Have you been intentional about thinking through an Internet and Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Strategy for yourself, your marriage, your family? In other words have you decided how you will use the Internet & ICT in a way that is personally healthy (mentally & physically), safe and serves you in a good way? Have you had an official conversation with your spouse and your children about the marriage and family values that will guide the use of the Internet & ICT by each of you, and in a way that will strengthen your marriage and family union? If not, I urge you to make those conversations and related decisions a TOP PRIORITY for today, and no later than this week.
Whether you are a heavy Internet &/or ICT user or not, is not relevant, because even if you are not a heavy user, it is almost a given that you are connected to someone who is, and that person’s Internet &/or ICT use is and will impact your life for good or bad. The ‘realest’ example I can share is that all motorists and innocent pedestrians are at risk to the choices of those of us who use the cell phone and text while driving. If you say “Oh I can handle it?” or “I hardly use the internet so I needn’t worry” or “I am too old for all that,” or “I don’t know how to control my child’s /teenager’s use of the Internet &/or ICT” or “I believe my children / teenagers are old enough to do the right thing; I trust them so I don’t need to be vigilant,” …that is not helpful… if…you want to be safe or want your marriage & family to be safe. The Internet &/ICT are like fire and water, they provide warmth and relaxation and sustain life one minute, but if the user is un-informed, fire and water just as easily destroys the next minute. It is knowledge that is the referee. Without that referee here are a few of the risks:
- Introduction of addictive behaviours to children & adolescents
- Costly time wasting
- Low academic performance
- Pornography addiction in children and adults
- Marital affairs
- Breakdown in interactions and communication in family and marriages
- Loss of sleep
- Loss of life or serious injury
- Disclosure of confidential information
Let’s face it, most of us would not knowingly expose ourselves, our family members or persons we care about to any of the risks listed above. Yet if we are not intentional and educated about the Internet & ICT and have a survival strategy, then we are doing just that – exposing self and loved ones to danger while remaining defenceless.
Below I share a number of links that will give you information on the risks that the Internet & ICT bring to the human experience. The good news is that the links also contain information on how to use Internet & ICT healthily and safely. It is a lot of information and I have tried to segment it so that you can go straight to the topics that are most relevant to you. Don’t attempt to read it all in one go. I recommend that you print or revisit and read the articles a little at a time and discuss them with your spouse, your children, and your friends. Let the information help you decide on a personal or family Internet & ICT strategy that works best for the dynamics of your household. At the end of this post there are links that will provide definitions on popular terms such Internet, ICT, Facebook, Twitter and Social Media. Overall, you will find that there is information here related to every constituent whether the individual, the parent, or the child. It is telling as to the reach of the Internet & ICT into our lives. We treat it casually and without an intentional Internet & ICT survival strategy to our peril.
Threat to Family
Preparing Your Child for the Online World
Family Safety Resources
Protecting Your Teen from Pornography
Family Guide to the Internet
Threat to Personal and Financial Security
5 Hidden Dangers of Facebook
Threat to Life
AT&T Documentary: Don’t Text While Driving
Statistics & Facts About Distracted Driving
Threat to Marriage
Past Loves and Facebook: To Connect or Not to Connect
Is Your Cell Phone Impeding Your Relationship
Unplug Your Marriage
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is ICT?
What is the Internet?
What is Social Media?
What is Facebook?
What is Twitter?
Proverbs 25: 28
28 Like a city whose walls are broken down
is a man who lacks self-control.
New International Version 1984, ©1984 (NIV1984)
May there be wisdom at work in you.