Put Down The Screen

Being that part of my career is in the world of social media, I often feel an addiction to my phone and computer screen. It is so tempting to check on how things are progressing with projects, posts, campaigns, etc. My son also has an addiction to his screen time. He loves video games, television and coding on our computer. My husband however has no problem at all setting his phone down and walking away for hours. I wish we were all more like that.

Studies have shown that too much screen time can create behavioral and mood issues with children. I believe that adults become less social the longer they are on social media. As odd as that sounds, we as adults are growing into a culture that our children are embracing.  We feel more social because we can interact more with others, but it's on a surface level and not an intimate "in person" level.  I even found myself texting my brother, "Happy Birthday" instead of actually calling him! I'm sorry, CJ!  What kind of culture are we becoming when our friends on Facebook mean more to us than our time with real "in person" friends or family?  I can't tell you the last time I took one of my good girlfriends out to dinner and had a genuine conversation.

We use our phones for much more than social media. There are games... fun games. There are apps that cause us reason to want to be creative, sell merchandise, watch the weather, check out the constellations, read our favorite blogs, and so on and so forth.  All of these are amazing and wonderful, however do you limit the time you are taking part in such activities on your phone? I don't know about you but I start to get nervous if my phone battery falls below 50%. I use my phone for my alarm clock, radio while I get ready for work, timer, voice recorder for memos and so much more. If I didn't have my phone I'd feel like something was missing. That is a horrible place to be in. I have even turned down camping trips with my friend because of the lack of Wifi! Sorry Tamara!

Now I could be on the end of the scale that has a real problem with phone separation anxiety but what about you? What are you missing out on in life because of your phone?  What about your computer? Do you realize how many marriages struggle simply because of online activity? The energy that is put into screen time rather than into the marriage?  What about the example our kids are seeing in us parents? They'd rather be on a screen than playing outside.

My point is this, we are in a screen culture. We all love to watch and experience The Screen. Be careful to use in moderation and be very aware of the life lessons and experiences you are missing out on with your true friends and family because of your screen time. Is your phone or computer time really that important? Try putting your screen down for 4 hours and see how you feel after.  That will tell you a lot about the importance of The Screen in your life.

I'll do it first.  Signing off my screen for awhile...

-Meg

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