It’s happened again. We have allowed one more neutral cultural trend to become a god in our lives—social media. I cannot walk through a Target store without seeing half of the customers engaged with their phones—whether or not they are with someone or even their small children.
As a society we have become addicted to our technology. “According to figures collected by a screen lock app, the average user actually checks their phone around 110 times day. During peak times this equates to once every six or seven seconds, with some users unlocking their devices up to 900 times over the course of a day, which in reality is around 18 hours.”*
Parents are just as guilty as kids of being addicted to their phones or tablets. As parents we yearn for our kids’ attention when they are home. We want nothing more than to have a real conversation with them. Yet, what is the example we are giving our kids? Do we have our heads buried in our technology so we don’t see their beautiful faces? Do we put away our technology so they have our undivided attention?
How we live our lives means more to our kids than our words. If our words don’t match our lives, our words harm our relationship with our kids because we are hypocrites.
Be the brave parent and set a few house rules for technology that everyone must follow. Here are a couple of ideas:
- No technology in the kitchen during mealtimes. It stays in another room.
- Technology is laid down when another person begins to speak—you know, it’s called conversation.
- No technology during family time—playing games, watching a movie, etc.
These simple steps will create a protected time and space for your family to be a family with no distractions or intrusions.
Yes, you will get push back and you may feel your own shakes of withdrawal as well. Feel free to add other ideas that would work best for your family and then implement them one at a time. This may be a good time for a family meeting in which the parents start by confessing their addiction to technology and apologizing for not being present in the kids’ lives.
Imagine your family connected again or maybe for the first time! It’s a battle worth fighting.
*”The information was collected by Android app Locket, which monitored how many times its 150,000 users checked their phone over in a day.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2449632/How-check-phone-The-average-person-does-110-times-DAY-6-seconds-evening.html#ixzz3GEFDuOtL
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.