When my children were young, a digital timer was a helpful parenting assistant. I set the timer to let my children know how long they could play, when it was time to do chores, brush their teeth and even to sit and think about what they had done – also known as “time out”.
The timer had a simple authority that was hard to dispute. It announced the transition from one activity to another with a high-pitched beep that demanded our attention.
Do we carve out time for our daily activities in such an intentional way, especially when it relates to our smartphones and digital devices? Without clear boundaries or time limits, a smartphone can creep into every aspect of our lives, often without us even realizing it. This should concern us.
Especially, since frequent mobile phone usage has been associated with stress, sleep problems, and symptoms of depression (study).
Also, our brains release dopamine, a feel-good chemical, when we receive notifications, likes and shares on social media. (article) This can lead to cell phone addiction, unless we are self-aware and vigilant.
A healthy habit that all families can develop is to set time limits on phone usage, as well as video gaming, computer usage and all digital devices. One question to ask yourself and to ask God is, are you using apps and digital devices to avoid something or someone that needs your attention. Perhaps even avoiding God?
We only have today to be present to those we love. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
In Ephesians 5:15, we hear, “Watch carefully then how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise.”
The time we have is limited. The wise take that to heart each day.
Learn more at MakingSpaceforGrace.org