New Facebook Technology: “Designed to Put Friends Above Everything Else”

Kara Powell | Apr 22, 2013

Are the teenagers in your life not on Facebook enough? Good news. Facebook Home is on the way to give young people even more access to technology.

As described by a recent blog post from Common Sense Media:

Facebook Home integrates Facebook into your kid's smartphone, providing an "always on" social experience. The two main ways are through the "cover feed" and messaging. The cover feed will let teens see status updates, photos, and more from their Facebook news feed -- just by looking at the home screen of their phone. They don't need to open an app to see what's going on with their friends, or even to interact with them. And when their friends want to chat or send them a text message, a "chat head" will pop onto their screen, grabbing their attention -- even if they're in another app.

Facebook itself says that this new technology is “designed to put friends above everything else”. While technology can be a wonderful Kingdom and relationship-building tool for folks of all ages, thoughtful parents and leaders should help teenagers ask if putting “friends above everything else” is really their top goal.

We at FYI hope you use the release of Facebook Home to launch an important discussion with teenagers in which you ask:

  1. What is most important to you? What do you want to put “above everything else”?

  2. How does technology help you with those priorities?

  3. How does technology make it challenging you to live out those priorities?

  4. What do you think of Facebook Home?

What other questions have helped you had honest, authentic conversations with teenagers about how they use technology?

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


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