Technology can be a wonderful tool in our lives. But our constant reliance on and connection to our phones can have some negative effects on us as well. Research has shown excessive screen time can lead to increased health problems both physical and mental. It can keep us from forming and nurturing real, meaningful relationships with family, friends, and even co-workers.
Like Sarah, we can find ourselves feeling isolated and confused as to why and how that has become our reality. God created us to operate in community. That means face to face. Life on life interactions with people. It’s in community with family and friends that we learn healthy social engagement. We learn to articulate our feelings and even manage conflict appropriately.
If you’ve found yourself increasingly isolated due to excessive screen time here are some helpful suggestions:
Don’t use your phone as your alarm clock. It makes it much too easy to swipe off and go right to checking your favorite social media site before you ever get out of bed.
When spending time with friends or family, institute a “No Technology Time”. Use that time to actually talk to one another and engage on a deeper level.
Set aside time to engage in physical activity. After all, it’s pretty hard to check Instagram while you’re playing basketball, going for a swim, or riding your bike.
If you're a student, don’t use your cell phone to do homework. It makes it hard to ignore that text notification from your best friend.
If you find yourself struggling with ongoing feelings of isolation consider seeing a qualified therapist to help you address those feelings.
Technology is wonderful, but let's give the people around us our full attention and show them that we value them by being fully present in the moments we share. There is a great big world filled with lots of wonderful people waiting to have real engagement with you just on the other side of your screen!