I want to be someone who lives wisely and leads my family in wisdom, so I decided to think about how one huge thing that is in our world, that is affecting our world. That is technology!
“Live well, Live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live not the way you talk that counts.” James 3:13
Let me be clear, I don’t believe technology is a bad thing, it is fine in moderation and we can use it to enhance areas of our lives and do great things. It only becomes a problem when we allow it to take over our lives!
I am the gatekeeper to my kids lives and our family life so I took it under my wing to check how technology is really affecting us. I realized that at times we need to have a break, call a ‘time out’ for us and our kids before it creeps in and takes over!
So these are my 3 reasons why I decided to call a ‘time out’ at times, on technology for us! Of course we are not perfect and sometimes we take a time out on our time out and just enjoy technology, but generally we have found an improvement in our family life and relationships when we have focused on these things.
I call a time out for our kids
It’s obvious we shouldn’t be on our phones all the time as a mum or dad, but the world is so accessible for us through our phones, that we can end up checking them all the time. So I decided to limit the time of my posting and checking on Instagram etc. to only certain times of the day so I am not constantly checking.
When I take a photo, or recently even when I am just on my phone, my daughter will tell me “no photo mummy” when I hear that I know I’ve been taking too many video’s or been on my phone too much and I need to calm down with her and give her my attention! My daughter loves it when all eyes are on her and she gets frustrated when we are on our phones and not giving enough attention. Kids need our attention, we cannot give them enough! So I want to make that the priority of my day.
“My TV addicts”
The other area I called a ‘time out’ was on watching TV and screen time for the kids. I always knew that too much TV was not great for young kids, but my daughter seemed to be gaining a lot of vocabulary from ‘Peppa Pig’ her favorite show and it made a good babysitter whilst I cleaned, so we would let her watch it in the mornings whilst we got ready and in the evenings too. But the more TV she watched the more cranky and moody she became and I realized after cutting down on how much TV she watched that, it was having an effect on her. TV has an addictive quality, that we need to be aware of. Now I limit TV time to 30 mins a day or less, and have noticed a huge improvement in her attitude and moods!
I call a time out for our family
In our house family dinner times are a ‘No phone’ and ‘no TV’ time. Family dinners for us consist of gathering around the table, not in front of the TV or with the TV on in the background, and talking with one another engaging in real conversation. Not only can I catch up with my husband but this is when I build conversation skills with my daughter and can find out about her day, even if I was with her all day at this time she can express how she feels and her point of view. I like to ask her “what was the best thing about today?” We like to share the good stuff during this time!
Sometimes on our days out we call it a ‘no phone’ day and leave our phones at home or deep in the bottom of our bags where they aren’t easily accessible. We want to spend quality time together even if it’s just for a few hours without technology. I believe when we are together as a family, it’s important for us to connect together as a family.
I call a timeout for myself
There is a world of information at our fingertips with technology, but sometimes it is too easily accessible. It’s easy to look up our kids symptoms online and freak out, or read horror stories about kids in accidents. When I first had Kara I was always worried about her and any little ailment she had I would google it and usually only escalate my fears. I was also automatically subscribed to baby groups etc on Facebook that would post often horrible stories about kids being kidnapped or drowning, it only heightened the sense of fear for my own kid.
Eventually I realized how much the media and my easy access to the internet was affecting me and decided to stop following those groups or relying on google for my answers. Instead I needed to trust God and get his word for my children and not let fear take control.
The other areas of technology I felt can grab a hold of us is in the social media world. If we are constantly on social media, it is easy to constantly compare our lives to others and we can often be left feeling down about ourselves or unworthy.
But we need to remember when checking social media that people are only showing the best part of their lives, me included! And we shouldn’t go around comparing our tough times, with peoples best times.
Putting ourselves in the boat of comparison is just a risky game, so I need to make sure I am not wasting time surfing other peoples profiles and scrolling down posts that make me into a comparison guru. I needed to put a limit on my social media surfing.
Of course we are not perfect and I cannot always stick to this, (some Saturday mornings we will have TV mornings!) but this is a general placement for us so that technology doesn’t take over our lives!
How about you? How much is technology an influence in your life? And what do you do to limit your interaction with technology? I would love to hear!