Internet Safety:Â Matt McKee talks about his new book, Parent Chat: The Technology Talk For Every Family. Â He gives parents some tools to help their kids stay safe and set healthy boundaries in a highly technological world.
Air Date:Â 01/10/2017
Guests: Matt McKee, Author
- WallBuilders | American historical events, founding fathers, historical documents, books, videos, CDs, tapes, David Barton’s speaking schedule.
- Parent Chat
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Â However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Â Additionally, names may be misspelled because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture! This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re discussing today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and culture. That is so important to know where you are getting your information from. And what you are basing this on. Â We talk about what is good for our family, state, and a nation. Â Where do we get those ideas? Â We get them from from a Biblical, historical, and Â constitutional perspective.
Your hosts are David Barton, America’s premier historian our founder and president here at WallBuilders, Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor, Â and my name is Rick Green, former Texas state representative.
Later on we’re going to have Matt McKee with us to talk about the book Parent Chat, the Technology Talk For Every Family. Technology and what we allow our kids to learn and get exposed to. Â And also the tools that are out there so that they can learn some good history. It’s a great way to start thinking about how we raise up that next generation to be patriots and have good, sound, Biblical worldview Patriots.
Biblically Sound Principles
You know there are some principles that go with this. Even before we talk to Matt, just think back to what the Bible teaches. Â From Biblical teaching what is the one of the most important elements of having a strong spiritual life? There’s probably several answers here. Â I’m looking for one specific list. Â See where you go with it. What are really strong elements?
Let me ask this. Â How do you define strong spiritual life?
Biblically strong. To have a Biblically sound spiritual life that conforms to what the Bible teaches and want you to have. Â Well, what is a part of that?
Thoughts Influence Actions
I mean Psalm 119. Â Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Â How can a young man keep his way pure? Knowledge, I mean –
Knowledge in the Bible, Biblical knowledge.
Yeah, I would think certainly Biblical knowledge. I think you certainly could argue relationship is a big factor. Â The reason Jesus came to restore relationship with the Father. Rick, what are your thoughts?
Yeah! And I think, of course, what we’re focused on. Â What we’re thinking on. Â All is going to influence our actions. Â Certainly is going to influence what we meditate about.
So that garbage in, garbage out thing. Â And what we allow, you know, especially with so much information coming at us today. I mean, we’ve got you know constant information overload. So really picking and choosing where that comes from.
Let me pursue yours, Rick, garbage in garbage out. Â What is some of the biggest sources for garbage coming in? Â Where”s it come in?
Through our eyes.
Yeah. And that’s the one I was hitting at. Â Because it’s a verse that people don’t think about much. Â But Jesus put a whole lot of emphasis on it. Listen to this. Â Out of the Sermon on the Mount Matthew 6:22-23 he says, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness?”
Just Window Shopping Never Works
So Jesus takes us back to the eyes. Â What comes in through the eyes. That can be what you read, what you watch. Â It could be the college textbooks you cover. Â Could be your entertainment. Â It could be the games you do. Â It could be so much stuff.
So as I started thinking about how Jesus put this emphasis on the eyes, I have to admit, I don’t recall in my lifetime many sermons I’ve heard about the eyes. And for Jesus to have put that much emphasis on it and for it not to receive more emphasis in the general Christian world today?
So I started thinking about verses. Â There”s Job 31:1 where Job says, “I’ve made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a woman.” Ok that is one control the eye. If you control the eyes then that takes care of a lot of the lust issues. Â So sexual fidelity.
There is also a Proverb says, “The eye is not content with seeing.” And that’s I”ve always advocated that you’ll never get away with just window shopping. Â Because you’ll eventually see something that you want. Â And as you start looking, you’re going to want to buy it because you don’t just stop with looking. Â It goes beyond looking.
So again the eye is the key to merchandising. Â That’s how merchandising works. They do things that are appealing to your eye. Â And if they can get you to look at their ads, even if it is something you don’t even need, you may want it.
