February 4, 2012

Family Technology User Agreement

In the post Parenting in an Age of Technology I suggested using a Family Technology User Agreement when you entrust your son or daughter with a new piece of technology. This document will help them think of their new phone or computer as family technology rather than own private property, even if they are designated as the primary user.  Even more, this is a tool to talk about what it means to use technology in a healthy, God-honoring way. Here is a sample agreement I put together. Feel free to cut and paste and make whatever changes you think are appropriate.

Family Technology User Agreement

This is a user agreement for [name]                           regarding the use of [item of technology]                        .

Technology is created by God. It has many good uses and is not essentially evil. However technology has been perverted and abused by sinners. Therefore we must use disciplined discernment regarding how it is used. Like a rifle or a chainsaw, technology can be very useful but it can also be dangerous and harmful if it is not used carefully.

I realize that the use of this piece of technology is a privilege, not a right. I also realize that this is a piece of family technology, not my private property.  Even if I am designated the primary user of this piece of technology, I do not have complete authority over this device. I am not under the illusion that I have a right to complete and total privacy concerning how I use this device, especially concerning how I use the internet. I accept the truth that accountability and the authority of my parents is a good gift from God.

I realize that my parents have the desire that I will learn to use technology responsibly so that I will make good choices even when I am no longer under their roof. The more I show a long-term consistent track record of responsibility, the more my parents will be able to give me more trust and freedom. (Poor choices will decrease trust and freedom.) In the meantime, I realize that my parents have the responsibility to “trust but verify.”  I realize that I was born with a sin nature and I live in a culture that pushes me to make sinful choices. Accountability and precautions are always a good thing.

I also realize that there may be additional rules or guidelines that my parents will give concerning the use of this technology.

I agree to this user agreement as a condition for the privilege of using this piece of family technology.

Signature: __________________________________________  Date: ________


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