Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Media, At What Cost?

I recently joined the Facebook Fad.  If that's what it's called.  I hesitated for many years to do so simply because I know myself, and I'm almost certain to be on it too much.  I have to admit it's fun to see what people are up to and I will "like" something or comment to a friend, like using it for email, but I don't see it becoming the problem I thought it might become.  I actually enjoy blogging quite a lot more.  It seems more creative.   I often wonder how other parents have been dealing with this new media craze that is taking our youth by storm.

Back in the 50's the hula hoop was a craze or fad, along with cramming as many teenagers into a phone booth as would be manageable.  Then along came TV and Rock n Roll.   Of course the 60's had some fads that mostly weren't very wholesome and the 70's disco craze.  Actually that's where I fit in, the 70's.  I never cared much for disco though I have to admit.  Computers have changed things quite a lot for families from the 90's to the present.  But look how fast that has changed our family life.  Add in the i pod, cell phone, lap top, i phone, i... you name it and where does that take our children?  Should they own such gadgets?  How young is too young to allow these devices into the hands of our youngsters?  This to me seems to be the current day  parenting dilemma.  It is a very large one at that.  I have been on the look out for what the "experts" have to say about what parents should be leery about or on the lookout for and I really haven't heard too much about it.

I feel very blessed to be homeschooling during this time of information overload.   We do let our children use many of the above listed items mostly as tools.  A cell phone seems like an essential these days.  My almost fourteen year old can take a three mile bike ride with a bit more assurance because if he should need help I'm only a call away, so he takes my cell phone.  I don't believe it is a good idea for a young person to carry around instant access to the internet in their pocket.  This seems a bit dangerous to me.  How is a youth carrying an internet accessing device held accountable?  Is there a filter on it?  Can a parent check to see the history?  These are questions I don't know the answer to.  In the "old days" children did have access to inappropriate materials without a doubt, but not as easily as today.  Please do not get me wrong, I am not against these devices at all.  I think they are wonderful when used properly.  I wonder if this is the first time in history where technology is geared toward children and then the adults catch on instead of the technology starting with the adults and being taught to their children.

It frustrates me to see a child of mine glued to an electronic device, just staring  at it for what seems like hours.  I hope that soon the "experts" will share with us parents their advice on how to teach our children not to waste too much of their lives on social networks.  For now I'll send them outside to care for the animals, play in the woods and other healthy adventures, like reading a good book, that might encourage a love for other things. I'll also hold off on letting them have these things until my husband and I think they are old enough to have them, say 18 or older.  If you have any ideas on how to handle the media of the day, I'd love to hear about it.  In the mean time I'll continue to be in God's Word knowing He is the only true "expert" on raising children, no matter what generation they might be born in.

Philippians 4:8  "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true whatever things are noble, whatever things are just whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things."


Esther 4:14b "Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"

 

6 comments:

  1. Very interesting post, Jen!

    I say, at the end of the day, the Holy Spirit and the sound judgment God has given you as parents to your children should be the guiding expert.

    I think we have to be so careful with technology, not because it in and of itself is bad. But as humans, we can take a neutral thing and use it for good or evil. I think we have to teach our children the proper use for such devices and encourage them, as you have, not to forget their own God-given creativity.

    My husband and I have cell phones, that are pre-paid only. Which we only use for travel or emergencies. We're not constantly glued to some hand-held apparatus, which shows our children something different, even in this age of technology. When we have a question, we don't always "Google" it. Sometimes, we get out a good book to find the answers. I think as parents, we have to be the examples.

    Again, great post!!! Take care.

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  2. I thank you for your very thoughtful post. That is how I feel also Stacie, and it's great to hear how other parents feel about it. I guess I've been thinking about it a lot lately as I look at the culture around us and wonder "where will this all lead?" God knows!

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  3. Questions, I've asked myself a million times. I can't tell you how often I hear "everyone else has a cell phone...." sigh. I agree, instant internet at your fingertips for young people is just asking for trouble. So for now, I remain the bad cop and allow my kids to borrow my phone for emergencies and not own any "i-whatever" devices until they are off on their own.

    As a youngster, I was not allowed to chat on the phone in my room for obvious reasons. Neither were my friends. So why do parents now allow their children to privately text nonstop all times of the day? Baffling.

    I allowed my oldest to have FB when he turned 16 as a present. I knew he wasn't able to handle it before then. I figured he needed to learn how to use these tools under my guidance before he soon leaves. My daughter was allowed FB when she turned 14. She does not struggle with poor use of time and I thought it would be a great way for her to learn more about the computer. Each child is different.

    Loved the post.

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  4. Karen, Thank you for your insightful comment. I agree that each child is very different. Some are better with managing their time than others. We live in interesting times. I heard a young woman, twentyish, on Nancy Leigh Demoss's program who had some wonderful ideas regarding these issues. Perhaps I'll find it to post one of these days.

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  5. Jennifer, with our children we dont have 'set times' or 'time limits'. If we see they seem too "taken in" by any source of electronic item (music, dvd's, computer, cell phones....!) we pull them away. Both my husband and I are in the home full time so we are able to closely monitor that. Well if you do facebook now then I guess I truly am the only one I know who doesnt! LOL! God bless! Dana

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  6. We've also taken the items away and we hold off on allowing FB, cell phones, lap tops and internet accessible items until after they turn 18. Even then, it's based on practicality and maturity. Thanks for your comment and good advice. Blessings

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