Wow! That caught your attention, didn’t it?! “Turn off the screens?! Are you kidding me?! I need them! I need to check the scores, the weather, the news! I need to connect with “all” my friends and family, and see what’s happening in my Facebook world. I have almost gotten to the next level on my game! I “need” to check out a few more apps I might want. I only have one more thing to do for work and then I can watch t.v. with my kids.”
Stop just for a minute and think about just how much time you spend looking at screens; cell phones, I-Pads, tablets, t.v., computer, computer games, etc. Now, think about how much time you spend talking “with” your kids and spouse each evening without even one screen on. Sobering and telltale, isn’t it?
We have become people who do not look at each other eye to eye; instead, either looking at someone’s forehead or not looking at them at all! What happened to us and what will be the result of all of this non-social behavior? What’s with all of this unhealthy personal isolation?
In Gary Chapman’s book, “Growing Up Social…raising relational kids in a screen-driven world”, Gary states, “You want your adult child to have all the skills necessary to succeed in relationships. The training necessary for growing up social isn’t found on a phone or table, there’s no app or video game that can replace interactions with other human beings, Social skills mush be practiced in real life, beginning for a child in the home.”
He goes on to say, “Unfortunately, there is a subtle shift happening in many homes that is profoundly eroding the relationship between parent and child (and couples). The average American child and teenager spends 53 hours a week with media and technology, far more time in front of screens than interacting with parents or people. How is a growing child supposed to learn about getting along with others when the vast majority of her time is spent with a screen?” Good food for thought, Mom and Dad.
Of course, the easy thing to do is just let them sit in front of screens so we can do the same. Marriages are being greatly affected by husbands and wives isolating themselves behind a screen while sitting in the same room. Eye to eye contact, a physical touch or even just sitting by each other in a warm conversation is much more productive and loving than tapping a screen, barely looking up and merely saying, “Uh huh.”
My challenge for you and for myself, is to turn the screens off at least two nights out of the week when the family is home. I struggle with this myself, so I am taking my own challenge. Let’s take the time for eye-to-eye conversation, taking a walk outside together, baking something together, sitting on the deck and talking, going for a drive, playing games in the yard or a table game, etc. Reconnect and TURN THE SCREENS OFF!!! Our relationships are worth it, right?
“And let us consider how we can spur one another on toward love and good deeds. ” Hebrews 10:24