February 1, 2012

Teens & Technology

Honoring God with your use of technology means more than keeping porn off your screen. Purity is absolutely important, but today's Christian teens also need to consider the ways that texting, smart phones, and surfing can make it difficult to glorify God with what you communicate and how you think. For teens who want to honor God with their use of technology, here are a few quick points to consider:

       Realize the difference between texting vs. phone vs. face to face. Approximately...
               10% of communication is words.
               30% of communication is tone of voice.
               60% of communication is body language.
       If this is true, what is the best way to avoid miss-communication or to work out conflict?
       Constant communication leaves no time to think or to process.
       The Internet is giving us attention deficit disorder and makes it harder to concentrate and remember.
       Constant communication means there is no time to cool down.
       People can be very “brave” (foolish) behind a keyboard.
       We have a strange new view of privacy. We’re hidden from the people we should be open to and open and exposed to those we shouldn’t be.
       When we’re never absent from each other it is very easy to get co-dependent.
       When we’re never absent from each other there is never time to stop and evaluate.
       The Internet never forgets.

A few Bible passages that are relevant for teens and technology:

1 Corinthians 6:12
 “Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything.
       Don’t be controlled by technology or become addicted to it.
       It’s healthy to unplug.
       It’s healthy to have limits.

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
       Think before you type. Sometimes a slow response is good.
       The silicon rule: Don’t say anything digitally you would not say to their face.
       Use face to face communication to work things out.

John 3:19
Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
       Sin loves secrecy.
       You are far less likely to sin if you don’t think you’re being secret.

Job 31:1
I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.
       Commit yourself to honor God with your use of technology.
       Embrace accountability. 
       Deal with both HEART and HARDWARE to resist sin. Work on your heart but don't be foolish about what you give yourself easy access to.

Matthew 18:9
And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
       Be willing to take drastic steps if necessary.
       Don’t let society tell you what’s normal.

1 John 2:15-17
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
       Don’t let greed control your heart. It is easy to be greedy for the latest and greatest tech.
       For many people technology is a status symbol. Beware of pride.
       Keep your focus on what is eternally important. Stay on target.

Related: Parenting in an Age of Technology

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