Children are spending an increasing amount of time in front of screens. Whether they be computer screens, phones, or tablets, excessive use of these devices is leading to addictive behaviors in children and teenagers. The article, linked to below, describes the warning signs of addictive behavior as it relates to children having too much screen time. The symptoms of digital addiction are not so different from those associated with drug addiction. In concluding the article, the author also offers recommendations on how to fight this addiction and says that “it’s never too late” to take action. Although this article is not written from a religious perspective, the information and recommendations are appropriate for families trying to limit the sinful, worldly influences that come to us through our electronic devices.
As a committee we wanted to share this article about wireless routers. Routers serve as the “door” to let internet into your house. The router acts as the door keeper, deciding what can come in or go out for all the devices using internet in the house (even the ones you don’t know about). We typically recommend the Netgear routers that have Circle built into them like the below link. They are cost effective and relatively easy to setup with the phone app they provide. The other great thing is they alert you on your phone whenever a new device is added. Link to Netgear Router
Below is a link to an article that reviews different wireless routers including the circle router. https://protectyoungeyes.com/2020-best-wi-fi-routers-including-parental-controls/
Also here is a link to our website page with an introduction to routers. http://firstnrc.org/?page_id=871
If you have questions or would like help setting up a router, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Modern Media Committee is planning to host a workshop in the near future. We hope to meet in the basement of the Covell church on September 24, at 7:30PM. The following questions give you an idea what we can try to help with:
• Looking to purchase a device for the upcoming school year? We can give some suggestions regarding the pros and cons of Apple versus Android devices.
• Have questions about certain apps?
• Have a filter in place but wonder if it is effective?
• Looking for suggestions on how to filter home WIFI for all users?
• Would you be willing to share your challenges and successes parenting children in our current media culture?
At the workshops, we provide a packet with several different pieces of information. This can be downloaded to give you an idea of some of the things we cover: Link
If you’d like to register to attend the workshop, send an email to ModernMediaCommittee@gmail.com
If you have trouble using the links in the email, the direct link to the website is www.firstnrc.org.
“Hey.” The man’s voice was slow, slurred. “Hey. Can you help me? I’m between a rock and a hard place.” He was an older gentleman, heavy-set, with rough face and hands that betrayed a life in conditions other than kind. A few minutes earlier, it had taken two people to raise him off the sidewalk and into a park bench. Now, after having caught his breath, he was trying to talk.
“Where are you going to stay tonight?” one of the men asked.
“Well, uh, I imagine, between a rock, and, and…” his voice trailed off. He was homeless, suffering from a mental condition and the addiction to alcohol that had landed him so helpless on the ground.
The second bystander was also homeless, and knew the older man better. His explanation of the situation was enlightening.
“Don’t judge him for the alcohol. When you don’t have friends, you get lonely. When you can’t buy anything to eat, you get hungry. When winter comes, you get cold. Now, when he drinks, he isn’t lonely. He isn’t hungry. He isn’t cold.
This made sense, at least at first. Alcohol was a solution to the man, a solution that numbed the pain. But the emptiness of its claim was soon made apparent. A full tray of warm baked chicken and a box of fresh strawberries was made available, and portions offered to the homeless men. Would it be enough? It was cold, the men were homeless and lonely.
“No, thank you. I don’t need any.” That was the older man. The other ate a strawberry and a small chicken leg, but slowly, and apparently out of politeness.
They were not ungrateful. They just weren’t hungry. They weren’t lonely. They weren’t cold. They had their drink, and they could keep themselves alive day by day.
The point here is not to make homeless people look bad or ungrateful, for both those men were kind, friendly, and thankful. Rather, it is to compare ourselves to that situation. The world we live in is spiritually like the world they lived in. It is lonely – a “waste howling wilderness.” The inhabitants are cold – “the love of many shall wax cold.” It is also a place of famine – “not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.”
Do we feel this loneliness? What about the cold? Do we hunger? If not, the same can be said about us as about those two men – we “follow strong drink.” And although they could certainly lay some small claim to being “ready to perish” and therefore justified in their action, God’s Word clearly says about us “Woe unto you that are full! For ye shall hunger.”
What is the “strong drink” that we follow? What is it that numbs us to the very real and pressing need for our souls? What robs us of the instinct to ask for “food convenient for me?”
This addicting and numbing influence varies from person to person, but for very many it can be said that the temptations of technology and misuse of modern media contribute strongly to our willful and addicting blindness. The many and varied attractive aspects of these “conveniences” have fooled us into accepting them wholeheartedly into our homes with no limit or restriction.
The problem has two aspects: the introduction of evil, and the removal of good. When these temptations are accepted into our homes, we think they are to our advantage. And, in many ways, technology has proven to be very beneficial. But we jump over the potential risks, because they are not so readily seen. We may consider that they have negatives, due to the many faithful warnings, but it is less often that we understand how quickly they replace the good. Just like alcohol numbed the homeless men, so we are caught up in something we consider “partially justifiable” and the true good is quietly displaced.
Do you seek the true good? Or, do you find yourself never having enough time? For many today, technology is silently filling the place that could have been used for the things that have eternal value. Try to set aside your phone for an evening this week, and open the Bible. “For whoso findeth Me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord.”
The Entertainment Obsession a Major Driver for Obsessive Internet Usage
Rev. G.H. Kersten wrote the following prior to World War II (The Night Visions of Zechariah, Chapter 40, page 203):
The…rich and the poor… all shouted loudly, ‘Let us eat and drink and be merry!’ The standard of living soared higher and higher. Entertainment and amusement were considered indispensable necessities of life. Church attendance decreased, and attendance at theaters, dance halls, and vanity fairs increased.
This is also true in our time. Modern man generally practices a religion of having fun, and not delighting in God who is the only true and lasting happiness for a rational being. The amount and intensity of fun in an activity is the measure by which modern man measures the merit and desirability of an activity. Today we have our modern media including the internet which is often used to facilitate gratifying the passion and obsession for entertainment and fun. But sadly, there is rarely one taking heed to Christ’s declaration in John 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Without this knowledge there is no true lasting happiness and pleasure. How important it is that we take heed to the folly of gratifying ourselves with the fleeting and transitory pleasures of this perishing world! During the first century the apostle Paul wrote what is still applicable to us today even with all the social, political and technological changes that have occurred since his time, and that is:
But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away (I Cor. 7:29-31).
By nature, our desires and priorities are perverse. In light of the scriptural declaration that man is “dead in trespasses and sin” (Eph. 2:1), and that the “carnal mind is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7), this perverseness is not surprising. This fact is indicative of the necessity of the rebirth wrought in each of our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Without this our desires and priorities including our religious desires are lacking. But starting with the rebirth the Holy Spirit leads one into the truth: the truth of our deep fall, of our actual sins including the sins of our best deeds, of the righteousness and the offended justice of the Father, of the drawing power of the Father unto Christ without which no man will truly come unto the Savior (John 6:44), and of being found in Christ whereby the Father’s sword of justice can be put in its sheath and the sinner can behold His reconciled face.
May we not be satisfied until we know what David, the man after God’s own heart knew. We read of this in Psalm 16:11, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” The priorities of those that possess this desire of David will be apparent in their life including a discreet usage of the internet.
Submitted by JVZ