Navigating Your Child's Education: Grades 6-8

3 min read

Are we getting hacked?

Oct 22, 2020 8:00 PM

Welcome to the Attention Economy–where you are the product. In this digital landscape, they keep score with eyeballs and eardrums. Your attention–even for a few seconds–translates into cold, hard cash they're willing to manipulate and even hack you for.

The truth is, you're getting hacked every day, and you don't even realize it. A hack is when someone or something gains unauthorized access to a computer or a system. Want to know something scary? People can be hacked. It happens millions of times a day. Your focus is the prize–and they'll hack you to get it.

Buzz. Ring. Beep. Five minutes in, another disruption. Notifications flash across your screen. Your phone vibrates. Now you can crave a distraction and the dopamine fix. Scroll. Scroll. Productivity plummets. Morale declines. 

The average person:

  • Makes 35,000 decisions a day.
  • Encounters 5,000 ads a day.
  • Focuses 11 minutes a day.
  • Spends more than 5 hours on screens.

We suffer from decision fatigue and digital distractions. Human knowledge once doubled every thousand years. Today, it’s every twelve hours. No wonder we can’t keep up.

God created us in His image to create. We’re not called to be critics or consumers. Technology isn’t the enemy. But unless we discover how to use it, technology will end up using us—or hacking us.

Prayer Guide-Grades 6-12

When life hacks you, you’ll feel a loss of

  1. Control
  2. Clarity
  3. Competence
  4. Confidence
  5. Insight
  6. Influence
  7. Impact
  8. Income

Worse yet, you make powerful negative declarations about yourself and your resources. Notice the pattern below.

A Hack Attack causes you to say

  1. I am not in charge. (Loss of control)
  2. I am confused. (Loss of clarity)
  3. I am not good enough. (Loss of competence)
  4. I am an imposter. (Loss of confidence)
  5. I have no vision. (Loss of insight)
  6. I have no effect on others. (Loss of influence)
  7. I have no credibility. (Loss of impact)
  8. I have no currency. (Loss of income)

Hack Attacks start out externally, but they quickly manifest internally. The four I am and I have declarations shape how you see yourself and the world around you. Perspective matters, and when it’s hacked, everything else is hacked too.

According to Anais Nin, “We don’t see things the way they are, but the way we are.” You soon believe two lies:

First lie: I Am Nobody.

Second lie: I Have Nothing.

When this occurs, you’re done. Thankfully, there’s another way and another world.

As parents, it's easy to make dogmatic declarations. "No smart phones. No social media. No screens." As a parent of two teens and another one almost there, I'm often tempted to make black and white rules to erase the grey. My wife models a different approach: conversation. She's incredible with our kids and reminds me about the importance of entering the media maze with them. 

Technology is often the preferred vehicle by which our kids communicate with their friends. Banning them from tech is similar to banning them from relationships. But this doesn't mean we should just hand them a smartphone without any guidelines either. Some parents establish time limits, approved usage spaces within the house, and even monitoring apps. The point in all of this is to pursue communication, just like God does with us. 
In full transparency, technology over-dependence isn't just a kids issue. It's a parent issue too. By being honest about our own tendency toward tech addiction, we realize God wants to free us up in this area too. 

Technology isn't going away and since it's here to stay, we'd all benefit from a healthy conversation about what it means to become unhackable in work, life, and school. 
[My new book Unhackable provides many other discussion points, tools, and even a free unhackability assessment where you can learn about your own relationship with technology.]


Kary Oberbrunner
Written by Kary Oberbrunner

Kary Oberbrunner lives in Lewis Center with his wife, Kelly, and three school-aged children. Through his writing, speaking, and coaching, he helps individuals and organizations clarify who they are, why they're here, and where they should invest their time and energy. Kary equips people to experience Unhackability in work and life and share their message with the world.