If your family is obsessed with media, you’re not alone. My family probably resembles yours in that we struggle to break free of screens and smart speakers that seem ubiquitous at times. Yet, we know that the screens can be harmful to our health, our relationships and our spiritual life. So here are five healthy habits that families can try to break free from their media obsessions.
- Ban the Earbuds. I like listening to music too but the constant consumption of music and videos on our devices is keeping us from hearing one another. Maybe that’s the point. But tuning each other out sends a message of disrespect and disunity. Set times and spaces where earbuds are not permitted so that we can focus on hearing our loved ones.
- Be Counter-Cultural. Back when Apple sold iPods, Andy Crouch, author of my Tech Wise Life decided to buy one and call it a wePod. His family listened to music and watched videos on the wePod together and it brought them closer together.
- Enjoy Nature. Can your children identify the different types of trees, bugs and birds. There is so much to explore when we go outside and get close to nature. Try spending time each week on nature walks and leave the electronics at home.
- Rediscover Face Time. We all know FaceTime on the iPhone but how well do we know the faces of our family members? Spend time each day gazing at your loved ones. This might sound awkward but think about it – we pay attention to what and who we care about. This is especially important for babies and young children. When you mirror their facial expressions, they learn they are loved and accepted.
- Cut the cord. You can’t binge watch 20 episodes of West Wing if you don’t have Netflix. Think about ways to reduce streaming and TV services so that you’re not tempted to binge. Time spent with family is precious and limited. Prioritize family time over media time.
-Teresa Peterson, Making Space for Grace