In the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz in which Dorothy states “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
That is how I am feeling today in the digital world that we live in. It isn’t like anything else in the history of the world. We are in a new era. I often wonder if the changing times today are similar to periods in history where cultures were transformed by the tools they created. Tools like the writing language, and the printing press.
Times are changing. I am currently 31 year old, and I am the last generation to not be raised natively in a digital world. I am raising kids who are. These are interesting times.
This is an infographic called: Teen Tech Dangers and the infographic is from the company called PhoneSheriff.
Here are a few things that standout:
1. 50% of video chat apps contain pornographic or obscene imagery. The question today isn’t if kids are going to be exposed to porn, it’s when. I think that we as youth workers/pastors need to teach on the subject every year. That is how huge of a deal it is. I don’t just think we need to teach students, but parents on how to deal with their kids exposure to porn.
I have taught on it a few times and I am always amazed at parents naivety when it comes to porn. It’s always the same response, “not my kids” or “they haven’t been exposed to porn yet”. Maybe they haven’t yet, but we as youth pastors need to learn how to pastor families as they walk through these issues with their kids.
2. 25% of teens have been bullied repeatedly on their phones or online. There is no safe place for students today. When I was a kid, I always had my house or room. No one treated me like crap there. Today, there is no place where a teen can go and not be connected digitally.
One of the things that I have been recommending for parents and teens today is to create places where their phones won’t go. I have counselled numerous students to leave their phones in a common place when sleeping, or to never bring their phone into their room. These could be simple guide lines that will protect teens today from addictions and being bullied.