Are you a ‘phubber’?

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I had a little awakening recently, initiated by my son who is a toddler. I was beginning to notice he would become irritated if I was on the phone for an extended period of time, whether talking to someone or doing whatever we do on phones. He would react by attempting to take the phone from me. He would pull me away from the laptop if he felt I was spending too long on it. I could choose to interpret this as him being rude but I chose to try and understand the behaviour. Now I don’t consider myself a social media fanatic,  but however meaningful the task, he felt neglected and he wanted more of my attention. I have since made some changes in how I operate so I get what I need to get done, but his love tank is filled. And the truth is, once his little love tank is filled, once he gets a healthy dose of “mommy time”, I usually get freed up to do some of the other things I need to do. I’m still learning but it’s totally worth it

Is technology robbing you of family time? Let’s begin by  setting the record straight. Technology is great and should by all means be part of family life, but with improvements in technology, I’m also noticing some dramatic and sometimes detrimental changes in how it is used. It’s practically taken over our lives. We’re seeing cell phones being used at the dinner table when conversations with each other should be happening. Cell phones, tablets and laptops being used in the bedroom instead of bonding as a couple. Children, even very young children would rather spend time indoors using some gadget rather than  playing outside or spending time learning from their parents who are also caught up with the social media which makes them too busy to socialize with their children.

So is the solution then to ban the use of these devices? Yes! Alright…Of course not! However, we do need to put in place limits and boundaries within which to operate. I read an article which introduced me to a new term, “phubbing”. Sounds like grubbing or snubbing but it is rejecting your loved one on account of being on the phone all the time (and we can also add other electronic gadgets). It is said to ruin relationships and may ultimately lead to mental health issues and depression.

So are you a phubber? Or  are you a victim of phubbing? Take some time to sit with your spouse or family members and discuss the issue. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Create boundaries, such as, technology free zones for eg. the dinner table or while in bed
  2. Designate a cut off time for phone usage at nights so family bonding can take place
  3. Have technology free retreats or weekends. Not only is this good for family bonding but it also frees up the individual to do some life planning and reconnect with their goals. Technology sometimes keeps us so busy we lose sight of what is truly important
  4. Institute limits for children’s use of technology. Studies have also shown that especially for young children, too much technology use can affect brain development and I believe it is also addictive so be careful!

Does technology rob you of your relationship with God or your family in any way? Do you find yourself spending more time on social media than you would ever conceive of spending in the Word of God or playing with your children? What at the end of the day would be more important?

While technology definitely has it’s place, God comes first, family is more important and there are great rewards to come from prioritizing in this way.

Do you agree that technology is robbing us of meaningful family time? Share your comments below and don’t forget to subscribe!

Blessings on you and yours


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