Snapchat…What About It?
Social media is a part of our lives – like it or not. To begin our month on managing social media, Seth introduces a biblical way to parent our kids regarding Snapchat, and social media in general.
Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light. Ephesians 5:11-13
Most people are familiar with the Mission Impossible message that comes at the end of every mission objective, “this message will self-destruct in 5 seconds.” That’s the feeling for one of the most popular social media applications, Snapchat. For those who may be scratching their head about this app, it is a photo messaging service allowing users to send photos or videos to other members like a text message. The difference is that the photos and videos are deleted after a set amount of time (1-10 seconds).
This app has received more attention from Christians as it has grown more and more popular in our culture today. While this particular app offers parents challenges, the greater question could and should be, “How do we as Christians live in light of the social media of the day and how can we as parents teach and encourage our children to live a life worthy of the calling of Christ?”.
- Dialogue the motivation. One of the opportunities this allows for us is to model for our children how to process through these “new” technologies. Too often we forget to take a look introspectively and simply ask, “Why do we want this new technology or application?” Sometimes the answer is not that easy to figure out. Some apps are totally helpful and encouraging, others are harmful and selfish. We must continually ask ourselves and our children, “Does this application help us further God’s kingdom at this point in our lives?”
- There are dangers, watch out for them! As believers we need to recognize there are dangers like flaming arrows flying our way (Eph. 6:16). Because of this we need to be aware of the situations and not put ourselves or our family in unnecessary danger from the evil one. Some parents may not have too much concern about their children sending inappropriate Snapchat messages, but that doesn’t mean they won’t receive inappropriate messages. As families we need to be aware of the dangers and help each other be in a position to have the most success as Christians.
- Promote an environment that’s above reproach (a cause or occasion of blame, discredit, or disgrace). Snapchat keeps things secret and private, but that is not the only thing secret in our day. We have passwords on everything from our phones to our computers. What would it look like for a family to live in open honesty and community with one another? Maybe it means having one family password for all the phones and the computers in the family (that means parents too!). Shine light on all the places of our lives by allowing full access for our family and not keeping secrets.
God has called us to be children of the light not sneaking around in the dark. This must also characterize us in our digital endeavors.
What are some of the apps you and your family members use most on your phone, tablet or computer? Can you identify any of the motivations or dangers behind these applications?