Mom, Dad, do you know about those things? Have you done any digging into the world of illegal free downloads of movies, music, games, software…even books? This is happening all around you. Maybe even in your home. The upcoming Hot Buttons: Internet Edition (6/1) will crack this issue open for you.
I know of men, women, teens, Christians, non-Christians, even pastors (at least two cases) who have engaged in the practice of illegally downloading electronic media. There’s some kind of disconnect between the concept of illegal downloads and physical theft, when, in fact, they are the exact same things.
Let’s take a look at illegal downloads for this Hot Buttons exercise.
The Hot Buttons column gives you a fictional scenario you can use to put your teen in the heat of moment and help him/her figure out what to do when that real life situation happens. You should take this as an opportunity to see where your teenager may need some help or might face a struggle one day.
Now, tell your teen this story as though it’s really happening to him/her:
You’re in the library during Study Hall surfing the net on your laptop when a friend slides into the seat beside you. He has a flash drive in his hand and slips it into the USB port.
“I’m about to be your new best friend. You’re soooo going to owe me after you see what I have for you.” He clicks a folder open and you see a long list of awesome music and a brand new movie that’s still in theaters–hundreds of dollars of material, if not more. You’ve heard of downloads like this, but you’ve never done it yourself. You could never afford to buy all that stuff yourself, but you know it’s not right. What do you do now?
Present the following choices to your teenager:
- Whoa. You know how serious it is to have that kind of illegal material, not to mention that it’s wrong. You pull the USB out and tell your friend he needs to destroy it or you’ll have to report him.
- You click the folder closed immediately and laugh it off. “Thanks, but no thanks. It’s not for me.”
- You shrug. “Thanks, man. I’ll take a look, but no more, okay?”
- Awesome! You’ve been missing out. No longer. You ask your friend to show you how to download it all yourself.
Now let your teen make a choice between the responses without feeling judged or directed. You want the response to be as honest as possible. Remember, you’re most likely battling peer pressure and an entitlement attitude.
- Internet safety
- Download websites
- Alternatives for obtaining music and movie
- Discuss the risks and legal concerns surrounding illegal downloads.
- Discuss the family rules and set new ones if necessary.
- Brainstorm various responses for this ind of pressure.
- Talk about different Internet safeguards that are already in place on your home computers and ask for suggestions for new ways to protect against this.
- Pray together for wisdom and strength against peer pressure.