I saw this graphic posted today on Download Youth Ministry – with all the discussion lately we’ve had with teens and internet usage (and on being a “Digital Disciple“), we should remember that there is a point of “too much”.  It’s our responsibility as parents and leaders to make sure that students aren’t addicted to the Internet.  There’s more to life than surfing and chatting. There’s a great, wide world out there, and without a chance to go see it, students won’t be able to form the life experiences and stories they need in order to be effective witnesses (or effective people!)

That said, here are some of my thoughts on the infographic:

  • The average teen spends between 14 and 19 hours / week online.  That number is half of some of the studies I’ve found, and looking at some of the sources, the data may be a bit old.
  • 50% of students have 3 devices that can access the internet.  10% have five.  Usually that breaks down to a family computer, a personal laptop, a smartphone, a tablet, and the TV / Gaming system.  I’m adding the last bit because while a lot of modern TVs still don’t have internet access, wifi ready Blu-Ray players and gaming systems are cheap and can access multiple media outlets.
  • I see a lot of talk in this infographic about using social media to replace face-to-face.  While I agree to a certain extent, I also realize that’s sort of the point behind it all.  Social media allows us to connect instantly with friends and peers.  There does need to be a balance, but by calling that a symptom it’s missing the point completely.

Look it over, and let me know what you think.  You can’t go wrong with a bit of open communication on this subject!