TEEN PROJECT – Emmanuel Williams

Somehow it arrived in my consciousness... the issue of millions of young teen girls spending so much of their time on social media, with consequences that are mostly negative.

I was wondering aloud at a recent USA Congress if I should write a short book about this, but a younger Subud sister – Christina – told me most young teens don’t read books any more, and that instead I should compose a series of 20 second video ‘blasts”, each one addressing some aspect of the issue, and put them on YouTube. I applied for a grant of $2500 from the SESI $100,000 Projects Fund at World Congress. I videotaped a proposal and sent it to Freiburg. To my delight it was accepted. I bought a good Canon camera, a tripod, a lapel mic. And some really good books. Please watch Emmanuel's video presentation here:

Then I was talking about the project with Sarah Morgan, who’s a librarian in a high school, and she said it’s a very good idea, and that young teens like something they can click on every day. Wow! I thought. Every day? Then she said it doesn’t have to be talk stuff all the time. “How about short videos of nature?” I asked. “20 or 30 seconds of birds or a creek or leaves?”. “Great!” she said.

So, I’ve been working on that. Recently we had to move from our home in the Bay Area to the Sierra foothills, near the Seven Circles Retreat Centre. There’s a creek flowing through woods near us, so I’ve been going there with my camera. Ripples and reflections... water boatmen, trees. And mountains. And drifting clouds. Got about 60 v. short nature videos.

Then another friend, Nirel, Subud Portland, suggested we set things up so that people – teens, parents, counsellors etc – can send us written or video messages relating to the issue. YES!

Meanwhile, as I said, I’ve been reading. There are excellent books on the subject. “Glow Kids.” “Disconnected.” “10 arguments for deleting your social media accounts RIGHT NOW”. Currently I’m reading “Beauty Sick”, which is downright scary.

It’s BIG, this project. It’s taking shape. There’s a lot of work to be done. An emergent theme is the difference between inner and outer, or intrinsic and extrinsic. This relates to another theme – the influence if the material energy in the world: the influence, for example, of commercial culture in the lives of kids and teens. A techie in the team that developed Facebook said, somewhat ambiguously, “God knows what we’re doing to the minds of children!” The phrase has stuck with me.

If you have thoughts, insights, suggestions, experiences relating to this issue, please contact me. My email address is: emmanuelriddlemaker@gmail.com

This article was taken from Subud Voice SVO-NOVEMBER-2018-1




Logged-in members can view comments