How Screen Time Became My Idol: Part 2

It has been a couple months since our family started truly limiting screen time. It only took about two days for the boys to adjust to our new normal. It took me about two weeks. Just another proof of how much more reliant I was on screen time than the boys.

I began to think about what screen time would look like as the boys grew older. I do not want my boys being sucked into the comparison game of social media or fall prey to current “challenge” trends because they see others participating. But if they don’t need the bad influence of social media, then why do I? How often do I allow comparison on social media to steal my joy? How often does seeing a different political view stir hostility and anger in my mind? How often has this negativity led me to respond harshly to the boys? How often do I try to push my children to do more or be more because I see the accomplishments of other children?

So I knew I needed to limit my screen time just as much as I limited my boys. It remains far more difficult for me to consistently put my phone down than for the boys, but I am encouraged by their positive example. I have noticed some significant benefits to putting the phone down.

Less Screen Time Means:
1. More face-to-face interaction. With my family and others.
2. I don’t see negative feeds so I don’t focus on negative thoughts so I don’t react harshly.
3. Less comparison, more fulfillment.
4. Less window shopping that often turns into purchasing.
5. Less headaches because my neck is not permanently positioned at a downwards angle.

*Longer phone battery life! I no longer have to stop to charge throughout the day!

For our family overall, there were some very obvious results to removing screens from our weekdays.

The Results of Weekend Only Screen Time:
1. We read more books.
2. Household chores were completed more efficiently- like weeding the front bushes and fertilizing our yard.
3. The boys made much more creative artwork that really stretched their imaginations.
4. More toys were played with as opposed to sitting around gathering dust.
5. Behavior issues arose, because playing together means working together and sometimes brothers don’t always get along. But this gives them the opportunity to work it out and learn positive problem solving.

Screen Time became my idol because I was acting selfishly. I wanted time to focus on my wants and needs and not those of my boys. I didn’t want to be bothered by getting up five times in a half hour for snacks or water refills or dirty diapers. I wanted everyone to sit quietly and mind their own business. But that is not what the Christian life should be.

The Christian life is about living out what Christ has done for us. The Christian life is sharing His grace and mercy and love with others. The Christian life is serving just as He came to serve the world. The Christian life is walking beside younger believers and nonbelievers to point hen Jesus. The Christian life is unselfish and focused on God’s work.

Screen Time was my idol and monopolized the majority of my time. It was a distraction from my family and from the gift of discipling these little souls entrusted to my care. It has been a struggle to begin to live more screen free, but it has proven so worthwhile and the fruits of obedience are sprouting.

Read “How Screen Time Became My Idol: Part 1” here.

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