“Media for Mission and Children” – 2019 CML Mandya Theme
CML Mandya has declared “Media for Mission and Children” as the theme for the year 2019. As we know, mission activity is not a choice, it is an obligation to us. There are various ways to do mission activities. In this modern age of Internet, the theme of the year encourages us to use the power of the modern technologies to proclaim the gospel.
The Bible demonstrates that even God uses various “Media” in order to communicate with man. Sometimes through burning bushes,
Sometimes through dreams,
Sometimes through different individuals.
During pentecost, through the tongues of fire!
Jesus is the supreme communicator.
He used parables,
Gave sermons on the mount,
Washed the feet of Apostles;
He used different ways to send across his message, in a format that was well suited at that time.
Since the impact of the social media is high on this new generation and its reach is very broad, the Holy Spirit inspires us to use the social media to proclaim the Gospel.
Media For Mission
We can do many things through social media. For example, explaining the Bible in our own way, sharing our faith related life experiences, highlighting the life’s of saints as role models, organising and participating in group prayers, collecting various resources and distributing it to mission centres or wherever required, or even posting an inspiring picture on Instagram, etc.
We can serve God from where we stand. Now, we may not able to go to remote areas to proclaim the Gospel, or do major scale conventions. But we surely can pray for the mission, make a video or audio clip or create a brief write-up or an image to share the love and joy of Gospel with others! Let this year of ‘media’ be an inspiration for that to all of us!
Media For Children – Creating awareness for healthy usage of Social Media and Internet
Media should be used to liberate, not to entrap – Pope Francis
It is a known fact that the technologies which are developed for constructive purposes can be mis-used for destructive purposes as well. Atomic energy is a typical example; it can be effectively used for medical treatment and can be used for making atom bombs for mass destruction. The way technology is used decides whether it is useful or harmful for individual and the society.
We are living in an era of mobile phones and Internet. How safe are we while using these facilities for social networking and communications? CML of Mandya Diocese is trying to educate children for developing healthy habits while using the social media and Internet. There are some tips for parents too.
What’s Good About Social Media
Social media can help to :
- stay connected with friends and family
- better communication with teachers and fellow students
- greater access to educational resources, news, general knowledge
- volunteer or get involved with a campaign, church activities, or charity
- enhance creativity by sharing ideas, music, and art
- meet and interact with others who share similar interests (music, dance, etc)
- recreation in the form of music, games etc
- to give a broader audience to your various ideas on your topics of interest.
- Create better focusing and memory skills through various educational and constructive games.
What’s Bad About Social Media
Risks associated with the Social Media :
- Reduced amount of time for study, prayer and physical activity
- Reduced time to spend with parents, relatives and friends
- Access to unwanted/illegal/pornographic web sites
- Addictive, dangerous games
- Bullying online – “cyber bullying” / online harassment
- Sharing too much information
- Vulnerability to predatory adults
- Sharing photos or video that you later regret
- Risk of identity theft
- Depression after seeing others’ updates
- Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), bad posture etc.
- Lack of concentration…..and many more.
Students must take care:
- Pray to Holy Spirit to guide you and make you disciplined and time bound while using the media.
- Pray to Guardian Angel to protect you while using the media.
- Time is the most precious resource of a student. Use it carefully to build your career.
- Switch off the gadgets (or keep it in silent/quite hours ) before
 starting your prayer
 starting your study time and
 going to sleep.
- Be more careful not to disturb others while using the mobile phone in hospitals, bus/train, and public places.
- Keep the phone in a common area while not in use. Don’t keep the phone in your study room or bed room.
- Allow your parents to access your mobile phone. Don’t lock it.
- Not to use the mobile phone in school/colleges and sacred places like Churches.
- Not to use the mobile phone in Gym, Swimming Pools or in any situation that cause discomfort to others
- Never visit any illegal web sites ( terrorism, illegal trade, drugs, sex related, pornographic web sites). These are like itching eczema. One if you are in, you will be pulled into it again.
- If there is anything disturbing you, discuss with your parents or teacher without delaying it.
Mobile/Internet Addiction – Here are few Warning Signs
- Tendency to look into your phone more frequently
- Tendency to update your profile/status more often
- Feeling disturbed if the network or Wi-Fi is not available
- Feeling disturbed if you don’t receive any messages or updates
- Feeling agitated if your parents ask you to stop the browsing/chatting/messaging
- Not interested in social events, sports etc. Always wanting to sit alone in front of PC/mobile
- Short attention span and limited learning style.
- “Surfacey” interactions (surface level, not deep enough) and artificial relationships.
Parents to Note
- Parents must be role models; they should follow what they preach to children.
- Parents must spend quality time with children in the morning and evening (at least 5-10 min everyday)
- Parents must discuss and educate children regarding the safety issues while using the various applications and health issues associated with over usage of mobile phones (radiation etc)
- Parents can use App like ‘Family Link’ from Google or FamilyTime to monitor and control the mobile usage of all family members.
- Have a fixed time for children to use the social media and Internet – not to exceed 30 min on a regular day and 1 hour on a holiday
- Have a ‘no gadget time’ at home for everyone for 2 hours in the evening (No gadget time is exclusively for evening prayer, family time and dinner)
- Let the children not to use the media/Internet from closed rooms. This will help parents to monitor their activities whenever required.
- Switch-off Wi-Fi and networks at a fixed time , not later than 10 PM
Tips parents must share with children
- Not to add any strangers in the friends-list
- Not to chat with or communicate with any strangers
- Not to share any personal information like date of birth, address, phone number
- Not to share credit card or bank account details
- Not to cause defamation to anyone in school, college or organization
- Not involve in any viral game or challenge
- Provide Information about consequences Internet related crimes
- Do not spread any false/fake information
- Block or remove friends who make them uncomfortable
- Be respectful and do not appreciate any negative thoughts online
Media and Mission Activities
There are several ways media can be used for supporting the Mission activities: For sharing prayers, reflections on Gospel messages, to share activities and ministries in the church, seeking more clarity on Word of God, educating poor children, and fund raising for charity etc.
Social media and Internet are indispensable in the modern world. Be wise and use it intelligently. Ensure that you don’t become a slave of it.