Don’t silently kill your family

We are all so glued to our screens these days. I get it some of us must use a screen to work or for school. Even right now I am using a screen to right this post. But is all this screen time good for us, is it helping us live intentionally, or is it drawing us away from each other?

Personally, I use my phone way too much. I have been tracking my screen time just on my phone. On average I look at my phone for two hours a day, and that is just my phone. I’m guessing that my total is closer to five or six hours per day. And I have to ask myself, what good is this doing? Is this something that is growing me closer to my family and God? It is allowing me to pour into the people in my life? Of course some of this time is used for work, but the rest of it is me looking at Facebook or watching YouTube, and not growing myself.

While tracking my time, I’ve developed a realization that I’m sure many of us have — this is not how I should be using my time with my child or with my wife. Instead of spending time with them going for walks or playing outside, we as a family have succumbed to sitting inside staring at a screen. What is my son learning from that? What type of legacy am I leaving behind? I don’t want my son to look back at his childhood and ever think that I prioritized movies and video games and Facebook over him. I want him to be able to look back and see all the time we spent together and the things we did in that.

On that note, my wife and I’s relationship should not just revolve around the late night movies and TV shows we watch together while simultaneously playing on our phones. We are busy. We don’t see each other all day and even some nights. And still, we find ourselves watching TV when we are home and settled.

And why have we, as a society, stopped focusing on face-to-face human interaction? Because I honestly believed that married couples are seeing more strain in our relationships now. And the sad part is, it is literally over nothing except for the lack of connection that is happening. I want to look back on our marriage and not only know that we were content but that we had fun together. I want to look back and remember the time we actually spent together doing more than simply watching TV. I want to look back and remember the endless conversations we shared.

So, why don’t we as husband and wives and parents and grandparents vow together to make a difference? I’m not saying we throw out the laptops and smartphones. And I’m certainly not saying we get rid of all screen time ever. Trust me, this dad right here would lose his mind if I suddenly up and decided we’ll never watching Blippi again. But I am saying that we should be intentional with our time. And that intention should translate over into our screen time and family time.

Instead of aimlessly scrolling through your feeds, make connections. Respond to what’s happening around you. And when it comes to family time or date night or even just sitting together catching up over the long day, put the phone down. Whatever is happening there can wait — be in the moment.

Until next time,

Dustin 

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