Eyes Are The Gateway
That is so true! Especially even like, I’m a gadget guy. Â So some new gadget comes out and I know I’m going, “I don’t need to spend money on this right now but the more I look at that apple watch or whatever it is you know, the more I want it. Â And the more likely I am to go spend the money on it when I didn’t need it.”
Yeah and the eyes is the big deal on that.
Also what it says in Psalms. I think it’s 101, “I will sit no wicked thing before my eyes.”
Yeah, Psalms 101:3, “I will sit no worthless thing before my eyes. I hate the work of those who fall away. Â It will not fasten its grip on me.” And again that’s the verse Tim just gave us. Â The eyes, “I’m not going set anything worthless or wicked before my eyes.”
So even if it’s a thing that is not necessarily a bad thing, could be a good thing in other contexts. Â But because we’re letting our focus be on that, when it’s going to cause us to waste money or cause our time to be wasted or whatever, it could still be a bad thing. Â Because we typically, when we talk about the eyes and this sort of thing, we think of only those bad things we don’t need to be looking at. But sometimes it”s the good things that are getting us in trouble.
Using Time Wisely
And I would argue at that point it was often times the quantity of that. You know where Paul talks about gluttony is a problem. Â And is listed among many sins and it seems like we don’t really talk about that sin in church.
Well, why is gluttony a problem? Because it is self-gratification. Â But it’s gratification to a level beyond what is healthy. And that’s where you could argue that this worthless thought comes in, is you are taking it to a level that is no longer healthy. You are not controlling the amount of content that is coming in. And this is where the idea of all things in moderation will come in.
And Psalm 101, the verse Tim mention, “I will set no wicked thing before my eyes.” That’s King James. Â And one of the versions says, “ I will set no worthless thing before my eye.”
I was even thinking. Â I was flying back from a trip recently and I just wanted to do nothing. So I pulled out my cell phone and started playing games. I played three and half hours of games coming back.
Well, that’s pretty worthless. What did I get out of that? I could have had something good.
I know there’s downtime that goes in there. Â Even Jesus went in the wilderness at times and got away. But three and a half hours?
That’s not like looking lustfully after woman as Job talked about. Â It’s not anything wicked but it’s pretty worthless. It contributed nothing, gave nothing. Three and a half hours. I could have done maybe two and a half hours of something better like correspondents, or writing, or relationships, or anything else.
Where Technology Becomes an Issue
It’s really hard to play just one game of *** though.
But see, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. You know, I bet *** is like a Lay”s Potato Chip commercial. Â But you can’t do just one.
And that’s where Tim hit the right word, is gluttony. Â Because we can have gluttony for even things that aren’t necessarily wicked but they are kind of worthless. And that’s where technology comes in. Â It makes a lot of things available to us and high quantities that aren’t necessarily bad but they don’t do anything for you. You could be gaining some knowledge somewhere and moving forward and doing something beneficial or helping somebody else or you know whatever you want to say.
So that’s where technology really does become, I think, a big issue on this kind of stuff. And the other thing with technology. Â And Matt”s going to cover some of this. Â If you look at technology it really takes you away from relationships with people. Â Because the more time you spend on technology, the less you spend with each other.
One of the things Tim suggested there at the first was God’s into relationships. Â He wanted us to be in a relationship with him. Â But he wants us to be in relationship with each other. That’s why Hebrews 10 says, “Hey don’t neglect getting together. Â Don”t neglect the assembling of yourself together. I mean you guys make sure you get together.”
You have Proverbs 18:1 that says, “Whoever isolates himself pursues selfish ends.” It’s real easy for me to isolate myself for three and a half hours on an airplane coming back so I don’t have to talk to anybody. Â Don”t have to do anything. Â I just want to be selfish. I want everybody to leave me alone.
