“ ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be dominated by anything.”1 Corinthians 6:12
If your child is between the ages of 6 and 23, born between 1995 and 2012, then they are part of what’s called I-Gen or Gen Z. Seventy-four million Americans or 24% of the population fit this category. They are the generation that has never known life without the internet and they are the most smart-phone addicted generation in history. Though there are pros and cons to the digital world, the cons are winning.
What are parents to do? How do we reach the most isolated, loneliest generation in history?
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”Ephesians 2:10
Did you know that on average, the age most kids get their first phone is 10.3 years old? And 80% of smartphone users are between 12 and 17 years old?
It’s terrifying to note there’s a troubling trend of teens texting nude selfies to one another through Snapchat, typically boys sending them to the girls they like and asking the girl to send one in return. Unfortunately, there’s no way to block these types of texts.
Because this generation of children is always online, they are way less likely to volunteer, have jobs, go to church, or do homework because they spend the vast majority of their time online. Studies show that 1 out of 4 don’t attend church. There’s been a huge spike in depression and suicide rates among children over the last few years and much of this has been linked to the increase in cell phone use.
So what are we, as parents who have Christ as our foundation, to do?
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- Twelve Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke
- The Tech-Wise Family by Andy Crouch
- Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? The Atlantic
- Twelve Tips for Parenting in the Digital Age Desiring God
- Porn is Not the Worst Thing on Musical.ly Medium
- Middle School Misfortunes Then and Now, One Teacher’s Take Wait Until 8th
- The Horror Stories Are Read. Don’t Give Your Children a Smartphone For Every Mom