The online world brings us entertainment, research, socialization, and communication.  What valuable contributions!  However, violence, pornography, hate, predators, isolation, and commercialism present real challenges and dangers to our children and youth.

Raising youth in the Catholic faith is challenging.  Once the culture supported people in their faith practices.  However, the current cultural environment often sees religion as irrelevant, or worse, with hostility!  As a result, caring adults and parents can feel alone trying to nurture faith in the next generation.

With all its promise, the internet and its connecting apps challenge parents and adults who desire a Christian outlook for children.  So what are we to do in the face of voices and attitudes that can be detrimental to our youth’s moral, psychological, and spiritual growth? 

Consider each of these for starters:

  • Bringing your Catholic faith to these concerns is critical.  Any technology should enhance our relationship with God and our reverence for each other.
  • Digital safety is not about stalking youth to find out what they are doing online.  Of course, oversight is essential and part of our role as adults, but the real emphasis is having a healthy dialogue with youth about the appropriate use of technology.
  • No technology, app, or parental control substitutes for active, involved, and loving youth guidance.  You are the most effective tool in helping youth navigate the online world!  Your wisdom and experience are desperately needed.
  • Remember, you already have resources to support children and young people using technology: your maturity, concern, and your Catholic faith.

You may not feel up to the challenge of helping your parish’s parents, children, and youth.  Remember, you don’t need to be a technical guru to help; your involvement and concern matter. 

Download an Online Safety Prayer

Jim Connell
Digital Learning and Technology Specialist

Credit: Material in this post is based on and adapted from “If You Don’t Read Anything Else, Then at Least Read This.”

Image by Concord90 from Pixabay