The Courage to Go Against the Tide

This week’s Wednesday Wisdom comes, not from a book or historical figure, but from a contemporary source that may surprise you, but I trust will impress you. I had a text from a Canadian friend last week asking me to pray for her daughter, as she was giving a speech in her school. The reason for the prayers? She was speaking about why children should not use social media, especially TikTok.

What makes a child take a stand?

I knew the answer immediately. Her mother and father had modeled for their children what it means to take a stand, as they came from the majority faith in their home country, accepted Christ as Savior as adults, and faced rejection and trials for standing strong. Now living in what was to be a land of the free, they were finding their faith (yes, the Christian one) once again attacked by government restrictions, social animosity, liberal teaching, and more. Yes, this child has seen the concept of standing firm in action.

Having done her own research and standing respectfully before her teachers, judges, and peers, she began the speech on why kids should not have TikTok:

I never had TikTok myself, but I have heard many stories about social media and the impact of the app on children’s mental health. Here is a cool fact: Without noticing, you spend hours on your social media. Teenagers spend 11 hours a day. You could spend this time outdoor for a physical activity which will benefit you and your health. Hi, my name is Elior. Did you know that over 2.6 billion people downloaded TikTok already? Research shows that there are 600 million users for this app alone.

You should also know that you must be 13 years old to have an account BUT many aren’t! Kids can be targeted by predators. I know what I am saying might sound crazy because you think that predators might be for animals only. But there are human predators searching to exploit children too. If you text someone on social media and they ask for your personal information like: Where do you live? Or ask you to send them a picture of yourself. It might not sound dangerous to you but you just told a stranger

where you live, and they can even kidnap you, and really bad things can happen. Another thing that is dangerous, you also told a stranger your address, they can come rob your house. Remember you never know who is on the other side of the screen and never talk to a stranger.

Also, research shows that most kids get their grades down when they have TikTok because they spend too much time on social media instead of doing their homework and studying hard. Keep in mind, you should not have TikTok without your parents’ permission and without their supervision. TikTok might not be good for children because your brain is still developing. Your parents love you most and want to protect you.

Last thing, people on social media do not tell the truth and want attention to impress others. Research shows that young people suffer from depression and anxiety which can lead to suicide. For all the reasons above, kids and teenagers should not have TikTok or any social media because it impacts their lives badly. Go outside and see people for real! I hope my speech helped you to realize how dangerous social media is for your mental health. Thanks for listening to my speech everyone.*

Did she win an award? No, because her speech did not fit into the agenda of the school, but she did win something else—the attention of her peers. After the event, several children came to her and told her that the facts she shared were eye-opening to them. One girl told her she was deleting her account right away.

Swimming against the current takes effort but is worth the struggle.

As I read Elior’s speech, I prayed that her words would continue to come to the hearts and minds of many of the children who heard her that day. The majority may not be changed, but the impact on one life can make it all worthwhile.

Wisdom comes in many forms, but today, I trust you’ll see how it came through a young girl who stood up against the noise of the world to speak truth with confidence and courage. May her example encourage many of us to do the same.

Grace and Peace

*Speech is used by permission of the writer, 2022.

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