Here are 5 practical steps to creating an intentional tech strategy in your home:
1. GAIN AWARENESS. What is trending? We need to do our best to keep up with the latest information about technology, digital distraction, and potential snares for ourselves and our families. Where am I vulnerable? It may be as blatant as pornography use or as subtle as mindlessly scrolling for hours on social media. Each of us deal with our own digital vulnerabilities. Knowing these vulnerabilities can help us develop a game plan to intentionally deal with these areas of our lives. What are the major categories of technology we/our families are utilizing—internet, mobile devices, computers, gaming consoles? Assessing what we have and use can help us make good decisions on what software, programs, platforms, and apps we allow in the home, and how to manage them once they are in use. Check out some of these resources to begin doing your homework! Be aware of the schemes of the enemy to isolate (1 Peter 5:8) and deceive (Genesis 3:13).
2. LIVE WITH TRANSPARENCY. Whether we are parents wanting to help our kids avoid the snares and darkness of our online world, or we recognize our own vulnerabilities to what lies in our digital paths, we must each take steps to protect ourselves and those we care for. For some, protection means limiting or removing access. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid the reality of living a life where digital connection is not only desired, but necessary. This is where it helps to live an “open book” digital life. Be transparent and invite others in to your digital stewardship. There are practical tools available (such as Bark or Covenant Eyes) to help us in this endeavor to live a more honest and communal digital life.
3. ADDRESS DIGITAL DISTRACTION. Algorithms created to capture and keep the most and best of our attention are part of every social media, gaming, and news website or app we use. Often, we don’t even realize the time and energy we devote to our use of technology. It is important that we gain an understanding of the amount of time we and/or our families are spending in front of screens, particularly in light of a constant stream of research indicating the harmful mental, emotional, relational, spiritual, and physical effects. Taking an inventory of household tech use and creating reasonable boundaries for use will help us lift our heads from our devices and keep them fixed on Christ and the relationships that matter most.
4. INCORPORATE REST. Our Father in Heaven established the idea and practice of Sabbath when He created the world. This idea of rest should absolutely be a practice we incorporate into our digital lives as well. As we become proactive in our approach to technology, scheduling rest for ourselves and our kids needs to be a vital part of that overall plan. Consider a weekend getaway to completely disconnect. Maybe that’s a camping trip or a tech-free staycation. Find daily and/or weekly rhythms to build in breaks. A daily “tech curfew” when all devices are turned off and placed in a common area may be a great solution. Regularly disconnecting from screens is a vital part of our deepening connection to God and others.
5. GROW IN DIGITAL STEWARDSHIP. The benefits of technology are absolutely amazing and wonderful. Our use of this good gift, like other God-given gifts, is something we are responsible for. We must see ourselves as stewards. Good digital stewardship—especially as it intersects with our sexual stewardship—is something we must continue to practice in order to live out and model for others. We grow through practicing what we see in our Lord…
“Finally, whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned, received, heard, and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” —Philippians 4:8-9
Connection over connectivity. We were created for connection. Technology can aid us in serving as a substitute when we are unable to be together face to face. Or, as is most often the case, it can prevent us from deeper, more impactful relationships with others. Choose courage instead of fear and use the tools at hand for the benefit of you and your loved ones. Choose connection instead of digital isolation and let others see the value you place on real relationships. This is the stuff you can’t get from technology, but you can teach through your use of technology!
So, how can a tech strategy help you and your loved ones navigate the challenges of a sexualized, digital age?
For more information and ideas on this topic as it relates to parenting, check out our Quest: Parenting in a Sexualized Culture resource.
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