That’s another thing about kids and technology. The more time you do that the less relationships you build with your siblings, with your friends, with your neighbors, with your parents, with anyone at all. It’s not that it’s evil but it’s worthless. Â It”s a distraction.
You know the thing about the eye being the key. Jesus really made a big point out of that and said, “If your eye is healthy then everything is healthy. If your eye”s not healthy then you’re going to be really unhealthy.” And so from that perspective having this technology discussion that Matt”s going to talk about I think becomes really, really important.
Yeah, because a lot of this stuff is just habitual. Â You know, whatever kind of daily habits are in the moment, habits that we create. And so with our kids they’re developing those habits now. Â And certainly a lot we can do to help them develop good habits.
Even though this deals with kids, I’m going to say adults, too. You know, getting adults to unplug in this day or getting adults not to spend hours on Facebook. Facebook is not relationships, by the way. Â That’s not the same thing. The assembling of yourselves together, get yourself together with other people. That’s important stuff. Â Not isolating yourself and hanging out. Â “I’ll choose my friends and when I talk it”s in my own time. Â And it’s going to be Facebook when I want to. Â And you know that kind of stuff.”
So even though Matt’s got this great work out now to help families work through this thing it applies to adults as much as it applies to kids when it comes to technology plugging and unplugging.
No doubt about it. Matt McKee, our guest. Â Stay with us. Â You’re listening to WallBuilders Live!
Pastors Only Briefing Trip
Hi this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders and I want to encourage all the pastors out there with a unique opportunity that we’re presenting it WallBuilders. We’re doing a special tour just for pastors that you can come and learn more about the spiritual heritage of our nation. Not just seeing the sights but understanding the significance of what they are and what they represent.
We get to go to the Capitol at night. Â And we get to see the spiritual heritage of our Founding Fathers, of who we are as a nation, where we came from. We bring in congressman that will tell you about current legislation, about our religious liberties Â and freedom, and what’s going on in Washington D.C.
If you’re a pastor or if you want to recommend your pastor for this trip, you can go to our website at www.WallBuilders.com. Â And there’s a link that’s for scheduling. Â If you click on that link there’s a section for pastor”s briefing. There’s more information about the dates, when it’s going, and how it’s going to happen. If you want to know more about our nation, our religious liberties, our freedom, our spiritual heritage, this is a trip you want to be a part of.
Parent Chat, The Technology Talk For Every Family, by Matt McKee
Welcome back. Â Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live.
Our guest today is the author of Parent Chat The Technology Talk For Every Family. Matt McKee, thanks for coming on, Sir.
Thank you, Sir! Really do appreciate it.
Hey, looks like this book came out of personal need. Â You noticed you needed it in your own family. Â And realized every one of us needed as well.
Well, you know it’s not surprising. Â You give a kid a device and they are always two clicks away from adult material. Â That’s what happened in my home. The way I found out about it was two and a half years ago I asked my son, and It wasn’t even a technology question. Â It was just a question. “What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen recently?” His answer was, “Dad did know that sometimes Superman and Wonder Woman take off their clothes?” And I go, “Whoa! Whoa! Â You’re nine. Â You”re nine years old! You shouldn”t know that.”
Like that’s not what you want as a dad or a parent. And that’s what set me down this path. That’s helped me get on board with a company, a bunch of other things to say, “We need to be able to help parents out.”
Tell us a little bit about what Circle With Disney is.
Kids Know Technology Better Than Most Parents
So Circle With Disney, USA Today came out and said, “It’s one of the top tech toys of 2016.” Which is really cool! But what it is. Â It’s a device for parents where they put it into their home, connect it to their Wifi. Â And it gives them the ability to put bedtimes time, time limits, and even filter the Internet for their kids.
So it helps keep their kids safe online. Â And it does it in the most simple way possible. You don”t have to have software that goes on all the devices. Â You just need this little box.
Gotcha. So now back to the book itself. Â What you’re trying to get across to parents is how to bring this up. Â How to talk to their kids about this. Â But also then some safe steps in the family as well?
