We’ve seen a lot of criminal cases being reported on the news involving Facebook. The most recent one being a call center agent who was allegedly stabbed to death by her boyfriend whom she met on Facebook. There was also another report of a film director who was also stabbed multiple times by a friend he met on Facebook. In fact a report came out saying that 100,000 crimes were linked to Facebook in 2010. A lot of people are putting the blame on the social networking site. However it’s more than that. I believe that it has to do more with the values that are taught to the youth that leads to cases like this.
I was listening to Paolo Bediones’ radio show a few days ago on 92.3 NewsFM and he interviewed a couple of students and asked them why do they think the youth go into Facebook, meet strangers, and end up going to eyeballs to physically see each other. What was the answer? The terms exploration, love, boredom, and flattery came up. They were “open” to the idea!
On the other hand we have another group of kids who also guested on a different radio station and were interviewed. They had a totally different perspective. They said they wouldn’t dare meeting strangers online, even more in real life because they knew it was dangerous. They knew it wasn’t safe. They didn’t feel “secure”. One student said she was too lazy and she was okay to just stay at home.
Then it hit me — “okay to just stay at home”.
You can only do so much in protecting your kid’s account on Facebook. You can tinker with all of the security settings on your computer, buy a high-end router to configure which websites can be accessed on what times, and maybe even just ban them from Facebook. However if the kids don’t find that love, that feeling of security and fulfillment at home, they will look for it somewhere else. If not on Facebook they will go out and try to find it in school or some other place. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t look into online security, you definitely should! However it should only come second to fully loving your kids and spending a lot of time with them.
Here’s something that I learned during the last service at Victory Greenhills that parents (and soon-to-be-parents) should take to heart:
For children quality time is quantity time.
Spend as much time as you can with kids especially while they’re young. Invest as much as you can in their character formation so that when they grow old they know what’s wrong and what’s right.
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. – Proverbs 22:6