Are we ADDICTED to our cell PHONES!?!?!
What would you say if I told you that smartphones and apps are specifically designed to be as addictive as possible? What would you say if I told you that there is a war going on for your attention and that war is at work every single day, driving society and technology.
Whether we realize it or not, there are specific techniques being used to get you and I using our devices or their products for as long as possible. All from the likes of online games, social media platforms, online shopping, even to how devices are crafted and right down to every click, swipe or tap that you do on the sites you visit.
Maybe you’re saying, yea yea yea, I know, it’s my down time, it’s just for fun and harmless entertainment. What does it matter if I’m in my phone half of the day. But is it really harmless? Could all of this be adding to our daily stresses? Pulling our attention away from our loved ones? These distractions, when accumulated throughout our days are actually disconnecting us from true relationship with each other. And what about the health affects to our bodies, our eyes, our brains, our necks (come on now, you know you’ve heard of the “tech neck syndrome” by now!!) All of this and so much more that we are being exposed to. And what about our kids??? They are being exposed to all of this too! Our teenagers are living their lives out online. Our 2 year olds are being handed a device to keep them “calm” or “quiet”. It may seem like it’s “helping” but do we really know what the long term effects of all of this will be?
Did you know that The National Institutes of Health are conducting a massive research to better understand how screen time is affecting children and their development. As parents, not only do we need to be aware of how much we are in front of a device and the effect it may be having on us, but we should also inform ourselves of the potential risks that our children are being exposed to as well.
Some results from this study are in already and so far showing that just two or more hours of screen time per day results in lower test scores for kids in language and thinking skills. In a study conducted in 2018, teens were spending an average of 4 and a half hours per day on their cell phones. And the usage of cell phones has only become more and more widespread. How they are being used is affecting how a generation of American kids act and think.
We as adults are not exempt!!! Social media is completely affecting how we see the world and how we are thinking, feeling and acting! Some peeps are down right ruthless out there in the world of Facebook, and Twitter, and Youtube, etc etc etc! You know thats true if you’ve spent more than 5 minutes out there.
Here’s our question to you… If we know these things already or we are educating ourselves more on all of this…What can we do about it!?!?
So, let’s talk about some proactive steps we can take…
1. Monitor Your Screen Time
– Your phone settings should offer you the ability to see what your screen time is each day and where you are spending most of your time. This way you can become more aware of your own usage and can go from there.
2. Monitor Your Kids Screen Time
– Talk with your kids about setting up some healthy boundaries on how much screen time they are spending each day. Come to a reasonable solution and help teach them to self manage by setting up some guidelines.
3. Place Restrictions on Apps
– Facebook and Instagram both offer app monitor-use settings. Most cell phones will also offer a way to set time limits
3. Find Healthy Alternatives
– In order to change a habit, you must fill it with something else. Find a fun activity to do with your kids, pick up that old hobby you use to love, go on a walk, do a puzzle, read a book, do some art, play a board game with the FAM, google some fun outdoor activities to do with your kids in your local area. Have FUN and build on your relationships.
4. Disconnect to Reconnect
– Plan a date with your spouse and KEEP your phones put away. Take your son or daughter out on a special date and talk. Take your mom out for a lunch date. Reach out to that friend you haven’t spoke to lately (not on social media, we’re talking real conversation here)
We’re not saying phones or devices are evil, we’re just simply saying that we are responsible for our own health and the well being of our family. We are made for relationship, for connection…
No one will ever look back on their life and say, “I wish I would’ve spent more time on my phone” So let’s be intentional and start taking steps towards putting them down a little more and getting more time with the ones we love!