Are You Controlled by Technology?

How many times have you almost ran over someone in a parking lot, because they were looking at their phone, not watching where they were going?
Teenagers used to go to their room to shut parents out. Now they can be in the same room, with everyone on their phone.
Even dinner is interrupted by a buzz or a vibration that must be answered.
How many times have you been talking with someone and your phone rang? Do you have to look at it?
Isn’t that why they can leave a message?
My husband asks his teenage patients, “How soon after you text, do you expect an answer?”
Girls will answer, “Immediately, Now.” Guys will answer, "Within a few minutes, maximum 10 minutes."
How can students focus on school, or you (for that matter), if a text shifts their thoughts somewhere else?
Does it matter?

What does technology do to us?
In 2016, the 4th through 12th grades of Convent and Stuart Hall in San Francisco, along with some teachers and parents, decided to find out. They went on a three-day, Tech-Timeout Academic Challenge.
What did they find?
Some were addicted to just the presence of their phone. They felt lost, even handicapped without it. They couldn’t think.
Others found freedom. They had time to pursue activities they hadn’t before. They thought more. Found books. Listened to what others were saying. They connected with family and friends.
This was after only three days.

What happens over a longer period?
A mom shared what she found after a week without her phone.
She missed taking photos, but instead watched her children at their practices.
What did she notice? Her children smiled more because she actually watched them.
Later, they shared about their day.

But isn’t this new-generation’s thirst for information good?
The need to know has been inherent in mankind since the Garden of Eden. Didn’t Adam and Eve want to know what it was like to be “like God”?
But gaining knowledge is not always good.  Remember where Adam’s knowledge got him? Kicked out of the Garden.
There's a place for technology.
I share with you, using technology.
I depend on my boys’ texts to know “all is well” with them.
The next generation can manipulate technology to achieve so much information, and that is great.

But…with that tech savyness, people have become rude, disrespectful, and unable to communicate on a deeper level.
Being heard over your teenager’s music has always been a battle, but with today’s excellent ear buds, you can be tuned out, so much better.
When was the last time your child looked you in the eye when he spoke to you? Or does he even talk to you?
Or do you even notice, because you’re on your phone?
How many times have you told your child, “just a minute” then forgot to listen when he talked?
Do you look at him as he speaks, giving him your undivided attention?
How about your husband? Do you parallel play—sit beside each other, but play independently on your phones?
When was the last time you talked with your husband?
How do teachers hold the attention of 30 students, while their phones beep and buzz in their pockets demanding an immediate answer, and their minds wishing they could answer. How much learning is done?

Yes, we justify why our child has the technology we’ve allowed them.
“A phone is for their safety.” “I know where they are.” “I know when to pick them up from practice.”
Whatever the reason, all of them probably good; Does the good outweigh the bad?

Someone commented to me recently about not allowing their child to have a phone. They felt pressure to give one. They feel less of a “good parent,” if their child doesn’t own one.

Here's our guidelines for phone use.
Not all our children NEED phones. What constitutes a need for us?
When they are driving on their own. Before that, they’re always within access of someone’s phone.
Why even then? Because we live in an area where they could literally fall off a cliff. Their work is dangerous. They cut down trees. They weedwack with poisonous snakes. They’re using heavy equipment. They are herding big cows that do damage when they run over people. They shoe mules that have a good kick…. I want to know if they're ok. That is for safety.

They use their phones for business. (They schedule their workload with clients.)
They use their phones to keep me posted (“Mom, I made it here fine.” On long trips, not every day trips.)
They use their phones to stay connected with friends. (Some long-distance.)
Smart phones aren’t needed, until they had their own businesses, then they paid for them.
Most of the boys have text and talk, no internet. Basic.

As to other technology, our rule: Keep it simple.

We don’t have a television. And yes, we do have electricity.
By not having TV, many other problems are eliminated. I don't have limit it, evaluate what to watch, fight for anyone's attention, or yell over it.
We talk more.
My husband had a roommate that watched too much television. He cut the wires of his tv, then later spliced them together when he couldn't go without it any more. 
How much is your television on? Do you even know if you are addicted to it?

