Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Friday, May 14, 2010

More Thoughts On Technology and Your Home

I love technology. I'm no geek or expert but for someone my age I at least hold my own and use technical advances as much as I'm capable of. I even write on Facebook and use the IM feature! Technology has added much to our learning, leisure and connection abilities that our forefathers couldn't even dream about.

However, too much technology can be harmful. First of all, technology can water down our relationships. On the one hand it's wonderful to connect with a friend from forty years ago who I would likely not see or hear from any other way. But if I become obsessed with those connections and ignores my family then my tech-i-ness becomes a problem. I'm saddened by parents who let their kids text non-stop to their friends while in the car, a restaurant or at the beach.

What's wrong with giving our kids a time for texting and requiring some other times when they must interact with others? A parent told me the other day that they were having trouble with their son texting until late into the night. I suggested that their child turn over the phone to them at a certain time or as they went into their room for bed. They had never thought of that.

Second, technology can steal away memorable moments. As I think back about family moments that I still remember, I realize that most of them came during spontaneous, un-scripted events. But I shudder to think what would have happened in those days (we didn't have cell phones then) if some technological advance like texting or an in-car video had gotten in the way.

Third, technology can become a hiding place. Instead of dealing with hard issues and facing life as it is, our computer or cell phone can turn into a bunker to shield us from getting closer to each other through meaningful, helpful and candid exposure. We adults and our children must learn how to maturely and openly handle the difficult times without anesthetizing them with our electronic gadgets.

Some practical tips? Put a time limit on how long you stay at the computer or online and do not let your children use their technology unceasingly. Show them how to control themselves and give them experiences early on that will teach them the value of relationships.

Periodically fast from technology. Go a whole day, week or month without your tech gadgets except for when it's essential for work.

Tie the use of technology to behaviors, meeting responsibilities and rewards. Whatever you do, make sure you control technology and that the technology in your home doesn't control you.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

1 comment:

  1. Loved this. I remember a time when I wasn't accessible 24/7. While that has it's advantages, there is something so freeing about the days when I forget the phone at home.