Is The Internet Enhancing or Intruding on:
- your Learning Environment
- your Home
- your Child's Life and Self-Control?
This first appeared on Trivium Pursuit's blog.
A Confession : ( For a fleeting moment one morning I thought "You know, if I just used the internet as a reward I could get my son to do anything." Wow, that would be controlling. The idea was canned immediately.
Then came a stark realization that you may discover lurking in your house too. If I could get my son to do anything I wanted him to do just so long as I gave him internet access so could anyone else. I was allowing my son to put a ring in his nose. Like a bull, his strong, abundantly useful self could be led anywhere by anyone. I was footing the bill for this ugly situation!
He did not appear to worship internet. He did not talk about it all the time. He really didn't live on-line or even play many games. Still when I considered how much motivation there was to have access I saw it was much to important to him.
The importance revolved around a good thing. He had made good friends. Then we moved. Now he had no one close by. When Paul speaks to young men in the Bible he mentions relationship issues almost exclusively. These are good and important at the early part of a man's life.
Yet, fear of man can be a snare. Anything that controls us: coffee, shopping or internet has got to be cut down to size.
We decided not move our internet service to the new house. We did not ban it all together. We went once a week to a coffee house to keep in touch and update a business web page.
Two things made this step easier for us. One, we did not have to turn internet service off. We simply were slow to get it installed. This was an easier pill than dramatically pulling the plug. Two, I have an online business. This was hurting me more than it was hurting him.
I know I said two, but here is a third factor - for free. We both like coffee : )
This lasted for two months. The time frame was not planned ahead of time. It just worked out that way. By the end of these several weeks we no longer heard concerns of dying without the internet. Dire isolation did not seem to be a daily threat.
We had to have some long talks with our children. Lots of topics I can't put down here. In general the solution needed to start with us. After all we are in charge here.
Why had internet become so important? There had been a time with no restrictions when use was not a problem. Those were active and engaging times. We had to take responsibility for making life in 3D, living color more interesting that a flat one at our house. We have a long way to go.
Accountability controls are important for adults and young people alike. Still the bottom line is not only where and how long we or our children use the internet but why.