Without a tv in our house, we aren’t tempted to have it on all the time. Nor do we watch when we’re bored, need to be entertained, or just tired. If we had a TV, I’d find excuses every day why it wouldn’t hurt the boys to settle down, and allow me quiet time.

The Nielson survey in 2015 reported, Americans spent ten hours and 39 minutes consuming media (watching TV, surfing web, using app on phone, listening to radio.) That’s a lot of time.

Yet we can't find time to read what God says is important?

What do we do insteads? We talk, sing, read. We go to bed early (7-8 PM) and are ready for work the next day.
We live. Instead of watching someone else live.

If there’s a good movie, that we can’t live without watching, we do have a computer.
Sunday evenings, especially when my husband’s gone, the boys often watch something. Many times, it’s the same movie, because that’s what we have. (Watching the same movie, may be better than watching a bad movie.) But I do draw the line on watching stupid movies too many times…Marc Brothers, Get Smart, Three Stooges. I can only deal with so much stupid. And I do not want to hear about the movie, if I've chosen not to watch it with them.

When our boys go to college, they need a laptop for their studies. I don’t know what other schools demand before that, but their schooling can be done on my computer.

Our dependence on technology has become addictive, consuming, controlling, and changing our behavior negatively.
Yes, we need it.
But we must control its use or it control us.

Still aren’t convinced of its power over you?
Let me challenge you to not use technology for a week: 7 days. 
(Not including cars and work related needs, but no radio/CDs/ipads in cars.)
You must organize and plan ahead.
You must look on a map to get somewhere.
You must think, instead of listening to music.
You might even find you connect with your family.

The quiet times while driving or walking allow the Spirit of God to speak to you.
You can listen and hear Him better.
It’s what He wants. For you to know Him.

Accessed 8-23-2017

Displaying 1 comment

There are obviously too many who are totally dependent on technology and "can't" live without it. We have go-phones, which means it's ONLY a phone. I'm with you, our kids need phones when they are driving, which is why we got a cell phone to start with, but other than that, it's so unnecessary. Fortunately our own kids are not into doing things on their phone all the time and the grand kids are very low tech. I think it's important to keep them that way. Once they get into all this stuff, they too easily become addicted. Thanks for sharing.

I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

Receive weekly articles by giving your email address below:

Click on book cover for details.




