suicide attempts. My first thought was social media and the terrors from it.
I am so glad we didn’t have it growing up. Life is hard enough and to constantly see everyone’s highlights to compare yourself to or not able to escape bullying because they’re basically inside your home now.
I watched the documentary The Social Dilemma a few nights ago and it’s people who worked for Twitter, Facebook, google, etc… and speak out against it whose own children are not allowed to be on social media!
I am currently deactivated on Facebook for my second week. You don’t realize the peace it steals until you don’t have the constant scrolling and seeing constant useless fighting.
It’s sad. Great post!
oh my gosh, wow, that is just so heartbreaking. what an important line of work that your friend has. You’re so right – social media, though great for staying connected with loved ones around the world, it has really done a doosey on our mental wellbeing. That was an incredible documentary. I actually linked the post i wrote about it inthis article. you’re absolutely right – it steals peace! Hugs and love xox
Thank you, I really thought I was the only one worried about this. We have a teenage daughter and a pre-teen son and fortunately we have raised them to be aware as opposed to “woke” but still, this is their reality. The best I can do is continuously and relentlessly pray over our children and the children of others, knowing that we are taking this to God helps survive this, because I know that God listens and God will lead our Children to safety.
I think encouraging them to intercede for their peers in prayer, can help keep them grounded.
Hi Bernice, thank you for sharing your thoguhts on this. You’re doing a great job, praying over them and raising them with a good head on their shoulders is such a gift you’re giving them. praying too! Hugs and love xox
Wow. I don’t even know how to comment. This is so powerful. Thank you, Caralyn.
Hi Amy, thank you so much. It is such a sad, sad reality in which we find ourselves. i just surrender our entire culture over to God to redeem. Lord, have mercy. Hugs and love xox
How terribly sad and tragic! A stable home life is extremely important, but sadly a child can’t “manufacture” that reality. Yet even with a loving home, I have known of children who still take their own lives. Our culture is just too toxic. Mental illness is very real. For those families who can, I would most definitely homeschool your children. I know it isn’t possible for every family, certainly, but homeschooling is so beautiful. We were able to school our children at home and it’s the best decision we ever made. Is it the solution to every problem? No, not at all. But you can pour so much love and growth into your children, instilling your godly values, and it’s just an awesome thing to do.
Thank you Patty for sharing your thoughts on this. You’re right, circumstances are not manufacturable. You hit on such powerful truths here. Love is definitely what we need a lot more of in this country, in many more ways than one. Hugs and love xox
Amen! I’ve worked with students in our church for a number of years. And sadly lost a young lady to suicide just over a year ago. Our kids need us (the Christian community) to stand up, speak up and fight for them. My prayer as of late has been that Jesus would captivate our hearts and minds. Because he truly is the only answer!
I should join you in this intercession. It’s way past time for the church to wake up to its responsibilities.
Oh Lori, I am so sorry to hear that. gosh that is just so tragic. You’re right – they need champions. I will definitely join you in that important prayer. and i just want to commend you for doing such powerful work, working with that age group. You’re part of the solution! Hugs and love xox
You are a good writer and I thank you for bringing to light this extremely important topic. However, I need to point out that once someone dies we cannot offer up any kind of prayer on their behalf. It is now, when we are alive, that we need to make the right choices, the choices that please God.
Thank you friend for sharing your thoughts on this. There is certainly comfort in prayer. Hugs and love xox
Indeed, and I did not mean to be contentious but some people believe in praying for the dead, which is scripturally wrong.
You covered so much. I honestly have nothing to add. It speaks for itself. Suicide. The increased rate due to peer pressure and depression. Self worthlessness. There is a lot of toxicity being created and I pin it on the sensationalism. They are a joke. Nobody is allowed to breathe or live their life.
Hi Derek, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. You’re right – there is a lot of sensationalism for sure. big prayers for this country. Hugs and love xox
You’re welcome 😊 Caralyn. Have a nice day.
you as well, Derek! xoxo
I think it’s because the late 1980s babies decided to remain babies. They have refused to step up to big brother/sister mentorship status.
In fact, we the late 1980s have shifted that role to the late 1990, by trying to emulate their style in a bid to stay forever young.
How sick is that?
