The next time you’re eating out, look around the restaurant to see how many couples and families have their phones out. Most of us have been guilty of bringing our phones to the table at one time or another.
As great as technology can be, left unchecked, it can become an insidious distraction in many of our families and marriages. Here are a couple of challenges technology can create and some suggestions on how to overcome them.
Technology can easily disrupt our conversations, fragment our consciousness, and make us physically and mentally unavailable to connect with our spouse and our children. A recent study conducted at the University of Illinois and published in the Journal of Family Psychology, examined 109 families’ dinnertime routines. Researchers observed that when families gathered for dinner at night, they spent nearly half of their time distracted by electronic devices, toys, and tasks that took them physically and mentally away from the table.
Technology distractions include texting, internet shopping and searching, laptops, iPads, smartphones, TV and smart devices that stream digital content, and video gaming.
God can certainly use technology for good in our lives; however, if we aren’t careful technology can become a distraction that gets in the way of the fuller (better) life Jesus promised us (John 10:10b). God tells us that self-control, or discipline, is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). We should allow the Holy Spirit to work within us to help us regulate our time spent with technology. Here are several suggestions for managing technology and its potential to distract us from our spouses and our children.