Should I Be Monitoring More of My Children’s Media?
The obvious answer to most parents would be of course, YES!! But the most apparent reason and understanding of why we should proves not to be as obvious. This current adolescent generation stemming from the new tools of technology, public education, and mass media, consisting of, but not limited to, television, radio, movies, advertisements, & social media, are completely plugged into massive amounts of information at all times, as long as they’re awake. This may not be even true considering the kids that sleep with the television on.
With all of that being true, we should strive to make sure that the information they are consuming is clean and not deceptive in its message and influence. All things create influence, so we must make sure that the influence that is shaping our children is consistent with the fruits of the Spirit.
So we can monitor our children’s television activity pretty easy right? It’s very easy now with parental controls on the cable devices. We can put a passcode to anything we don’t want our kids to accidentally stumble upon. Either way, they shouldn’t be watching more than 1 hour of television per day, but if you allow more at least you know it won’t be programming that you’re not comfortable with. Remember it’s a “program”.
But the Internet is very different. Now on desktop and laptop computers we can put parental controls on as well, for web browsing. But what about their smartphones or tablets? These smartphones or mini tablets capable of being a one-stop source for our media, like music, Internet, social media, videos, and games. They are devices that can completely hold your attention, distract you, provide you with massive amounts of information and influence, entertain you, and communicate with the rest of your circle, no matter whether its directly or indirectly, like through a Facebook or Twitter.
This is why this current generation is growing up so fast mentally, but not spiritually. They understand mature issues and situations at even younger ages than ever before.
Children should be able to play on devices, so that they can learn and understand technology of today. But it should be devices designed for their age group; like 3 to 10 year olds could use devices like the Lead Pad or Innotech. These provide access to technology, but all from an educational purpose.
Children’s activity on their smartphones should be monitored very attentively if they are under the age of 16. At 16, you should have been able to instill proper values and discernment in your child that they will be prepared on proper influence and using the technology more for being more effective and efficient, not just for the purpose of entertainment and or communication. Children under 16 who get these devices are often pulled into social media and other outlets exposing them to influence that could have been avoided if they never were given access or monitored more closely.
These are all the effects of routine smartphone usage:
• They become attached and don’t know how to decipher facts from opinion, or truth from false
• It provides easier entry to deceptive programming
• Provides more desensitizing of evil
• It creates lack of brain power use because the technology does all the work for them
• It takes away all personal privacy because life is on the internet and social media
• It is a constant distraction that will never go away, but will enhance.
Think about how many adults you see today, looking at their phone or doing something in the phone on their “downtime”. Imagine your child doing that for the rest of their life starting so much earlier in life than those adults.
If social media is also a desire of theirs, it shouldn’t be allowed until they are 16. You have to give their minds a chance to mature so that they’ll be able to make good decisions. When you allow access to technology like iPhones to a child too early, it causes distraction from their brain power function and puts their mind in a hypnotic state that they are not able to process thoughts as rapidly as before. This decreases they’re ability to be thinkers and enables them to let the devices do the thinking for them. This is why they have to be prepared and taught before they’re given complete access.
There are other devices that will be covered later, like gaming devices, but the point of this article is to provide insight on to the fact that we should monitor our children’s media consumption regularly. We are what we eat, physically, spiritually, and mentally, and if we are feeding our children the right foods, then they will be strong physically, spiritually, and mentally. You must know what influences your child is taking in and if this influence is providing fruit that will bring them closer to God or further away.
The point once again is Yes, we should be monitoring our children’s consumption of mass media and supplement the deceiving, worldly media of today, with media that holds true to the message of Jesus Christ and His Father, so that our offspring’s bear the fruit of righteousness, and not of the wicked one.