Parent Resources for Conversations with Your Kids about Media (The Topics Series)
The Topics Series
Parent Resource Sheet
Media, Movies, Apps, and Games
Biblical Truths we can’t ignore:
- Human nature has been ruined by sin.
- God has given us His son to redeem us from sin.
- God has called the redeemed to live a holy life.
- Satan has a real agenda to pervert truth and steal, kill, and destroy life.
- Media choices may not condemn us, but they will desensitize us to the truths of the gospel that are supposed to impact our life.
- Parents are given the responsibility to disciple their children and to be the guardians of the home.
- Kids don’t think like adults. There is less of a discernible line in their minds between fact and fiction. They need parental guidance.
- Even though there are no Bible verses that speak directly about our modern day movie rating system, video games, or apps - there are plenty of principles the Bible teaches that should govern our approach to media.
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”
1 Corinthians 10:31
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.
Use Discernment: (by Kris Roberts, http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/mind-over-media-kris-roberts-sermon-on-entertainment-67516.asp)
M – Message – What is the message and how is it coming across?
E – Effect – What effect does this have on me?
D – Damage – Will I suffer damage from this? (ex. unhealthy fantasies)
I – Instead – What could I be doing instead? (ex. productive, constructive)
A – Ask God – Does this glorify God, -
Our discernment usually begins with one question - will I enjoy it or do my kids like it? Personal happiness, displeasure, or personal taste is not the standard. We should be more concerned that our media choices reflect obedience to God - John 14:15.
9 Facts About Social Media You Should Know - Joe Carter (http://thegospelcoalition.org/article/9-things-you-should-know-about-social-media/)
1. If social media companies were countries: Facebook (over 1.1 billion users) would be the world's most populous, behind only China. Google Plus (693 million active users) would be number three and Twitter (554 million users) would be fourth, ahead of both India and the United States.
2. One out of every seven minutes spent online is on Facebook. Each day Facebook users spend 10.5 billion minutes (almost 20,000 years) on the social network (excluding mobile devices).
3. Every minute of every day: 684,478 pieces of content are shared on Facebook; Instagram users share 3,600 new photos; Foursquare users perform 2,083 check-ins.
4. There are 58 million tweets per day; 9,100 happen every second. 222 million Twitters don't tweet but watch other people tweet.
5. The average Pinterest user spends 98 minutes per month on the site and 14.2 minutes per visit, has 171 pins, 229 followers, 3 boards, and 28 likes.
6. Women account for most users of social media. The male vs. female ratio of social media users: Facebook - 60% female/40% male; Twitter - 60% female/40% male; Pinterest - 79% female/21% male; Google Plus - 29% female/71% male; LinkedIn - 55% female/45% male.
7. Older users account for the recent growth of social media platforms. On Twitter the 55-64 year age bracket is the fastest growing demographic with 79% growth rate since 2012. The fastest growing demographic on Facebook's and Google Plus' networks are the 45 to 54 year age bracket at 46% and 56% respectively.
8. We interact with our mobile devices 40 to 80 times a day. 91% of mobile Internet access is for social activities. 73% of smartphone owners access social networks through apps at least once per day. 50% of smart phones connect to Facebook every hour of every day.
9. 45 percent of church staff use Facebook every day. 51 percent of churches said that at least one of their senior staff regularly blogs or updates social media. 56 percent allowed or encouraged staff members to update their personal social media pages while at work. 46 percent of churches say that social media is their most effective outreach method.
7 dangerous Apps that parents need to know about, A look into the some of the scariest Apps for your kids
by Kristin Peaks (http://www.checkupnewsroom.com/7-dangerous-apps-that-parents-need-to-know-about/)
I work in public relations at Cook Children's. It's my job to be on social networking sites, peruse the internet and keep up with the latest Apps offered on smartphones. It's a great job and I love what I do, but over the last couple years, I have learned so much about the dangers of Smart Phone Apps. It's downright scary.
