Thursday, February 2, 2012

Finding Balance: What is Real?

Years ago there was an LDS video called What is Real?  It was about a father worrying about his newborn daughter and what she was going to face in her life and how he was going to protect her.

When this video was made, which was state of the art at that time, (early 1990's), the focus was on bad friends, drugs,and  alcohol. I don't mean to minimize how serious these concerns are.  They are still on the short list.  BUT technology and how fast and accessible and addictive it is, is What is Real  right now.

I am so inspired by the Ensign magazine.  I  L.O.V.E it!  While I was waiting in the orthodontist office I read this article in the February 2012 issue:

How applicable and needed is this article!!  At least that is what I was thinking the whole time I was reading it.

As far as parents go, I am about as normal as normal gets.  My kids spend way too much time on facebook in my opinion.  They are also really into You tube videos that I have mixed feelings about.  Some are really funny I admit, and others super inspirational.  It has its mix,  but my husband and I are worried about all the other garbage on there that usually pops up on the side-bars.

Maybe you can relate to some of that.

I am concerned how much time by girls spend on facebook. Maybe it is more of a girl thing as we as females are naturally have more social needs. We don't have issues with our Wii at all.  It is there, and we like it, but they never think of playing it unless friends come over.  Moms of boys seems to have more problems with video games and regulating that.  I don't know if that is a true stereo-type or not.  Just an observation. 

We have tried many different rules and regulations to keep face-book under control. I noticed it was taking that WAY too long to do homework because they would flip to facebook every few minutes. Ya, see my issues?

 We only have one computer in the house which is in our kitchen area, so whenever they are on, we are aware of it.  That helps. 

My main concern, and this if for myself although there is good in facebook and most technology, it is going extremely fast, and I am worried if I can keep my children spiritually grounded, tuned in, and safe.

Here is what we have tried:
  • giving them a day that they can be on facebook
  • setting a timer
  • putting little sticky notes on the computer "Computer is off limits today"
  • Yelling: "Get off the!" 
  • Teaching them correct principles of WHY
  • etc...
If I had to pick the post effective ones, I would say setting the timer and teaching them principles has been the least contentious and most effective.

I am always up for inspiration and revelation on this subject.  I know my example is very important, so I have to watch myself too.  I do so much on the computer from preparing for young women lessons (huge), e-mail, face-book, and just basic research on products I buy, some shopping, photo editing, and blogging ; ), etc.  Your list is probably very similar.  It is kind of taking over my life! 

The more time we spend in front of a computer screen, the more desensitized we feel to the real world going on  behind our backs.  Face-book is extremely addicting if we constantly check it.

It is a place where we feed that side of us the yearns to be noticed, appreciated, and validated.  We all love and need to be noticed...and face-book is great for that.  See the addiction?  It is not bad, we just have to make sure we are grounded in the real world more than we are in the virtual world.

How do we find the balance on what is real?  How do we stay safe, grounded, and stay tuned in to our Heavenly Father?
Elder Bednar gave a must read talk at a CES fireside called Things as They Really Are

Here is a short You Tube Video that goes along with this talk

 2 questions to ask ourselves in the use of the various technologies-
  1. Does it invite or impede the Holy Ghost?
  2. Does it impede or restrict your capacity to live, love, and to serve
Staying connected to our Heavenly Father and our Family--that is what is real!