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How to be a good friend and a techie!

“a kind mouth multiplies friends, and gracious lips prompt friendly greetings. Let your acquaintances be many, but one in a thousand your confidant…” Sirach 6:5-6

At Family Honor, you’ve learned about what it means to be a good friend and how to love as Christ loves. You learned about the importance of recognizing your true worth and building positive self-esteem in your relationships with family and friends. We do that through communicating with each other, and we have so many ways to communicate! Think about how communication has changed over the years.

“In my days we didn’t have Facebook. We had phone book, but you wouldn’t spend an afternoon on it…” –Betty White

Your grandparents used letters and the telephone. Your parents used letters and the telephone and then learned about something called e-mail. You have many, many more options. Cell phones, texting, Instant Messaging, Facebook. All of these are tools to help you keep up with your friends. They’re not good or bad—they’re tools. But like any tool, you can use it in a good or bad way. Look at the passage from Sirach and consider these two points:

“a kind mouth multiplies friends”. Who doesn’t want good friends? That means we have to be kind to those we talk to both face to face and on our phones or computers.

“let your acquaintances be many, but one in a thousand your confidant”. It’s good to know lots of people, but it’s important to be careful how many you take into your confidence. Just like you don’t tell all your acquaintances every detail of your life, you don’t share all these details on Facebook.

Sharing is good – but sharing online can be dangerous!

At Family Honor we talk about how you are closer to some friends than others. Anything that you say on the internet can be seen by anyone. Just like we wouldn’t share personal details about our lives with our entire class or sports team, we shouldn’t share personal details on-line for a few reasons

First of all, it’s dangerous. Consider this video: Bluefish TV

It’s very easy for people to get information about you based on what you share on-line.

  • Never share your whole name, school, age, phone number or address.
  • Never send pictures to strangers or post pictures where strangers could view them.
  • Keep your passwords private.
  • Keep your Facebook Profile private, don’t add friends of friends. Only people you actually know.

Click for Shannon’s story:

Standing up for friends and standing up to friends!

“A kind mouth multiplies friends”: St. Dominic Savio was a student in Italy who died at the age of 15. He saw a fight start on a playground and interrupted the two boys about to fight, holding a crucifix, saying, “Before you fight, look at this and say, ‘Jesus Christ was innocent and he died forgiving his murderers. I am a sinner, and I am going to hurt him by not forgiving my enemies’. Then you can start—and throw the first stone at me.” The fight disbanded.

Like St. Dominic Savio, we have to stand up to our friends when they are about to fight. Only now, fights take place on-line just as much as they take place on the playground. We can’t control what other people say, but we can control what we say. What we do has lasting consequences. We need to remember this before we send any texts or add any comments on Facebook.

Remember Delete, Block, Report

  • Delete people’s numbers or profiles if they’re not being nice.
  • Block them or unfriend them. You can’t control what others say but you can control whether to read or watch them.
  • Report. If you see someone saying something by text or on Facebook that isn’t nice, tell an adult. You can’t do it all alone! Talk to your parents about things you see on-line that seem strange to you.

This is also important to remember if you are allowed to send text messages. Consider:

  • Texts are not private – they can be saved, forwarded and shared.
  • Text Messages are “drama-factories” because they are easy to misread! Expressions and tones of voice are very hard to determine in a text message. For example, read these phrases and think of how many different ways they could be said:
  • Text Messages are “drama-factories” because they are easy to misread! Expressions and tones of voice are very hard to determine in a text message. For example, read these phrases and think of how many different ways they could be said:
  1. “What are you doing here?”
    (WHAT are you doing here? What are YOU doing here? What are you DOING here…)
  2. “I never said you stole the money.”
    (I NEVER said you stole the money. I never said YOU stole the money. I never SAID you stole the money.)
  3. “I helped my uncle chase off the horse.”
    (Is your uncle named Chase? Or did you chase away a horse?)
  4. “I’ve been shooting a wedding.”
    (With a gun or a camera?)
  5. “That was sick”.
    (Infirm? Or incredibly cool?)

You say so much based on your inflection and tone. A lot of misunderstandings take place when you communicate in just one dimension. Use text messaging to confirm things like times and locations but when you have to discuss thoughts, ideas and feelings make a call and save yourself the drama of being mis-read.

When you have to discuss thoughts, ideas and feelings make a call and save yourself the drama of being mis-read.

Any pictures you take with your phone can be sent, forwarded or even stolen off your phone. Don’t keep pictures sent to you if they’re not something you’d want the whole world to see.

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philipians 4:8.

Use the Chastity Tips from your program book as a guide and ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I presenting myself as a total person – all my SPICE petals or spokes?
  • Am I being pure in thought, word and action when using technology?
  • Am I showing respect, reverence and restraint when I express myself online or by phone?

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