In this fast-paced digital era, the allure of media has woven itself into the very fabric of our society, permeating the lives of our children in ways unimaginable just a few decades ago. With the power to entertain, educate, and connect, media has undeniably become an integral part of our children’s lives.

As Christian parents, we strive to raise our children in a world that aligns with our faith, nurturing their spiritual growth while arming them with the tools to navigate the temptations awaiting them outside our homes. Yet, as we guide them through this ever-changing landscape and embrace these technological advancements, we cannot afford to underestimate social media’s profound influence on our children’s developing minds and precious souls.

In this article, we will explore five crucial ways media is meticulously shaping our children’s perception of the world and unpack their profound implications for our children’s spiritual, emotional, and psychological well-being.

Together, let us embark on a quest to understand the influence of media better and arm ourselves with knowledge and wisdom as we strive to raise strong, resilient, and God-fearing children in this rapidly transforming, media-driven world.

First: Media Is Bringing Out Negativity

5 Ways Media Is Changing Our Children

It is no surprise that most teens spend more time on their phones than doing anything else. But what really stood out to me was that when asked what their top negative influences were, 67 percent of teens answered “social media,” 41 percent said “friends,” and 40 percent said “YouTubers.”

Did you catch that? Although teens admit that social media consumption is harmful, they still willingly spend most of their free time watching YouTube videos and viewing content on social media as their entertainment of choice.

Tip: Parents should maintain open lines of communication about their teens’ feelings and experiences and find ways to encourage them.

Bible Verse: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13, ESV

Second: Media Is Fashioning Distracted Minds

Common Sense Media reports that the average daily media use of tweens (eight- to twelve-year-olds) is six hours, and the average for teens (thirteen- to eighteen-year-olds) is about nine hours. And that’s excluding the amount of time they use media for school.

Social media saturation means that teens are easily distracted and often find it challenging to focus on things that really matter. Another common trait among teens and college students is that they communicate in small, bite-size morsels of information.

Media Is Changing Our Children

Tip: Encourage your children to engage more in real-world experiences during these intervals, whether it’s a face-to-face discussion, reading a book, outdoor activities, or a hobby. Remember, whatever rules or guidelines you set, be sure to model these behaviors yourself, as children often emulate the practices of their parents. Demonstrating a healthy relationship with technology can have a constructive impact on your teens’ habits.

Bible Verse: “Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” Psalm 86:11, NIV

Third: Media Is Producing More Anxiety

While folks of any age can become addicted to social media, teens are more likely than most to obsess over what others think of them. Frantically checking online to see if people liked or commented on their posts is a way to reassure themselves that they are seen and affirmed. Many times, it isn’t about people agreeing with their points of view as much as it is seeking validation for who they are—for their very existence.

Tip: Discuss with your children the benefits and risks of social media and encourage them not to compare themselves with online personas. As a Christian parent, encouraging your children to spend time each day in prayer and reflection is a helpful way for them to spend time with God and seek His love and approval.

Fourth: Media Is Creating the Craze to Cancel Others

In the age of social media, many teens feel the need to shut down (or even “cancel”) those who say or post anything they consider offensive. Media platforms give young people a sense of power and control. So when they see something pop up in their feed that they disagree with, they believe they have a right to reply without apology.

Tip: Young people who are close to their family and accept correction from their parents are less likely to bully or shut down another person’s free speech. Establish a regular family prayer or devotion time where everyone disconnects from technology to focus on faith and each other. This cultivates bonding and creates a shared understanding of the importance of setting technology aside in favor of family connections and spiritual well-being.

Bible Verse: “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:10, ESV

Fifth: Media Is Depriving Sleep

Fifth: Media Is Depriving Sleep

If there is one thing your children need more of, it is sleep. Yet that can be pretty challenging with all the devices at their disposal. It’s not just the light from digital screens that act as a stimulus to the brain; it’s why your children remain on their devices that is the real cause preventing them from relaxing and falling asleep.

Tip: To tackle this, parents can implement a no-devices policy before bedtime to ensure a healthy sleep cycle. Make sure you are following this same advice for yourself.

Bible Verse: “In peace, I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8, NIV

I always like to remind parents not to get ahead of themselves. Media devices can affect children differently. So be patient, prayerful, and productive in setting a good example for your kids to follow regarding how to deal with social media in our lives. In time, you will see a change in them for the better.

Jason Jimenez

Jason Jimenez is the founder of STAND STRONG Ministries. He is a homeschool dad, pastor, apologist, and national speaker who has ministered to families for over twenty years. He is the author of several books, including Abandoned Faith, Stand Strong America, Stand Strong in Your Faith with Alex McFarland, and The Bible’s Answers to 100 of Life’s Biggest Questions with Dr. Norman L. Geisler. Jason’s newest book, Parenting Gen Z, will be released on October 3rd from Focus on the Family. Jason travels and speaks in churches and at conferences all over America. He and his wife, Celia, live in Charlotte, North Carolina, with their four children.