Balance and Boundaries With Phone and Screen Time
Written by Christi Given | May 20, 2018
Recently, I went to a women’s luncheon conference titled “Connection” at my aunt’s church, and Arlene Pellicane, the author of Growing Up Social, spoke. She co-wrote this book with Gary Chapman, best known for writing The Five Love Languages. Pellicane was incredible and spoke about how we need to use phones and screens for what they are as “tools,” and learn to be present in the moment with our loved ones. We need to exercise etiquette and eye contact and we need to acknowledge others. Pellicane encouraged us to limit our screen time, as time is limited and valuable, and she shared some personal testimonies with us. She even pointed out how kids are affected by us being on our phones.
Pellicane gave us advice and shared some intimate, yet relatable stories about her kids and her family. She shared about how her daughter had a bad habit of sucking her thumb, but after Pellicane’s husband sewed the ends of the pjs so she couldn’t do the bad habit anymore, her daughter stopped over a couple of months.
Pellicane said we can make behavioral changes that seem little, but they can have a big impact. For example, we can leave our phones in the other room when we are with guests at our house. Second, we can set our phones far away from bed so we don’t tempt ourselves to scroll online late at night on social media or do work emails late from bed.
We can make small changes that will affect our habits and will impact how people feel when they are around us. Let us value people and cherish them instead of being glued to our phones, amen PI Girls?!
What an amazing, godly woman! I was honored to meet her and her daughter in person, and I pray that her books will teach you to limit your time with technology and spend more time with the family. Pellicane has penned multiple books and has also released her latest book, Calm, Cool, and Connected: 5 Digital Habits for a More Balanced Life. Click here to order it on Amazon.
Find her on social media: @arlenepellicane
Let’s be better friends, daughters, students, sisters, cousins, girlfriends or wives, and let us focus on who is in front of us. Let us be the example and the light to a world caught up in the addiction of technology and the latest gadgets. I pray we awaken a generation to love our neighbors, to be outside more in God’s creation, to connect more with real FACE TIME (face-to-face communication) and to value people in person.
Life is so short, and let us realize there is a generation looking up to us to be the example. Let us look away and “pivot,” as Pellicane says, which is to turn and put the phone down (or away) when a human being is in front of us. If there’s an emergency or work time that you need to complete, and your roomie comes into your dorm and needs to speak with you, simply say, “Please just let me finish this and I’ll be right with you—I’m meeting a deadline” or “I’m almost finished typing this email, one moment.” The pivot is to turn like 180 degrees to the other person and look them in the eye. Don’t respond to someone by staring at your screen because it’s very rude and makes the other person feel unimportant and/or disrespected. Let us step up our manners, eye contact and communication, which is truly loving people like Jesus did.
PI Girls, do you have any apps like SelfControl, or do you have boundaries on social media or tech time? Comment below!