Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Today's Teens--Connected Online . . . and Lonely. New Book 'Alone' Explains Why

Teen Expert Andy Braner . . on the Irony
Of History’s Most Connected Generation; Debuting Oct. 15

“Andy exposes teens’ sense of isolation in the age of technogy. Intriguing and insightful, this book is for teens and parents alike.”
Jordin Sparks Amercian Idol Winner, Star of SPARKLE

DURANGO, Colo. — Aug. 20, 2012 — Is America’s most connected generation also its loneliest? In his surprising new book, Alone—Finding Connection in a Lonely World, teen expert Andy Braner exposes the irony that history’s most technologically “available” generation feels intensely isolated and left out. Alone debuts Oct. 15.

“How can I get to a point where I’m not so alone?” Braner quotes a high school quarterback—accomplished, popular, connected.

Founder and director of Camp KIVU near Durango, Colo., Braner spends his days and years with teens. Annually he speaks to more than 80,000 high school and college students in schools and conferences in the U.S. and abroad. Beautiful images of their friends online, Braner says, are killing teens’ acceptance of ordinary life—and of themselves. Yes, the online “perfection” is crafted, but in their formative years when teens crave fitting in, they compare themselves to Facebook “friends” and frequently despair.

One now-well-known young person who heard and understood Andy’s message agrees.

"Attending Andy’s camp for nine years and knowing his family even longer helped me through some of my hardest times,” said American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, now starring in the major film SPARKLE. “Now, in Alone, Andy exposes teens’ sense of isolation in the age of technology. Intriguing and insightful, this book is for teens and parents alike."

Far from an anti-tech rant, Braner writes Alone to and for today’s plugged-in generation. The book, from TH1NK, an imprint of NavPress, urges teens to use technology for what it can do—and to know what it can undo.

“The price of dazzling real-time access is our growing inability to relate to real people at a human level,” Braner said. “Networking is fast and near-infinite. New access to old friends blows our minds. But real-life relationship building may soon be a dinosaur.”

In Alone, Braner raises challenging points:

One in five teens battle depression.
Of teens fighting depression, 30 percent will fight substance abuse.
Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for young people age 15 to 24.
Then, in the face of sobering stats, Braner offers clear hope for real connection.

“God gave you a purpose, a reason and even specific tools for you to partner with Him in this world to change it in the ways He intended,” Braner writes. “When you realize what role you have to play here on the planet, the most beautiful sense of belonging begins to awaken inside your soul. The world begins making sense.”

Alone takes on the causes for teen isolation: fear of rejection; battles with a variety of addictions; seeking fulfillment sideways—in sex, wild behavior, cliques; and more. In contrast, Braner says, as unique individuals, we’re created to complement each other in community.

“If you truly want relief from the isolation you feel from day to day, get in a community,” Braner said. “Take time to encourage people in their gifts, and by doing so you create trust. Trust begets trust, and soon the people you’re encouraging give the same gift back to you.”

Alone—Finding Connection in a Lonely World speaks in a language teens understand. It frames their lives from one whose life work is to be there with them. Braner pulls no punches with the Facebook generation . . . and boldly offers new hope for real connection.

About Andy Braner

Andy Braner—sometimes called the teen whisperer—is a leading thinker on today’s Christian worldview, particularly on behalf of teens. . . and how theology can live out in complex young lives. The founder of Camp KIVU near Durango, Colo., an international speaker and author, Andy is a fresh and exciting voice on reality faith.

To learn more:

Andy Braner AndyBraner.com

Alone NavPress.com

Camp KIVU CampKIVU.com

Connect on Facebook: Facebook.com/AndyBranerAlone

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