Yeah definitely. I mean most parents I talk to they come to this topic of technology in a very fearful way. Â And they’re fearful because they look at their kid who’s 9, 10, 16, whatever years old and they go, “They know a lot more about technology than I do.”
That can be. Â That can be fearful. Â Because you”re like as a parent, Â “It’s my job to know more.” In this realm and in this subject if I can get parents to just ask the question, “Hey,can you teach me how? Can you teach me how that app works? Can you teach me how that device works? Can you teach me how you”re using the X-box, WII, or whatever that is?” Then it builds a relationship with their child in a way that it gets the parent not to be fearful anymore but actually hopeful. And if we can move parents from fearful to hopeful then I believe we”re going to win.
What do you think the goal is? In a typical family, what’s a healthy amount of of technology to have your kids engaged in on a daily basis?
How To Set Limits
If we can get parents to unplug. I mean really. Â It’s one of those things that we have to understand. Just as humans– is just because the Internet is connected, doesn’t mean we have to be. So if we can at least come to dinner, unplug, and say, “During this time, I don’t care about phone calls, or if Snapchats come in, and I don’t care what it is. Â This is our time as a family. This is our time that we”re going to be able to connect.”
So that’s step one. Two, being able to understand how much time that you’re spending on the Internet. Because here’s what happens. Â You go to Facebook and you think, “I just want to say happy birthday. Â Happy birthday to an old friend.” Two and a half hours later, “How in the world did I end up here looking at this stupid video and it’s not even something I even wanted to do.”
It kind of sucks you in. So even putting time limits on adults, not just kids, I think is going to be a huge step.
So those different things are in place in all families. For us, we say, “No matter what. Â No matter how you connect to the internet, you’re not going to have more than an hour of YouTube a day.” Now you might be going, “ Wow, an hour. Â That seems like quite a bit.”
Well, you know in reality it’s taken the place of TV. Â And you wouldn”t want your son and daughter to watch more than an hour of TV. So, put it all together and at least that’s a good start. So some people are going to go, “That still seems like too much.” Â Well, congratulations. Â That just made me a better parent than I am. Or it may mean at least you have a starting point.
When To Set Boundaries
I totally agree with you there. An hour is an achievement. Â If you can if you can keep it all limited to to an hour. With the book, you’re going through how to talk to kids about this and how to set things up. What age range would you say the book is applicable for as parents in terms of what age their kids are?
So I believe it starts with the time that you’re going to give your kid a cell phone. Now that’s going to vary. It”s crazy. Â The stats that we’re seeing is more eight year olds will have a cell phone by the time 2017 ends, than those that don’t.
So if you’re parent of a 7 year old and you’re even thinking about this. Â Or you’re like, “Ok, it’s coming.” So I would say parents of 7-16 year olds, that’s kind of prime target. Â Prime area for the bug.
The whole analogy truly is when you’re looking at you know 16 year olds getting a car. Â The same principles, the same conversations, all those same things are going to happen when you introduce technology in a freeway or at least a freedom way to kind of come into that child’s life.
So there’s different safeguards you’re going to need to have. Â There’s different conversations you’re going to need to have. And there’s even a cell phone agreement that I’d like to say that I want you to use. Â And that’s just really saying, “Ok this is your permit time. Â Just like you have a permit time when you get your license. Â And then there’s going to be a driving time when you get your license. But we’re going to put curfews on you. Â So you know, you come home after 10:00 and we’re take away the keys.” Â Or whatever that looks like in the same way. Â It’s going to go with cell phones is the same way it is going to go with technology.
Too Much Of A Good Thing?
You know one of the challenges we have is we homeschool and a lot of our schooling stuff is done on the same technology devices, iPads, phones, and different things for videos. Â And keeping notes and and that sort of thing. Â Any recommendation there?
