Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Growing Up Social

Recently a thought came to me. My children will barely, if at all, remember life without technology and social media. My grandchildren will never know that life. That makes me sad. Don't misunderstand. I enjoy technology and I enjoy social media. However, it truly bothers me that we have become so dependent on it.

I struggle with pulling myself away, finding that the draw of my laptop and cell phone are powerful. And then when I get off, I feel like I am competing with screens for my children's attention.

Is technology bringing your family closer together or farther apart? #growingupsocial #socialmedia

Everywhere we go, people are on screens. I do understand that maybe that mom at the park is on her tablet because she is checking email for her work at home business and this is the only time she as to do so. That maybe the parent sitting in the stands at their child's game is on their phone trying to get an update on a sick relative. I know that there are reasons for people to constantly be on them. I get that. But I also know that sometimes we are just pulled to our device to mindlessly scroll through the lives of others or to play games.

Technology and social media give us a false outlook on real life. We begin to think everyone's life is perfect, except ours. Social media is like a year round Christmas card letter, seeing everyone's perfection. We learn that if don't like something, change it. If we are board with one game, move to the next. If we don't find satisfaction in one social media site, go to the next. We are not learning contentment or how to entertain ourselves. Years ago, summers and weekends meant children playing outside, now they are inside on screens.

According to USA Today, the average American home has more TVs than people. We even have TVs in our cars! Authors Gary Chapman, of The Five Love Languages, and Arlene Pellicane, write in their new book, Growing Up Social:
The average American child age 8 to 18 spends more than seven hours per day looking at a video game, computer, cellphone, or television.
Let's just say 7 hours on a screen, 8 hours in school, and 8 hours sleeping. That leaves only 1 hour left in the day. 1 hour to shower, do chores, eat meals, be face to face with family and spend time with God. That's really not possible when you think about it. Chapman and Pellicane also tell us:
Children need unplugged time to unwind, read, play outside and talk with parents and siblings.
We need to take time away from screens to be with people. To share real experiences. To learn and grow from the world around us and people God has placed in our life.

Figure out a reasonable amount of screen time for your family and stick to it. Make sure you are spending face to face time with each other each day. Unplug!

While I struggle with technology and social media myself, I am aware of my struggle and always working on it. I fail sometimes but I get back to striving to unplug and be with family. My husband and I area always evaluating our children's screen time and working toward a healthy balance for our family. We are learning so much from Growing Up Social. Check it out for your family. I promise you will be blessed! To enter to win Growing Up Social, complete each task in the rafflecopter below.

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