For the saints of the Church, raising our children responsibly and instructing them in the ways of the Lord is our chief responsibility. When it comes time to give your child a cell phone, it’s important to take St. John Chrysostom’s words to heart. Don’t simply give them the phone. Rather, teach them responsible and appropriate uses. Engage them in an ongoing dialogue. Help them cultivate good habits.
Our use of technology should be consistent with our Christian faith. Our digital communications and the content we create and share should all be positive examples to others. That isn’t always the case. Sometimes, we may use the gift of technology—accidentally or on purpose—in inappropriate ways. As Christians, we need a guideline to help us determine if our intended actions are consistent with or run contrary to our faith.
St. Basil's imagery of the honeybee is a model of how we should view and use pop culture and media today. Just as St. Basil urged Christians to embrace the truths of the Greek Philosophers but reject falsehood and immorality, so too should we embrace truths and positive values portrayed in contemporary movies, music, and literature while rejecting those things that run counter to our Christian faith and values.
Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan is a model for our online behavior. Jesus’ timeless lessons of love and compassion toward our neighbor should also guide our attitude about bullying. We should avoid attacking, hurting, or embarrassing someone else. Always think about the consequences of forwarding texts, emails, or videos. But our responsibility doesn’t stop there. Loving our online neighbor means reporting injustices and comforting those who are injured—just as the Good Samaritan. Anyone we encounter online is as much a neighbor to us as the injured man was in the parable.