Technology, especially if you're a little behind the times, can be very deceptive. Your kids may be downloading Apps that you think are innocent and just a simple way for them to keep in contact with their buddies, but unfortunately, this isn't always the case.
To keep your children safe, it's best that you monitor their phone. Look through their apps, texts and pictures. They may feel that you're invading their privacy, but let's be honest... You're paying the phone bill, so you can do whatever you want! So, as you monitor your kid's phone, keep an eye out for these 7 apps you may not be aware of, that in my opinion are very dangerous:
• Yik Yak - This App is one of the newest and one of the most dangerous. It allows users to post text-only Yaks of up to 200 characters. The messages can be viewed by the 500 Yakkers who are closest to the person who wrote the Yak, as determined by GPS tracking. Users are exposed to - and contributing -sexually explicit content, abusive language and personal attacks so severe that schools are starting to block the App on their Wi-Fi. Although the posts are anonymous, kids start revealing personal information as they get more comfortable with other users.
• SnapChat - This App allows users to send photos that will disappear after 10 seconds. Once the recipient opens the picture, the timer starts. Then it's gone. From both the sender's phone and the recipient's phone. However, the recipient can take a screen shot of the photo and have it to share with others. This App enables kids to feel more comfortable "sexting" with peers.
• KiK Messenger - This is a private messenger app and is coveted by those under 18 for a number of reasons. The App allows kids to send private messages that their parents can't see. There is very little you can do to verify the identity of someone on Kik, which obviously poses the risk of sexual predators chatting with your child. And again, this is an easy tool for sexting.
• Poof -The Poof App allows users to make Apps disappear on their phone with one touch. Kids can hide every app they don't want you to see on their phone. All they have to do is open the App and select the ones they don't want you to see. Very scary! The good news about this App is it is no longer available, which isn't uncommon for these types of Apps. But, if it was downloaded before it was deleted from the App store, your child may still have it. Keep in mind that Apps like this are created and then terminated pretty quickly by Android and Apple stores, but there are similar ones being created constantly. Some other names include: Hidden Apps, App Lock and Hide It Pro.
• Omegle - This App has been around since 2008, with video chat added in 2009. When you use Omegle you do not identify yourself through the service - chat participants are only identified as "You" and "Stranger". You don't have to register for the App. However, you can connect Omegle to your Facebook account to find chat partners with similar interests. When choosing this feature, an Omegle Facebook App will receive your Facebook "likes" and try to match you with a stranger with similar likes. This is not okay for children. There is a high risk of sexual predators and you don't want your kids giving out their personal information, much less even talking to strangers.
• Whisper - This is a meeting App that encourages users to post secrets. You post anonymously, but it displays the area you are posting from. You can search for users posting within a mile from you. A quick look at the App and you can see that online relationships are forming constantly on this App, but you never know the person behind the computer or phone. One man in Washington was convicted of raping a 12-year-old girl he met on this App just last year.
• Down - This application, which used to be called "Bang with Friends," is connected to Facebook. Users can categorize their Facebook friends in one of two ways: they can indicate whether or not a friend is someone they'd like to hang with or someone they are "down" to hook up with. The slogan for the App: "The anonymous, simple, fun way to find friends who are down for the night." If that alone doesn't scare you, I don't know what will!
This list is important, but understand it will not stay current. The app marketplaces change every day. Some apps that are censored by parents, are simply redistributed with different names. It can be overwhelming to keep up with your kids and their online habits. But just remember to check their phones often, and even more importantly have real life conversations with them. Rules do not replace values. Rules may be a starting place, but teaching your kids the importance of sharing your Biblically based values is the only true guard for their heart. Discuss the dangers of the Apps and make sure they understand the need to keep personal information private.
PluggedInOnline - pluggedin.com - movie, books, and television reviews by Focus on the Family.
Covenant Eyes - covenanteyes.com - internet safety, accountability, and filtering.
Protect Your Family Online - A How To Guide for Parents - http://www.covenanteyes.com/learn-to-protect-your-family-with-this-free-how-to-guide/?utm_campaign=porn-stats