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Guest Post by Liam Garcia, a staff writer for TipsonHowToSaveMoney.com

I recently read Gary’s post about cutting down on social media for the sake of his children. He likened his social media usage to his parents’ smoking addiction. He pointed out that they quit their bad habit after they read a startling statistic: smokers tend to raise smokers. This statistic wasn’t even available until decades after smoking became a social activity.

So, if ramifications from our social activities don’t become public knowledge until after it is already commonplace, could social media become the new tobacco?

Will social media junkies raise social media junkies?

It inspired me to take a look at how I use my own social media accounts, and how it may affect my daughter. Our children mirror our behavior, whether they’re aware of it or not. If we allow social media to consume our lives, chances are it will consume our kids’ lives as well.

That’s why it’s important to set rules for your family when it comes to using the Internet. Kids now have mobile phones, tablets, and ultrabooks at their disposal. The Internet is a part of their social lives, it’s even a part of their learning. By making rules and setting limits, our kids will learn healthy practices while they are becoming active members of the world wide web.

Here are some basic rules, directed at kids and pre-teens, for safe internet usage. If you can’t eliminate Internet usage altogether, you can use these rules to craft your own family Internet agreement.

Don’t:Kids on the iPad

  • Share Personal Information
  • Share Passwords
  • Steal Copyrighted Information
  • Download Without Permission
  • Meet Someone You Met Online

Do:

  • Tell a Parent When You Feel Uncomfortable
  • Use Good “Netiquette”
  • Visit Age-Appropriate Sites
  • Use the Internet for School Research
  • Respect Your Parent’s Rules for Internet Usage
  • Discuss What You Read and See Online with Your Parents

Have Fun!

no wonder why iPhone users wanted MMS so much.I know a lot of parents who struggle to get a handle on their kids’ use of electronic gadgets. TV, PCs, games, and phones – they are a part of life, yet difficult even for adults to manage sometimes. While visiting friends the other day, I was struck by their boundaries and thought I’d pass on this little gem.

They all charge their phones downstairs and no cellular devices are allowed upstairs. So, when the kids (and adults) go to bed, they don’t take their gadgets with them. This way, all texting stops at night and everyone gets a good night’s sleep. In addition, this prevents other unsafe behaviors from occurring also.

Another friend of mine uses a good router-based Internet filter. They stop all Internet traffic after 10pm. If there is a need, a parent can unlock the filter – but this is only for emergencies, urgencies, or very special occasions.

I’m curious, how does your family manage these tools? In and of themselves, they are not evil – but they are often misused. What special precautions have you put in place – either for yourselves, or your kids?

The kids couldn’t ride with me in the truck because I couldn’t figure out how to disable the passenger-side airbag. So I got had to drive cross country by myself. I know each of the kids would have enjoyed some time in the truck, and my Wonderful Wife would have appreciated a bit of a break. I, on the other hand, really enjoy my time alone on the road. It always gives me time to process.

(this is the missing piece from last week’s post found here)

After dealing with the ordeals of liquidation, packing, moving, and leaving our Oregon life behind, I had two huge fears. First was the fear of mechanical failure in the truck and van. The other was my fear of traffic, motor vehicle crashes, and the loss of my family.

The truck was overloaded. In fact, we left several nice items behind based purely on weight (I kept thinking about all the covered wagons on the Oregon Trail that tossed out prized possessions along the journey). The radiator leaked, I wasn’t too sure about the engine – with over  250+k miles, and the rear tires don’t have much tread left on them. I was actually “OK” with a breakdown, though the prospect of unexpected financial costs were somewhat daunting. It was the fear of a catastrophic accident that frightened me – and leaving my family fatherless.

I read recently that “all emergency responders are wounded.” The PTSD is cumulative. We, paramedics, firefighters, EMTs, and police officers, see things no sane person should see – and few of us remain sane after seeing all of this. Whenever I see loved ones get into a car, a twinge of fear goes through my heart. This is the fear I had for my family driving cross country. Despite my own paranoia, driving does remain on of the most dangerous activities any of us will participate in. I never feared death until I had a family – now, I fear their deaths, and my own.

After realizing the fear and sorrow of this whole ordeal, confessing and admitting it, I was better able to hit the road – but the above fears continued to haunt me. But a few days into the journey, I experienced a breakthrough.

———————————-

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Larry Crabb speak at a conference in Denver. I was impressed with his views on community and God’s love. I bought a couple of his books and MP3 audio presentations, but due to our hectic life over the past six years, I never really took the opportunity to explore his material – until last week. After two days of driving, I pulled up the audio version of his book, Finding God.

I love the synchronicity of perfect timing. I’m sure I would have enjoyed the book before, and I’m certain it would have spoken to me, but the healing power of this book was made more powerful after the perfect storm of fear I experienced during our exodus from Oregon.

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