If you think I am wrong, how many 28 to 35-year-olds are actively living lives worthy of emulation?
How many go out of their way to mentor, guide and listen to these teens and early 20s?
Instead, we have entertainers who insist its not their problem how their “work of arts” negatively impacts young ones.
And why won’t they say that?
Because we listen to them, promote them, and drink from the cup of iniquity they offer.
Why should they care what the future holds, they have secured the bag ( from the private depravity or silent consent of parents and younger old adults, who are just afraid to say the truth and stand for it.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. What a very interesting perspective. Hugs and love xox
You raise a very important issue with your post about suicide. It is indeed tragic when anyone takes their own life.
I wish, though, that you had been more nuanced when you discussed gender issues. Yes, the media have sensationalised these, and yes there is much to question. However, there are people who genuinely experience profound distress from having an anatomy which doesn’t match the way they think and feel. These people need help rather than condemnation – and by help, I mean they need to be helped to live life in the gender they experience rather than their anatomical gender.
I am a woman – but I was born anatomically male. I tried for fifty years to live as an authentic male, and it very nearly broke me. I was close to suicide. I sought professional help, and as a result I am now happily female. I believe God has shown me repeatedly that he accepts me as a woman.
This is an enormous topic, and I won’t go on and on, but there is one final, important thing to say. Back in the seventies and eighties some psychologists and some Christians tried to change the ‘wrong’ gender feelings of those suffering from gender dysphoria. It was a disaster. Some 30% of those who were treated took their own lives.
Hi Penny, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this difficult topic, and please accept my apologies on my brash verbiage on gender. And i truly appreciate you sharing your story. I am incredibly moved by the courage and strength that you’ve embodied, and I am so glad that you’ve been able to find that peace and joy in yourself! I think you touch on an awesome and important point: — well a lot of points — but that God accepts you as a woman. I would like to say that not only does He accept you, but also delights in you 🙂 I’m sorry that my words were not more compassionate. You’re right – this is an enormous topic, and it is one to be treated with love, open hearts, and a willingness to understand and hear. Thank you for helping me see that. Sending so much love and hugs xox
I am so impressed with your compassion and analysis of this complex and seemingly hopeless situation. Thank you!! Thank you for speaking into this crisis and to the Genz generation. Praying your voice will be heard, will make a difference, and will give hope as you point to the One who can truly give hope.
Thank you so much Katie for sharing your thoughts and for the kind words. Yes! Joining you in that prayer – may Jesus cover those who are hurting with His love and hope. Hugs and love xox
Too much information. Not enough contemplation. Very little wisdom out there these days. Sticking with our meals metaphor (hurray for sitting down with loved one to share a meal!!! Every day!!!), if we subside on chips, soda, and ice cream — all temptingly delicious — we will feel miserable and unhealthy pretty quickly. I’m a bit old to keep up with the rapidly changing social media lingo (I’m still trying to figure out exactly what people mean by “woke” and “cancel culture”, but have better things to do with my time and mental energy than hunt around on the Internet to figure this out… anyway by the time I do figure these out, the terms will probably be as outdated as “politically correct”, “LOL” and “OMG”). As you know, I’m in the counseling business. I’ve been taking with young people about suicidal ideas for nearly 35 years now. All the rationalizations are the same, just the amount of stuff available is greater, and the speed at which people act on impulses faster. As you can imagine, I’m an advocate of slow culture. Slow food. Slow friendships. Slow romance. Slow exercise. Oh, my, this is starting to sound like a Pointer Sister’s song from my young adult day! -Oscar
Thank you for this post. I absolutely agree with everything you have written. I am raising two small children now and would be nowhere without faith. I am just praying for the grace to raise them in kindness and faith and with God. There are so many obstacles and struggles which my parents never had to address with us growing up, that will now have to navigate with our children. Very well written. 💗
This is a great post, Carolyn, and truly needed to be said!
Hello Caralyn, as a Gen Zer, I agree with you. You have raised some solid questions here. The pressure is enormous. I can only say that I survived this long because of Jesus. More than ever my generation needs to know His love . We need to find ourselves in His love .Not on what society tells us or what the movies and celebrities say but what Jesus says. I pray that the knowledge of the love of God will spread like the ocean into the hearts of the Gen Zers of the world. May God comfort those who lost a loved one. Thank you for sharing this great post. I sincerely appreciate it. God bless you Caralyn.
