“Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?” Job 31:4
Technology isn’t inherently evil; it’s more about how we choose to use it. We need to teach ourselves & children how to safely use technology. That being said, there are some apps and social media sites which are so intertwined with filthy, sinful content that the best position is to avoid them altogether. With technology, we are required to give Biblical guidelines and safe boundaries that create long-term values.
To address the prevalence technology abuse amongst our young people, education on Internet use and the dangers of the digital world are necessary from a relatively early age.
- Internet Capable Phones
- Due to widespread pornography use and the dangers of social media, Internet-capable phones should not be permitted through high school. This does not refer to cell phones in general or apps like Maps or Kijiji, but does refer to social media apps and Internet browsers.
- If done properly, the Iphone can be currently be locked down with strict parental controls which completely block internet browsing and social media sites.
- Social Media Sites/Apps
- Platforms like Tic Tok, Instagram, Snapchat are very harmful, especially to young people and should be avoided altogether.
- Filter & Accountability
- Utilize parental controls/restrictions on each device.
- Consider adding a filter on the internet signal coming into your house (router).
- Simple & frequent checks on you & your families’ devices could keep us from inappropriate interactions.
- Be a good role model
- What are we as parents doing with our devices?
- It’s important that we follow the same rules & expectations as we place on our children.
- They see the time spent and how we are using our time with technology.
- Time limits
- Define acceptable times/amounts of use.
- Define non-acceptable times, for example school, bedtime, dinner table
- Have a visible location where phones are kept for example on a corner of the kitchen counter at night rather than taken to bed.
- Define time spent playing games.
- Adjust times with age & maturity as they build your trust.
- Don’t let your device control you.
- Never use technology in a hurtful way
- Never say anything online that you wouldn’t say face-to-face.
- Never forward or post a photo/text that you wouldn’t want public.
- Remember everything placed online can become public and permanent.
- Set clear expectations
- Be upfront & clear.
- If your child has a good understanding of the expectations of using the device, it will be easier to enforce the boundaries.
- Could consider having your child sign a written contract before given a device.
Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.