Discussing Internet Safety with Young People

Contributed by: Lorna Gray, National Youth Facilitator

Most young people don’t see the internet as something they engage in; rather it is a vital part of everyday living – like electricity is. Phones aren’t a luxury in their minds but an essential part of life. Here are some questions that may be helpful in helping young people consider their faith journey in the midst of all this.

1. What do you get out of it when you play… (this game, watch this clip, surf youtube, listen to that, use that app)?

2. What are you learning about yourself?  Others?  How do you feel like you are growing?

3. What are you learning about God as you use your phone, game or surf the net? If you aren’t learning about God, what are you doing to do to balance things so you have space to grow with Him too? How many apps are on your phone? How many apps help you grow or connect with God? If you haven’t got any, here are some cool ones. Spend some time loading some together onto your phones. There are heaps – here is a small range to choose from:

  • Engage: Scripture Union’s audio bible with daily questions and closing prayer.
  • YouVersion: Daily verses sent out (can be in a picture form). Can be used individually and can also create your own group.
  • iDisciple: Devotion, Scripture and worship all together.
  • Bible Lens: Take a photo and the app connects it to a scripture that matches.
  • Dwell: Audio bible verses.
  • Common Prayer: Daily scriptures and prayers with responses (for morning, noon, night).

Do you listen to Podcasts? What ones? Check out Twenty-One Elephants

4. The things you do online – encourage them to think these things through:

  • How do they make you feel about yourself?
  • What do they teach you about violence or values and consequences?
  • How ‘dark’ is it and how do you feel afterwards?
  • Do you feel you’re becoming or growing to be more like Jesus?