I recently downloaded the most up-to-date statistics for Facebook and depending on your view of social networking they
either make impressive or depressive reading. The figures revealed that Facebook has more than 750 million active users who spend over 700 billion minutes per month on the site; 50% of active Facebook users log on in any given day; the average user has 130 friends and creates 90 pieces of content each month and more than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) are shared each month. Although Facebook spans all ages it is most widely used by young people.
They combine their fearless approach to all things electronic with an insatiable desire to stay in touch with friends and Facebook provides the platform for that to happen. But what about parents with reservations or questions, how should they respond to social networking on this scale? Let me suggest a limited number of points for consideration.
Parents should make themselves aware of Facebook so that they can make informed decisions. There is a tendency for some older Christians to think old is always right and new is always wrong. While that may be true in some cases it is certainly not true in all. Therefore as Christian parents wrestle with the issues their young people face, including Facebook, they should endeavour to learn as much as they can in order to make informed decisions.
Parents should talk with their children concerning Facebook. It is essential that parents are involved in the lives of their children so that they can better understand them. They should graciously ask the ‘why, what, who and when’ type of questions in order to understand the reasons behind requests and also to determine the level of responsibility. In this case, as in many cases, it is good to talk.
If Facebook is permitted parents should set guidelines and insist on openness. Christian parents need to exercise authority in their home, not as cold-hearted dictators, but as loving, gracious and godly parents. It is good to warn our young people of the dangers of the world while at the same time endeavouring to help them face those dangers in a Scriptural way. Any internet use should be coupled with guidelines regarding time and content, and parents should be aware of internet use within the family. Regarding Facebook, if it is permitted, parents should direct their young people not to post any material unbecoming of the gospel and to respect the Christian testimony of the home. General guidelines regarding personal information should also be stressed and parents should view the Facebook pages as often as they feel necessary. Parents of course may wish to restrict access to Facebook until a young person is older and wiser.
Parents should set a good and godly example in all areas of life including internet use. Time and energy should be well managed by a Christian. We are to redeem the time and think on things that are Christ-centered. As young people will be influenced by their parents even in these aspects of life, let us set a good example. In all these matters Christian parents should constantly seek the help and wisdom of God.
Obviously, Scripture does not address the issue of Facebook directly, therefore whether it is permitted or not, is a matter each parent will have to determine prayerfully and carefully before God. As with every aspect of life let us ask: “Will this bring glory to God?” – 1 Corinthians 10:31.
See Pt. 1[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]