Key point: “Here’s the thing about all of these aforementioned questions: it’s damn near impossible to navigate such tumultuous waters with a faith life. Imagine doing it without a firm foundation of faith — or even sound morality — to draw from. Rejecting God is also rejecting His love. And I can’t think of a more dark or dire existence than one without having His hope and His love to dwell on in times of struggle.”
👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻 I’m beginning to understand more every day that we MUST prioritize the message (through our lives even more than our words) of His love. Every day. Every opportunity. Amen.
I know it is completely possible to navigate well when we are rooted in Christ and know His word well. Without understanding the Bible, which is meant to guide us, then we are lost. My sympathies go out to the families. If these young people did not put their faith in Jesus while they were living then there is nothing that can be done for them now. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. He gives His church this responsibility. We need to be boldly proclaiming the truth… that real hope and real healing come through salvation purchased for us by Jesus. And we need to be repenting and renouncing those things that we know we or even our families have been guilty of… pull the rug out from underneath the devil’s feet so that he has no place to stand where we are.
1750 England already saw this coming. Bentham’s Panopticon. There’s always been a need to follow. Never a need to lead. Gen Z might not figure it out either.
This is so timely. An acquaintance of mine lost his child to suicide right in the fall, right after she found out that school wasn’t staying closed. She was 12. She had missed her friends during the first shutdown; she looked forward to going back to school. Her note said she “couldn’t handle not having a normal life.”
I think the idea that there is nothing ahead – no future happiness, no long-term prospects for “normal” – is what drove three of my relatives to kill themselves. There was nearly a fourth, but she decided to give life another chance and realized that she had expectations about what “normal” and “happy” are. For example, she thought that having a lot of friends and being really active would mean never feeling dissatisfied or alone inside. (That St. Augustine knew a thing or three when he wrote about “restless hearts,” didn’t he?)
As a gen Z’er, I thank you Caralyn. We were one of the few families that had stable, loving, parents and were prepared to handle life. But I’ve watched friends work through depression, children out of wedlock, suicide attempts, and in my own family, eating disorders. I don’t know the answers either, but I know that you directly touched my family members during the darkest hours of conquering ED, and have given me a ton of resources to reach out to others. I really believe we are capable of changing our culture, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Exception imfomation needed to be shared. These are things that need to be in conversations everywhere
As a member of Gen Z, the accuracy of this entire post was very compelling. You put in words the weight that we navigate and have to watch others navigate or succumb to. Thank you so much for your work!
A well written and beautiful reflection! Technology certainly has taken too much oxygen from our young people.
When involved in teen ministry, Steubenville retreats, I am amazed at how hungry the young are for adult and grandparenting attention. Urgently hungry.
This was such an inspiring post, I was hooked on from start to finish. And you’re right. Social presence is now the definition of a successful teen or young adult. And that’s so sad.
And you also talked about how rejecting God is rejecting love and that is very accurate.
In our present world, we are already outnumbered and we just lost three young people again. Even more, who knows?
(Sigh) I worry for us teens.
Sadly, our children are being taught that we were all an accident of evolutionary processes and that God does not exist. America has been divorcing God from government, society, school, and the family. Poorly trained pastors, preachers and priests have been teaching heretical teachings such as the gap & day age theories, thereby deflecting from the true teachings of biblical text and tenets! Many parents have abrogated their obligations of teaching their children to the school (or screwel) system. It is the downfall of this nation as a whole.😖Great write-up!
Such an important topic to bring forth and discuss. Our world is facing too many deaths by suicide, deaths by overdose, and an even greater rash of those who are facing lives of hopelessness punctuated by moments of self harm. Yes our culture is to blame, but I the longer I do the work of ministry the nmore I become convinced the answer cannot be addressed at the cultural level. We must deal with this at the grassroots by winning individuals to the idea that they must become countercultural. Only when enough individuals choose to counter the culture will we experience a new Christian sub culture and that may have a chance of shifting the “woke” culture.
Good post, and a very sad topic. I’ve struggled with suicidal ideations since I was a teen – I still get them sometimes at 34. It’s a very hard and complex topic, and a tragic one. But you’re right that it does seem to be on the rise, especially among young people. I don’t know if I’d blame it on woke culture as much as just the chaos in the world right now in general.
