Who wants me?
Dr. Kathy Koch says this is a question connected to one of our five core needs – that of belonging.
“It’s a legitimate need wired into us by God as our Creator. And it needs to be met in people who are trustworthy, and on our side, and for us.”
In her book Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World, Kathy says many teens are turning to technology and media to satisfy this need, which can be dangerous. The result is a generation that feels inadequate, lonely, and undefined without a strong ongoing connection to media.
We can reverse this by reminding our children who they are in Christ.
“The more we know about who we are, and the healthier our identity is, the healthier our belonging will be.”
How can we know if our teens, or even ourselves, are addicted to media? Kathy names some things to watch for.
• If you struggle to ignore your phone for extended periods of time, you might be addicted.
• If you check social media first thing in the morning, you might be addicted.
• If you feel pressure to engage on Facebook or Twitter in order to be accepted, you might be addicted.
What can we do if we recognize an unhealthy attachment? Kathy suggests a technology fast. Parents should have an honest conversation with their kids and if needed, take the phone or laptop away.
This can send a number of strong messages.
“You can survive without technology.”
“Your real friends don’t care that you weren’t on social media today.”
“You didn’t miss out on ‘liking’ that many posts.”
It’s a tricky subject to address. But Kathy says many kids have come to her and admitted that they like themselves better when they’ve spent time in face-to-face relationships.
It’s a powerful truth – and one that starts with us.
“When we can look at ourselves and say “I am God’s regardless of how active my social media account is,” we’ll have an identity that is secure when different fads and waves of technology pass through culture.”
Featured Songs: The Maker by Chris August; Glow in the Dark by Jason Gray; Live Forever by Matthew West