Thursday, September 5, 2013

Oh, Be Careful!

Oh, be careful little eyes what you see.
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see.
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love.
So be careful little eyes what you see.

There are other verses to that quite familiar children's Sunday school song that involve the ears hearing, hands touching, and feet walking.  After reading an article this morning about teen girls posting sensual pictures of themselves on Facebook, I have been thinking about online media in general all day.  I can't get it out of my mind.

As the mother of 4 sons, one of whom is now nearly 15, I am constantly walking guard around things like internet access, magazines that make their way into our home, television viewing and the like (even sale papers).  It's a battle.  A battle that I am willing to fight for the sake of my boys.

But, what about me?  What do I allow my own self to view via internet, television, books, magazines, etc.? Isn't it just as important that I guard my own eye and ear gate?  

But, it's not just what I allow myself to look at or read.  It's also what I allow myself to type or say.  As a mother of three teenagers and six more coming behind them, I am well aware of some certain facts. Teenagers like to communicate with each other all of the time.  More so now than when I was a teenager, I think.  I didn't even want to talk much on the phone to my friends.  Whatever I needed to say to them could usually wait until I saw them the next day at school or church or an activity.  But nowadays, our teens want to be constantly connected to one another.  And I really don't like it all that much.

There's something about not being face to face with someone that empowers us.  We get  bold.  We say things on the phone we would never say in person.  And we TYPE things in text messages and on the computer that we would never dream of saying over the phone, let alone face to face.  It's frightening to me.

I have a Facebook account, but my children do not.  Neither does my husband.  Anyone they want to be friends with will be added to my account.  And we keep strict guidelines around our Facebook Newsfeed. We have hundreds of friends, but many of them are hidden.  If someone is constantly critical, we hide them. If someone shares opinions that my children are not ready to see or that are simply depressing, we hide them.  If someone uses foul language, we hide them.  If someone posts an inappropriate picture, we hide them.  Do you get the idea? My Facebook feed is largely coupons, blogs, family and a few friends.  That's it. Everyone else is hidden!

I have seen wives openly criticize their husbands on Facebook.  I have seen people defame someone else's character.  I have seen vulgarity.  Why do we allow ourselves to be an open book for the entire world to see?  Where is our sense of decency as a nation? What has happened to us?  We live in an "everybody-needs-to-know-everything" society, and I think things have gotten out of control.  But it's our own faults.  It starts with me.  

If I'm having a bad day, no posting unless it's positive.  If'I hear that somebody did something unthinkable, no posting about it.  Maybe I did have a fight with my husband.  Maybe my kids are being rotten.  Maybe so-and-so did something terrible.  Maybe my church has a flaw.  Maybe my neighbor did this or that.  Some things should still be private.  Somebody needs to teach our children what is public and what is private.  Just because we CAN, doesn't mean we SHOULD.

Since my children are getting older, I have really begun to analyze what I do, why I do it, and if it would make me proud to see my children doing it as well.

 First Day of School
Grades:  11th, 10th, 8th, 6th, 4th, 2nd, K5