Orange and XP3Students are very interested in figuring out the way technology is changing the family landscape and giving parents (with teenagers) practical advice of how to deal with it. I think youth workers need to speak to what aspects are greatly impacting all families (both in and out of the church).
At my previous church, we had 5th graders on the new 4G iphone (with unlimited minutes, texting, and internet usage) communicating with their parents trying to coordinate their rides home from church. I also had high school females sending and receiving 5,000 texts a month and mad at their parents because they had to pay the overcharges. In contrast, I had students who were only allowed to use mobile phones to talk to their parents. Then again, is technology the only problem that is impacting the family?
I think it is safe to say: our culture is moving into the digital age which is changing teenagers and parents. But how does a youth worker equip both the teenagers and parents on how to deal with this digital domination?
Questions For Student Pastors or Teen Social Workers:
– What is the effect of technology on the family?
– What other aspects (besides technology) are impacting the 21st American family?
– What are some of the major issues unchurched families are encountering?
– Should a student pastor/social worker use mobile technology to communicate with parents? How does a student pastor/social worker use mobile technology to communicate with parents?
– From a youth pastor/teen social worker perspective, how have you observed the families in your church/organization phone usage? What effect does parents phone usage have on their teens? What effect does teen phone usage have on parents?
– Do parents in your church/organization monitor their teen’s mobile technology usage? Why or why not?
– Is technology usage regionally or socioeconomically driven? Does income level change what impacts the family? Basically do all families struggle with the same things?
– What percentage of family communication happens online? How much of your family rhythm is centered around technology?
– What is the most effective time families spend together that is not centered around technology?
– As you look to the future, do you believe that technology will deepen family relationships or diminish family relationships? Why?
** Any feedback would be extremely helpful! Also if you have any additional insight regarding: What Is Impacting The Family? Please provide them in the comment section or email me directly.