TVThe television. Also known as: the TV.

Love it or hate it, the TV has been an influential force in the last hundred years. From its early, crude transmitted silhouette images, to black and white with no sound, and then eventually sound, and later into color and recently high definition sets that hang on the wall, the TV has radically impacted the transmission of information and entertainment. Only since the Internet has a technology had such a remarkable impact on the advancement and development of technology.

But how to use such a technology wisely? With all the negative and disturbing images coming across the screen of a television, how do we as people (and parents) protect ourselves (and our kids) from “seeing” and “hearing” things that help or hurt us? This same question of wisdom can also be applied to the use of the Internet (or anything for that matter).

How do we use technology wisely?

And particularly as a person who follows Jesus and wants to live out the kingdom of God in this world… what does it practically look like to use such resources wisely?

A post a while back @ Engadget revealed that kids watch too much TV (shocker, I know!). What is it about TV and technology that seems to enable parents to use it to “babysit” their children. I know for me, it is “easier” to parent when my kids are watching a movie in the other room. Even with other “screens” available (i.e. iPod Touches, iPads, iPhones, Blackberrys, tablets, laptops, advertisement screens at Walmart next to displays, etc.), we (and my kids) are bombarded with technology and information.

I’m not saying technology is bad or inherently evil. It isn’t. It’s how we use them, how we implicitly regulate them, that makes its use good or bad.

So, how do we wisely use technology?

I wonder if the answer to that question lies in what each person thinks about the use of free time or the attention (or inattention) to human interaction (going out with friends, spending face-to-face time with your kids, etc.). And maybe moderation. I’m reminded that with anything, be it food, sports, drinks, video games, or gardening, one can go to the extreme of spending all of their time (free or borrowed) on things that throw every other thing in their life off balance. The opposite of moderation would be excessiveness.

So, what is excessive when it comes to technology (or anything else for that matter)?

Sound off in the comments below! We’d love to read and interact with your thoughts…

Published by Jeremy Mavis

Married to one. Father of two. Friend to several. Blogger to many. Pastor to all. And a passionate follower of Jesus Christ.

2 replies on “Technology and Us (and our Kids)”

  1. Excessive is when “life” suffers. If you SHOULD be doing other things (housework, homework, cooking dinner,Bible reading, etc) and you’re watching tv instead then that’s excessive. When I was a kid (even as an adult) I prefer to pick up a book than to watch tv and play video games. As for kids, tv is ok as long as parents are there to EXPLAIN shows kids don’t understand. Parents need to be more attentive to what their children watch. I teach Sunday school and I’m SHOCKED at some of the shows my young students are allowed to watch. I hear MANY MANY MANY prayer requests for nightmares. Even the good shows like Veggie Tales still need to be discussed. I feel like a broken record every week when I have to say “No this is not Veggie Tales, this is the Bible and this is how it REALLY happened”.

    1. Yeah, excessive seems to be when life is “out of order”. When things that need to be done or when people that need to be interacted with are placed in a lower position of priority over technology, a screen, or another thing is excessive.

      And during this right ordering of life, parents do need to be present and aware of what their children watch. We’ve had Netflix for the last couple of months and it’s accessible on our iPad. My wife and I have to constantly monitor what our two young girls click on to watch. They have to ask us to watch anything NEW that we haven’t approved of yet.

      As a children’s pastor myself, I am also shocked by what kids are allowed to watch. The other day my kindergarten daughter told me that Batman wasn’t bad. In fact he’s good, she told me. I asked her why and she told me a classmate of hers told her this. My daughter has never seen any Batmans, and my worry is that her classmate has seen the recent Batman movies. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least. It makes me sad what our culture allows our children to see and taken in with their little eyes.

      All the more reason for us as ministers of the Gospel to share the Gospel, not just entrance into the kingdom, but how to wisely live in our current culture (whatever culture we find ourselves) as members of God’s kingdom by faith.

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