We’re almost a year into this pandemic now and I feel like I’m living in virtual reality sometimes. Just strange times.
You’re right to bring up God and spirituality, though. I feel like my faith was one of the only things that kept me going through my darkest days, especially being inpatient in psych wards. I don’t know if it’s true or just my Catholic upbringing, but I always felt like I’d go to hell or some terrible afterlife if I committed suicide. So, I guess that’s saved me.
Keep on writing. Dark days are ahead, but God is good.
Hi Nick, gosh, i so appreciate you sharing your story. My heart goes out to you, and I thank you for giving us some insight into such a difficult topic. I’m so glad to hear that you have that faith to draw on. You’re right – God is good and full of love and mercy for us. I love you, friend. Keep fighting the good fight! Hugs and love xox
Thank you! I’m hoping our country can weather this storm and we all come out stronger for it.
Me too xox
Please, for your safety sake, just pray to the Heavenly Father and let all this go.
State school standards banish lessons about World War I, II, Holocaust, Civil War (wnd.com)
MSM calls for “new definition of free speech” – OffGuardian (off-guardian.org)
Thank you Beth – that is great advice. Otherwise I’ll just work myself up into a tizzy. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox
Truly a tragic situation. You did a good job trying to inject spirit and life into it. Praying for you!
Thank you for sharing your heart on such a tragic situation. Heartbreaking, really. Praying with you! Hugs and love xox
All very good points. I don’t understand the hopelessness of suicide… but I’m not in that situation, either. I am 13 and a Christian. I think I’m able to see the other end of the stick – I have lost a lot of friends because I’m not ok with behavior that dishonors God, but my “friends” don’t want to stop. But the Bible says that “the world will hate us (Christians); the world only likes their own…” of course the best friend I can have is Jesus, and I should be content in all circumstances. But often it’s easier to know what I should be than to do it.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on such a difficult topic. I think you’ve got a really great head on your shoulders. It is very hard to be a Christian in today’s society. Know that you will find the *right* friends – the ones who are journeying with you towards Heaven, and who can encourage you – and vice versa – along the way! Seek out those faith based communities! I went to youth group when I was in middle school and high school and it really was a great source of Christ-centered relationships! Mission trips, service outlets in your community – all great ways to meet like-minded teens! 🙂 praying for you! you’re amazing!!! Hugs and love xox
thank you so much Carole, I really appreciate that! Hugs and love xox
I agree with this SO much! I raise my 6 year old making sure she knows she has a shelter in God for this very reason. I raise her playing outside with no devices (we do watch movies together) and with the understanding that she won’t be having a phone and social media like some of her friends older siblings (who are 10-14.)
I feel like it’s my obligation but also my happiness to give her a full and gratitude filled life. I see so many kids who become their “issues” it’s announced right along with their name and preferred pronouns…I see such a lack of self and of purpose. Why would you want to be gender-less? I wish kids could see their worth and focus less on social justice and more on living the life that would empower not just them but everyone else.
Thank you so much Heidi for this thoughtful response. Oh gosh, what a good mom!!! You’re absolutely right – shelter in God. I love that, and it’s so true! So glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox
I’m so pleased to see a young woman with good common sense, like yourself, have such a big following! There are so many harmful voices out there. Thank God for yours. I will pray for your voice to be heard by all those kids who need so badly to hear it. Blessings Caralyn!
thank you so much Cindy, I appreciate your kind words. Hugs and love xox
You are one of the few Bloggers I purposely read. Your content is hard-hitting and so accurate.
Reading this post has made it clear why there was a pandemic; we were out of control as a society, completely out of control.
I have prayed for many years for things to change well; that change is here. It didn’t come in the way I expected, but it’s here.
oh my goodness you’re on a reading roll! thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to read my blog! it truly means so much! I do think you’re right – we needed a “reset” as a society desperately, and God certainly gave that to us. But I trust in His goodness and His plan. Hugs and love xox
You’re worth it. Been away for awhile off wordpress, just haven’t the heart so needed catch up..lol Enjoy your day. 🙂
thank you 🙂 i appreciate it!
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Thanks for the link up! Hugs and love xox