Before you read go ahead and say that title five times as fast as you can. You know you want to try.
Two weeks ago I preached the final message of a series called, “The Timeless Family.”
The last week was dedicated to children, parents, and fathers. I used Ephesians 6:1-4 and verse 4 in particular as the text for the subject. This is how it reads, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
I spent quite a while running down a long list of ways one could possibly provoke their children to anger. Many of the ways I mentioned in the sermon were shared in Mark Driscoll”s post, “7 Ways Fathers Provoke Their Children.”
In the months leading up to the sermon I had already been confronted with a possible way of provocation almost daily. It was staring me right in the face everytime I scanned posts on facebook. I am at the age now in which almost all of my friends are in the same stage of life. It seems as if we all have young children. Kids do and say funny things that you want to share with the world. Television capitalized on this very subject years ago by producing the show, “Kid”s Say the Darndest Things.” There is truth in that statement.
Kids are cute and you want the world to see your darling child. Yet do we spend time to think of the disservice we are doing them and possibly us by the posts we make of our children on social media?
Most of the funny, cute, or embarrassing posts about children are usually accompanied by photos illustrating the event described. This process of picture posting to social media is quite unique to our culture. This was not done on a wide scale by the generations before us because they did not have the platform we do without the use of social media.
Each day I scroll through online casinos my feed
and come upon the photos in question. One picture I saw recently was of a child in the tub playing with a new toy. His bare bum out there for all the parent”s network to see. Family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and considering the possible privacy settings, absolute strangers of the world. I realize the mother considered this scene very cute. I understand. I have a child too. However, I think we need to consider our children”s future feelings in our post-happy generation. I would venture to ask the question to any parent that posts a photo and phrase about their child, “would you want that to be posted about you?”
I am afraid we may see the children of the social media generation grow up to be adversely affected by postings. I believe post-happy parents may experience backlash from the flippancy of posting choice pictures of their children. The kids will either grow to be very vain because they have had their pictures posted everywhere. Or they will be exasperated at the possible embarassment caused by the postings. When your children cry or pout or do something to get in trouble or are even naked in the bath tub, be sensitive to them. These situations can be cute photo ops for the family album, but not for the world. One day they may not feel the same way you do. They may not consider what you thought was cute and innocent as shareable with the world.
You may possibly scoff at this now. You may even be a little ticked at me, but this is just one pastor”s opinion and admonition.
Be careful of the quantity and the quality of what you post of your child.