I’ve waited a few weeks to blog anything at all about this new ingredient in the soup of today’s youth culture. I wanted to see just where it was going. . . and now we now. . . at least in part. It’s a new Facebook App that appeared a few weeks ago called “Bang With Friends.” The app is self-billed as a way to “anonymously find friends who are down for the night.” Friends. . . anonymous. . . down for the night. There you have it. That’s what sex has become in these days. Pretty straightforward in today’s hook-up culture, huh?
Here’s how it works. First, you download the app. Then, you log in. What you see are pictures of your Facebook friends. When the app first launched, the faces you saw were of your opposite-sex friends. Of course, that will most likely change pretty quickly in today’s sexual climate. Under each of their photos is a button that says “Down to Bang.” Click on the buttons under the photos of the friends you’d like “to bang”. If they use the app and click on your face, you get a notification email telling you that you’ve got a match. Then, you and the other person just take it from there. Are Facebook users using “Bang with Friends?” To date, the number of people who have downloaded the app is close to a million, and it’s believed that the app is responsible for a couple hundred thousand “matches.”
This week, the SXSW annual music, film, and tech festival in Austin has become a “Down to Bang” hot spot. The app launched a new landing page for SXSW attendees who want to hook up with each other. This too, is a sign of things that have not already arrived on the cultural landscape, but of the future.
No doubt, all of us who have a history of struggling with sexual pressures, temptations, and sin in our teenage and young adult lives are thankful that something like this wasn’t a part of our cultural landscape. But we do have to be concerned for our kids. . . for so, so many reasons. . . . far too many to mention here.
Still, thinking for the last couple of weeks about the advent of “Bang with Friends” has kept me pondering what happens every time a person steps out of God’s grand and glorious “YES” and design for sexuality. Recent research on the chemistry and composition of the brain shows that we are integrated and marvelously made beings who God has wired for sex. The sex that he’s wired us for is to be between one man and one woman within the context of a monogamous covenantal marriage. God made it so that a couple commits to each other in marriage, then they consummate that commitment in the glorious act of sexual intercourse. Research on the brain shows that when a couple does that, an amazing complex release of brain chemicals occurs that binds the couple together and makes them want to come back for more. In effect, God has made us to be “addicted” to each other. Sadly, the same addiction occurs every time a person engages in sex. . . either alone, with another, or with an image on a screen. . . . and it messes us up when it’s not with our spouse.
If you haven’t done so already, every one of us who are parents, youth workers, pastors, etc. should take the time to talk to the Facebook-using kids we know and love. And the conversation should start with this sentence: “I want to talk to you about ‘Bang with Friends” . . . “