Monday, December 17, 2012

Media Rules for Our Family

We hate what cellphones, tv, computers, electronics, have done to a whole generation.  We believe it is a direct attack of Satan.  We don't own a tv, but as our kids get older we know some of these things are inevitable.  Ally has a basic cell phone with no Internet, but for her birthday we got her an Ipod touch.  She can access wireless where available.  Our kid's technology usage is for the most part beneficial.  They listen to great, God-honoring music, Adventures in Odyssey, and podcasts of sermons, among other things.  But, we still see moments of withdrawing into media when we'd rather them be out in the sunshine, talking to people, or doing chores!  This is rather long, but it is a list of 10 rules we have for media usage in our home.  I thought I'd share it with you.

During just our SHORT lives, we have seen dependence on electronics go crazy.  It is awesome to be able to keep in touch with people, to have your music with you, and to have something to do when you have to wait for an hour at the doctor’s office, but overall – this has not been a good change.  We have noticed that people, particularly teenagers are “zoning out” into an electronic cave and disconnecting from others, they don’t want to attend events because the “cave” is too comfortable to leave, and Christians are not “being the church,” seeing the needs out there, or connecting with the lost because their eyes are glued to a little 2X3 inch screen. 

I can soapbox to people all I want, but for our students it is easier to cut off their arm than ask them to cut back their media usage.  I know my kids are getting older and will be having access to some media.  For our family, we are going to set some rules. 

1.      Engage with people.  Even your siblings who you see WAY too much need to be looked in the eye and spoken to with love every day.  Interaction with people will ALWAYS be more important than what’s on that screen.  “Liking” something means nothing.  Speaking words of encouragement to someone means everything.  Speak it – don’t type it.

2.     Continually make an effort to look people in their eye-balls.  You should know the color of random people’s eyes since you have done this.  Media interaction has made eye-contact rare – and it’s important.  Why do you think God made people with different colored eyes?

3.     TURN IT OFF when people are around.  Especially meals and public places!  There is nothing worse than having people over & you are on a phone.  Ridiculous!

4.     Fast from media regularly so that you can better hear the voice of God.  It is a ploy of Satan to plug you into electronics so that the voice of God is not heard, so you are going to have to realize this is a problem and work harder to listen better, create intentional times for silence in your life.

5.     Yes, media is great while you wait – at a doctor’s office or somewhere, but does God have you there to interact with someone?  Look around and pray, be God’s hands and feet before you hole up in a cave of your own making.

6.     ALWAYS make sure you have done your Quiet Time 1st.  Before you LOOK at any media.  I understand having worship music as a part of your quiet time, but only if you are disciplined and don’t let yourself be distracted by it.

7.     Don’t let Media feed your ego.  If your day is made or crushed when someone/ or no one likes your photos, you have a problem with your values.

8.     Your online image is important.  Does it project Christ?  Don’t let yourself be polluted by other people’s images or words.  Delete them.

9.     Finally, never court or allow yourself to be courted through any form of media.  That is no way to get to know someone.  If they can’t say it to your face, they are being chicken and they aren’t worth you.

10.                         Know that your media will always be subject to parental scrutiny.  Our home is NOT a democracy and you do not have right to privacy in it.  Sorry if that is harsh, but God gave you to us to raise and that means you are kind of like an indentured servant in our care, we are raising you for His use, not a fate of your own choosing.  Know that anything you type or view will always be seen by Jesus and sometimes by your parents.  It is our prayer that you will always worry more about what Jesus thinks than what we do.

And finally, your media is a privilege that will be removed should we, as your parents feel it necessary to remove it.  With any privilege comes responsibility and we are here to ensure you are growing up to be responsible. 

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