There are definitely some problems with social networking, as well as dangers that go along with the technology of today.
Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and others have become very popular networking sites, not only for us as parents, but for many kids and teens as well. We also now have texting and instant messaging available at our fingertips. Though these ways of staying in touch with people can be very convenient and enjoyable, they are also not without risk.
I don’t believe the answer is to totally refuse to use them, or refuse to allow our young people to use them. However, I think it would be very wise for all of us to consider and think about the problems and risks, and then set up guidelines to guide our families, and protect our young people. (I will address some ideas for guidelines to help protect our families in my next post.)
Today I’m going to share 7 Problems With Social Networking:
These are things to consider as potential problems that can occur when a lot of time is spent on Facebook, or other social networks. (This would include texting, and instant messaging also.)
1. We don’t learn to interact and connect with people face to face.
Young people especially can become very good at conversing online, but struggle with face to face communication. The more time time they spend on social networks, the greater the risk,
2. It can consume us, and our actions may tell our families “Don’t bother me.”
For parents, technology can make it easier to ignore or neglect our kids. (our our spouse) Young people can get so caught up that they don’t want their siblings “bothering” them, or they don’t want to be interrupted as they are “talking” to “friends” online or through texts.
3. It gives easy opportunity to get involved in sinful activities, or conversations.
Sin is at the door when we mindlessly, or out of boredom, start surfing the posts, looking for someone to “converse” with, etc. We (and our kids) should get online for a set time, and a set purpose to avoid that mindless searching and scrolling.
4. It is easy to offend others because there is no way to indicate your tone of voice, or your facial expression.
5. You are more likely to “say” things that you would never say face to face.
Texting and online communication takes away the “blush factor”, and make it easier to say inappropriate things. Gradually you become less timid about saying those things, and often it leads to acting on things that you never thought you would do.
6. It creates a desire for instant results.
I know often there are times when I text or instant message someone, and get impatient if i don’t get an immediate response from them.
7. It distracts from time alone with God.
It’s easy to neglect our time with God in our eagerness to check our Facebook notifications, or see if someone commented on our status, etc. Other times, we rush through our Bible reading with our mind thinking about getting back to our social world.
I love this cartoon because it says it so well!
It’s easy to think “I won’t let that happen to me (or to my kids).” Just remember the warning in I Corinthians 10:12: “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”
So what is the solution to these problems?
It isn’t avoiding them, or never letting our kids use social networking, but rather being aware and teaching our children to understand the dangers. The online world is here to stay, so we need to teach and prepare our children to use it wisely.
Let’s ask God to keep us aware of the risks, and not only teach our children how to use social networking appropriately, but also set the example for them.
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