I”ve got one kid. It’s always like, “Oh no, Dad. I need it for all this good stuff.” So finding that balance. Â Because you still need to get unhooked from an unplugged. Â Even if you’re using it for good things, obviously.
One of the bigger things that you will see and one of the big push backs it will be, “I use my cell phone for an alarm clock. Â So I leave my cell phone in my room all night long so that it can wake me up at 8:00 a.m.”
And parents go, “Oh yeah. I mean that’s very reasonable.” Or you could go to the you know Five And Below store and buy them an alarm clock for a few dollars. Â And put that in the room and say, “Congratulations! Your phone is going to plug in in the kitchen where all of our other devices do.”
And even in your case, you know homework is one of those times that you said, “If they could only get to the sites that I want them to get to be able to do homework. Â Then you know we could track all the other stuff.” And the great news is that’s a feature that will be coming out very soon in Circles.
So Q1 of next year, you’ll be able to say as a parent these are the sites that they need for homework. Everything else is going to be turned off. Â And that way you know they’re doing homework. Â And it’s going to give you a step ahead there as well.
Cool! Â Cool! Good stuff.
All right. Â So Matt for getting the book, ParentChat.com? Â Best place to get it?
Yes. It is on ParentChat.com. Â Of course it’s on Amazon. Â Or you can walk into almost any bookstore in the world and say you want the book. Â And they’ll say, “Ok, we’ll have it to you tomorrow.” I mean that’s the beauty of technology today and where we are. So there you go. It”s not too bad.
Alright, cool. Â Good stuff.
ParentChat.com. Â Â We will have a link today at WallBuilders.com to make it easy for you. Matt, really enjoyed visiting with you! Come back join us again soon!
Stay with us folks! Be right back with David and Tim Barton.
Chasing American Legends
If you ever wonder if it’s over for America. Â Can we restore those constitutional principles that made our nation great? Then we want to encourage you. Â We want to show you some evidence of how it can be done. We want to show you the evidence behind what made America great in the first place. And we want to have some fun while we’re doing it.
It’s called Chasing American Legends. It’s our special television program that follows the Green family around the nation investigating myths and legends about America. Â And it’s amazing what we have found and what we’ve discovered. Dove Channel is now airing Chasing American Legends and we want you to check it out.
We’ve got a link today at WallBuildersLive.com so you can find out more about Chasing American Legends, airing now on the Dove Channel. We’re going to take you and march with the minutemen for the re-enactment of April 19th, 1775. That shot heard around the world. Take you to investigate the battles that George Washington was in.
All kinds of great episodes. Â Check it out right now at DoveChannel.com. Â Give our family a chance to inspire yours. We know we can give you some hope of the future of our nation. Check it out. Chasing American Legends at DoveChannel.com
DVD On Common Core
Hi friends! This is David Barton of WallBuilders. The current condition of education in America is abysmal. Not only is educational achievement plummeting, but every year, some 19 percent of high school seniors who graduate is completely illiterate. They can”t read at all but it was not always this way.
For generations, we taught students how to think. But after the progressives took over education in the early 20th century, things began to radically change. Education shifted from thinking to learning, which made the emphasis on the teachers rather than the students. And that elevated indoctrination above knowledge.
At that time, progressives also made massive changes in the way we tested students. They extended school from 8 to 12 years. They introduced graded education and they added compulsory education. Statistics prove that these changes have harmed education rather than helped it. And now the progressives are pushing common core.
In our new DVD on common core, we give you eight reasons why this current approach is so dangerous to our kids and our culture. We also show you an amazing history of education. So get this new DVD at WallBuilders.com.
Unplugging from Social Media
Welcome back. Â Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Back with David and Tim.
Now, thanks to Matt McKee for coming on. Â We”ll have a link to his article and his organization there on our website today at WallBuildersLive.com. David, you were right. Â Before we went to the break, and Matt even mentioned it as well, the whole Facebook thing and why this is good for adults to pay attention to this as well.
