Internet Surfing

The Internet can be a helpful search tool, a great resource for keeping in touch with people, and an effective means of evangelism. But it also involves some dangers. How can you exercise due caution online?

  1. When possible, access the internet in a common use room, and install software to avoid accessing illicit sites. This is self-control and self-protection.
  2. Schedule your time and establish limits.
  3. Be even more selective with Sabbath time. Don’t let the internet impede the hours of communion with God and your church community.
  4. Never reveal personal information such as where you live, your phone number, your school, or your job location to persons unknown you.
  5. Don’t share pictures of yourself or your family with unknown people.
  6. Don’t let anyone online convince you to do something that makes you uncomfortable, such as share potentially compromising images.
  7. Remember that there’s a real person on the other side of the screen. The impersonal nature of online communication can encourage people to write things that are insulting and demeaning. Treat every person with respect and kindness, just as you should do in person.
  8. Remember that people control the devices, not the other way around.

As you navigate the unpredictable—and sometimes harrowing—online world, remember that God calls us to be light to those around us. Jesus said, “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness” (Luke 11:34, NIV). As Paul wrote, “hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil” (1 Thess. 5:21, NIV).