October 25, 2021
GREENVILLE, S.C.— A recent survey of nearly 2,000 individuals revealed that the majority of Americans believe that “life was better” before social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. According to the poll, “many respondents believe social media negatively impacts many aspects of life and most people support the regulation of social media sites, namely to protect children and teens.” For people between the ages of 16 and 27, or “Generation Z,” over 40% admitted to being addicted to social media.
These startling numbers highlight the growing trend among parents and authorities concerning youth mental health and social media. Studies show that social media has associations with depression, anxiety, and feelings of isolation. Many parents are calling for more restrictions from social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter in efforts to protect their children from such harmful effects.
Mark Hancock, CEO of Trail Life (TrailLifeUSA.com), the largest Christ-centered, boy-focused scout-type organization in the country, believes that there is no better place for boys to build character, foster leadership skills, and seek adventure than the wilderness. The outdoors with all its inherent adventure creates a unique opportunity to teach responsibility, forge leadership, impart masculinity, and mold boys to become biblically bold and courageous men of character—something that social media simply cannot provide.
Hancock stated, “In Trail Life, boys regularly leave daily duties and digital distractions behind. They join with their mentors and fathers in the outdoors where relationships form naturally, time seems to slow, and boys are able to listen, connect, and grow.”
In regards to social media use, Hancock suggests parents provide clear boundries for boys’ usage of electronics in order to better suit their innate needs. “Away from daily concerns, cell phone distraction, social media interaction, and video game pseudo-satisfaction is a real world of wonder—a world of adventure and exploration, where crickets chirp, campfires crackle, stars twinkle, freshly caught fish simmer, and pocket knives whittle,” Hancock commented.
“Trail Life USA supplies the place, the programs, and the outdoor adventures to connect boys to other boys, to adult mentors, and to their God-given purpose to become godly men,” said Hancock. “This is our moment to show the kind of positive, meaningful impact that Trail Life Troops can make in boys’ lives, and to inspire them to strengthen and maintain those friendships with fellow Troop members and mentors into their adult years.”
Trail Life USA is the premier national character development organization for young men, producing godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens. Trail Life’s mission is to guide generations of courageous young men to honor God, lead with integrity, serve others, and experience outdoor adventure. Troops exist in all 50 states and are growing as Trail Life USA expands around the country. Find a Troop for your son today, or Start a Troop in your area. Find out more at TrailLifeUSA.com.
Since Trail Life USA launched on January 1, 2014, it has grown to over 35,000 members in over 880 Troops across the nation. The K-12 program centers on outdoor experiences that build a young man’s skills. A robust awards program motivates young men to grow on a personal level to become role models and leaders among their peers. Living the Trail Life USA is a journey established on timeless values derived from the Bible.
To interview Mark Hancock from Trail Life USA, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.