I recently wrote an article about the internet and teen girls for SYM. Here’s what I learned while preparing for that article. I think the internet is a gift to us (and by us I mean youth workers), connecting with students has never been easier. I think it’s safe to say with every gift comes a fine line is which a gift can become a dangerous tool of the enemy. This definitely true of the internet.
Girls are now more vulnerable than ever to gossip/bullying, to sexual predators, and allure of sin online. As youth workers we need to know the statistics and we need to be willing to have an open dialogue with our students even if it makes us (or them) blush.
Also, we can be a gift to the parents in our ministry by educating them about the teen culture online.
Here are a few statistics that I found with a google search ( oh the irony!):
1 in 6 girls girls are victim to online cyberbullying. (Currently 13 states have passed or proposed laws against it).
1 in 5 teens have been solicited for sex last year (Only 25 percent of the youth who were approached told a parent).
1 in 8 youth ages 8-18 discovered that someone they were communicating with online was an adult pretending to be much younger
47% of teens post pictures online for others to see without any privacy settings.
More than 11 million teens regularly view porn online (and this just isn’t a boy’s issue anymore).
Students need to know that our faith impacts our internet usage- and they need you to help them to understand. So, it’s time to start talking about it.
Finally, brothers (sisters), whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8