Our President, Ron DeHaas, was recently interviewed by Todd Rhoades on his popular blog, Monday Morning Insight.
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Recently, I got a chance to ask Ron DeHaas, the CEO of Covenant Eyes, what he’s seeing in the whole realm of Christians and the Internet. Here’s the interview:
1. What trends are you seeing in Internet viewing habits among Christians? Are more
things becoming acceptable as the Internet develops?
What a loaded question!
The most important trend, the most disturbing trend, is what I call the “Awareness/Reality Gap”—that is, the widening gap between parental “awareness” and the “reality” of what is happening to their children. This gap has become so great that it threatens the fabric of families. The problem is that most parents are under-educated. They don’t know what’s safe and what’s not safe. They don’t know when to put their foot down about time their kids spend online and when to give their kids freedom. They want to understand more about how the prevalence of technology is affecting their kids mentally, socially, and spiritually, but they are totally unaware of the dangers of the Internet that threaten their families. As a result, 34% of children never receive a single word of instruction on how to use the Internet.
Overall, Internet viewing habits among Christians look a lot like Internet viewing habits in the rest of the world. We have over 70,000 people using our accountability software right now, and 98.1% identify themselves as Christians. On average, our databases track and rate over a billion web addresses visited by our subscribers every month, and we see the same sites on our radar that are popular in the rest of the world. In addition to pornography, Christians make use of Facebook, YouTube, and Google as much as anyone else does.
On the positive side, we find that Christian parents are just as concerned now as in the past about how they should be raising their kids in our always-plugged-in culture. But there are obstacles on the path to good parenting. Sexual media and pornography may come to mind as the most obvious threat, but they are just the ugly tip of a very big iceberg.