“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16, ESV
The world has transformed over the last century. Incrementally, gradually, with blips of notice and adjustment, we’ve navigated our busy lives. Technological change led the way.
A few go off the grid, rejecting a life of constant change and motion.
Some of us take a while to catch on to one innovation or another but don’t know enough about traps that shift shape with the wind.
Many of us roll along with the lava rush, embracing the most recent innovations.
All too often those caught up in that flow are kids who don’t have the needed skills to protect themselves.
Children and teens haven’t experienced life before the explosion of change. Those born at the onset of this century have only a foggy recollection of life without social media, without information, entertainment, and connection at their fingertips.
To them the world seems as if it’s always been this way, constantly shifting.
Mental health for youths, already in crisis pre-COVID, accelerated downward during the pandemic. Now, schools are suing social-media platforms over alleged damage to students’ psyches. Groomers lurk behind innocent-looking deceptions.
Ryan Kingensmith of shapethesky.org says younger kids don’t have the skills needed to avoid internet ills. The older they are when they engage in electronic socialization, the better. Even so, he doesn’t recommend that parents prohibit screens for younger kids altogether, but rather teach children how to handle technology responsibly as they grow.
“Kids have the knowledge to use technology, but sometimes lack the wisdom to use it responsibly. Adults have the wisdom to be responsible users, but sometimes lack the knowledge to use technology.”
Shape the Sky’s website says, “There’s a disconnect between how adults think children use social media and how they actually use it.”
The wry insight of Mark Twain tells us, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
To be as wise as serpents, we must understand the magnitude of the internet creature that is such a threat to minds, souls, and bodies of the innocent. We must understand the reality kids face.
We must realize the reality that our “adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” I Peter 5: 8, ESV
He seeks us. He seeks our children.
Resources like Shape the Sky help us perceive the reality around us to help protect the naive, the ones caught in the lava flow of innovation that kills innocence.