Summary: Apps are supposed to keep us connected . . . but at what cost? Screen time is increasing but are our relationships deteriorating?
The pace of change is breath taking. In 1984, just 8% of households had a personal computer, the World Wide Web was still five years away, and cell phones were not only enormous, but scarce. In 1990, 96% of Americans had no cell phone and now 95% do. Just since 2008, the app store was invented which has so given rise to social media. All of this in the name of being connected and closer to each other. You will remember that last week I stated that we are designed/created to connect. We can't escape the need to connect. However, the very technology designed to help us achieve the connection we so deeply crave gets in the way.
Let me illustrate . . . (Family to table with everyone on the phone).
Isn't this picture or our day? In the same room but unable to connect face to face. Having our head in our app can negatively impact our marriage and our family!
92% of divorces showed cellphone or some type of tech device as proof of infidelity.
16% of married folks reported that their partner’s use of Facebook directly contributes to their level of jealously.
A recent study, published in Computers in Human Behavior, compared state-by-state divorce rates to per-capita Facebook accounts. The study found a link between social media use and decreased marriage quality in every model analyzed. one in three divorces now start as online affairs.
A whopping 30% of Tinder users are married. A popular website that's sole purpose is for married folks to find someone to have an affair with is visited by over 130 million people worldwide every month.
One study found that when the working parent arrived home after work, their children were so immersed in technology that the parent was greeted only 30% of the time and they were totally ignored 50% of the time.
Another study reported that family time was not affected when technology was used for school, but did hurt family communications when used for social reasons. Interestingly, children who spent considerable time on a popular social networking site indicated that they felt less supported by their parents.
And perhaps the most obvious sign that our apps are getting in the way . . . 60 years ago the average time the family sat together at the dinner table was 90 minutes. Now the average time a family sits at the table together is 12 minutes.
When you connect that with this finding . . .
Children who eat dinner with their parents five or more days a week have less trouble with drugs, alcohol, eat healthier, show better academic performance, and report being closer with their parents than children who eat dinner with their parents less often.
Just from the information I have shared with you so far I can stand here and tell you that we need to get our head out of our app. However, I don't think we really have a grasp or understanding of the high price we pay when we allow technology to separate or distance us from our family.
The only way to get that understanding is to go to Scripture to see what we miss if we don't come back to the table.
TEXT: Deuteronomy 6:1-9 (Message)
This is the commandment (notice it doesn't say suggestion), the rules and regulations, that God, your God, commanded me to teach you to live out in the land you’re about to cross into to possess. This is so that you’ll live in deep reverence before God lifelong, observing all his rules and regulations that I’m commanding you, you and your children and your grandchildren, living good long lives. Listen obediently, Israel. Do what you’re told so that you’ll have a good life, a life of abundance and bounty, just as God promised, in a land abounding in milk and honey. Attention, Israel! God, our God! God the one and only! Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got! Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.
Just as a side note 4-6 is the Shema. This the most prayed prayer in history. It is recited every morning and evening in Israel. Muslims pray 5 times a day. Jews pray twice a day. And Christians pray . . . ???