Final jeopardy answer, under the category “Average teenager with a cell phone”
Answer “2617” (key in jeopardy music)
Question; “What is the average number of times young people touch, swipe, or tap their phones in one day?”
My thoughts go to the word “Boundaries” What are they? Who establishes them? Why are they there? President J.F.Kennedy stated “ Don’t ever take a fence down, until you know the reason why it was put up.” In the realm of parenting, boundaries are extremely important to establish the routines that will create the necessary life skills in a growing individual.
Cell phone use seems to have no boundaries. Children, at a progressively earlier age, are being allowed to touch, swipe and tap their phones during dinner, late at night or at any other available moment.
Tristan Harris, former design ethicist at Google, expressed his concern that the hijacking of people’s minds and weaknesses occurred when you can persuade people to keep scrolling, clicking, watching the next thing.
I immediately think of Romans 12:2
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. (ESV)
The mind must have fences built to guard it so that it does not conform to the world’s every whim and desire. The role of parents is to determine the value of screen time versus Scripture time.
I will not set before my eyes
anything that is worthless.
Psalm 101:3a (ESV)
Can we take God’s words seriously? It is telling us that it's not just “BAD” stuff that we are to be wary of, it is also the mindless garbage that does nothing to add value to our life or service to God. The intentionality of this concept will create the parameters that will allow a young mind to grow and experience the richness of the world God has created. As parents it is time to flesh out this command and set up the fences that the children need.
All we like sheep have gone astray… we need fences to protect us all.
Brett Ullman has a great talk on Tech in the family. You can watch it at this link if you are looking for some practical help.