I mean, he’s right. Â You get on there just check your messages in two and a half hours later you go, “I can’t believe I watched all those videos. I can”t believe all this I checked. Â What was I thinking?” Â And it does go by so fast. Â So trying to unplug is a good thing to do.
We”ve even talked about in our family just how easy it is to get distracted from even a meaningful conversation. You feel that buzz when the text comes through or whatever. Â And mentally you’re shifted away from that conversation to check that text. We think we’ve got to check everything immediately.
We were talking about that the other day going, “ Wait a minute. Â Why do we think we’ve got to respond immediately? Â Let’s just leave the phone down. Â Finish our conversation and be invested in each other or kids or whoever we’re talking to. Â And then check the messages after it’s over?”
The Dangers of Accessibility
It’s one of the things that is interesting, Rick. Â With the millennial generation especially it is deemed an insult if you do not respond right away. That somebody has a problem. Â They have an offense. Â They don’t like you, if you don’t respond quickly. But it’s part of the culture that has been created with technology.
But you know one of the things that was really flabbergasting to me was the beginning of your interview when he was explaining that his 9 year old son said, “Well, you know the one thing I learned is that Superman takes his clothes off.” And I just thought, “Woah! Â Like I can’t even hardly process what we are even talking about at this moment.”
But in the midst of the fact that we want to unplug and get away sometimes and have a break from technology, invest in relationships. We also sometimes forget how accessible things are today and especially for parents.
We are used to the routine of our world. Â And we forget that for young people growing up their world is all about explore and discover. And so they are going to explore and discover. Â And now with the world of accessibility they are going to pursue and look at things. Â Not always even in bad intent and a bad heart. Â But it’s something that we have to be much more aware of the boundaries that we need to put up to protect those young eyes. Â In the midst of obviously putting parameters and limits and boundaries and even the timeframe that is spent there. Â But also helping guard based on the content that is there. Â Because there is so much accessibility, so easily to content that is not what we want our kids looking at.
It”s a good place to say, “Hey, remember for entertainment there’s Vitt Angel?” You know we had those guys not long ago. And that’s a great source to be able to get stuff. So there’s ways of being able to control that.
But at the same time probably, the line that I text most frequently in my text and messages is, “Please forgive me and my tardiness in getting back to you.” Because I just refused to be run by it. Because it may take me two or three days to get back to a congressman or senator of all people.
Well, it’s going to be on my time. And that technology is not going to run me. And so I literally, during the day I keep my phone turned on silent. Â And I keep the vibrate turned off so that I don’t even know when it goes off. I’ll get around to one if that’s my time and not when it demands it of me.
And so it’s taking control over those things. Â And you can’t be run by technology. It’s what Jesus said about the Sabbath. Â It’s not that man was created for the Sabbath, Sabbath was created for man. Same with technology. Â Man was not created for technology. Â Technology is created to serve man. And we’ve got to get the right priorities. Â And we especially have to get that to our kids. It”s absolutely amazing. How much time is being spent with young kids and how advanced they are in technology right now.
It is pretty funny too. Â You see some of these memes on social media on Facebook and other places when it talks about kids this generation will never know the struggles we had. Â It shows one of those old Nokia, not even— before the flip phones. You have the pull antenna. Â And you couldn’t even text. Then you get texting, but then one button would have four letters and you have to cycle through the letters.
Well, it used to be phones were much more for the purpose of a phone. It was for communication. And now phones are much more for entertainment than anything else. Â Which is one of the reasons it’s so hurtful to sometimes meaningful relationships. Â Because you are distracted by entertainment instead of investing in the value of relationships with real people. Â And so also helping communicate to to our family, to our kids, the next generation that this is a device for your benefit not to run your life.
What we”ve got to do is just bring back the brick phone. The big old thing that felt like you were lifting weights when you lifted it up to your ear.
Well folks, thanks for listening today! Thanks to Matt McKee for joining us as well. We appreciate you listening to WallBuildersLive!