Tell of My Kingdom's Glory
Three Book Series



Find more articles about faith here:
A Few Words about Marriage
When Suffering Gets Personal
What an Amazing God We Serve
Response to Healthy Gaming
How Miserable Are You? Are You Happy?
The Need for Meaning Even in Pain
Reminders of What's Important
God's Unmeasurable Love
A Quarter of a Century Spent for Our Country
What Were You Thinking?
Who Are You Watching?
Boundaries for a Better Life
God's Boundaries
Memories of a Hero Mom
The Ripple Effect
How Do We Think Like Jesus
Litany of a Waiting Woman
Ever Cook a Frog?
New Year's Reminders
They Galled Her Gammy
When God Speaks
A Russian Christmas Story
Be Thankful
Be Grateful
Are You Tired of the Same, Old Thing?
Laughter—Why Laugh?
Are You Disturbed?
Unity of the Brothers
Encouragements To Declutter
Do You Have Too Much Stuff?
Too Much Stress
Getting Past the Noise—The Value of Silence
Are You Scatterbrained?
How Good Are You?
Looking for Something Good To Read?
A Cup of Cold Water
I Will Trust When I Cannot See
Encouragement—What Is It?
Being in God's Presence
"Einstein and the Professor"
When God Is Silent
Do You Crave Beauty?
Using Stories to Discipline
The Danger of the Wrong Story
Using Stories to Teach Lessons
God is in charge of the future
November Dare Joy Challenge
Developing an Attitude of Gratitude
Looking for Jesus
What Do Your Prayers Reflect?
Life's Little Pleasures
Daniel—Greatly Loved by God
Take Every Thought
Jars of Clay
What Do Your Words Reveal about Your Heart?
How Do You Get Strong Faith?
Too Busy for God's Word?
How Do You Think Like Jesus?
Reflections from a Mom
Pain—What's It Good For?
Why Marry?
Consider the Robin
One Life Who Made a Difference
What Day Are You Living In?
Interrupted by God
Is Jesus Really the Answer to Everything?
Are You Beat Up?
What's Your Hurry?
Are You a Manipulator?
Are You Salty?
Are You Condemned?
Trying to Understand?
Do You Expect Answers to Your Prayers?
Do You Eat Your Stress?
Need Focus?
Going through Trouble?
Immanuel—God with Us
Looking for a Relationship?
When God Says, "No!"
What Do You Do with Left-Overs?
How Great Is Your God?
Are You Needy?
How Do You See Sin?
What Do Your Words Mean?
Is Evil Overwhelming You?
Those Aha Moments
Is Your Soul Happy?
Are You Ignored?
Looking for the God Moment
Do You Know Truth from Almost Truth?
I Believe in Jesus—What Now?
Do You Have Your "Son"-Glasses On?
Less Is More
Singing His Praise
Are You Trying To Do It All?
What Do You Do with All These Prayer Requests?
Have a Problem?
Do You Know How to Pray?
Looking for God in Every Moment
Are You Receptive to God's Blessings?
Tell the Senate: Mothers Aren't Birthing People
Is Your Life Complicated?
How Do We Fight Evil?
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Giving Up or Taking Away
the Bible is simple
Are You a Dripping Faucet?
What's Your Testimony?
The Final Move
Be Careful What You Wish For!
Are Your Prayers Answered?
I Choose Joy
What Have You Learned from Your Hardship?
Who Are You Trying to Change?
What's Your Five-Year Plan?
The Danger of "Aloneness"
My Colors
Are You a Whiner?
Are Your Works Approved?
Do You Think You're Stressed?
Is Your Soul Feeling Ragged?
God Speaks to the Heart of the King
What about the Details?
Have You Felt the Long-Suffering of God?
How Does God Lead You?
Do You Have Enough?
Don't Carry More than You Need
Cast the Seed
God Is Faithful
Are You Deceived?
Are You Essential?
Are You Safe?
Are You Tired of the Same Old Thing?
Does the World Make Sense?
Have You Seen God's Majesty?
Do You Feel Judged?
If You Only Had One More Day To Live
Are You Understood?
Do You Long for the Word of God?
Slow Down and Smell the Dead Leaves
Are You Hospitable?
Our Heritage Is Bought by Blood
Are You Disturbed?
Are You Depressed?
I Did It My Way
Finding the Simple Life with Meaning
The Simple Life
Do You Have the Right Words?
Did Your Dream Die?
On the Other Side of the Fence
Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence
Confessions of a Desperate Mom
Saving for Tomorrow
A Wedding Remembered
Who Will Stand in the Gap?
Are You a Protector or a Ruler?
Who Are You?
Are You an Image Bearer or a Wad of Cells?
Are You a Watchman?
Where Do You Find Meaning?
The Lamb of God as Told by a Scribe
What Love Is This?
Remember: The Symbols of Passover Explained
Tea and Rest
Do You Have Peace?
What Makes a Marriage Work?
When Life Is Awful
Are You Strong Enough?
Be Faithful through Suffering
Do You Know the Word?
Wake Up! Strengthen What Remains
Are You Spit in God's Mouth?
Is Jezebel in Your Midst?
Do You Stand Against Satan Himself?
Are You Tired of Being a Mom?
What in the World Is Happening?
It's Not My Story
How Would Your Faith Compare?
Are You Sinking?
Are You a Rule Follower?
Useful for Him
An Intimate Moment with Mary
The Worldview that Makes the

Thoughts to Ponder
What Does It Take To Know the
    Heart of God?

See the Story in the Stars
Do the Scriptures Burn You?
Being in His Presence
Contentment: It's Not for the Timid
How Secure Are You?
How Do You Respond To Stupid People?
The Earthworm Is My Hero
Heart Issues or Issues of the Heart
Things Aren't Always What They Seem
More faith articles are found here:
under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Or here:
under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Articles on Suffering can be found  here, 
under Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Special Days
Remember: The Symbols of 
   Passover Explained

Aug 12, 2017 The Heavens Declare the Glory of God
July 4th, Freedom
What Is an American Soldier?
Valentine's Day: A Day of Love?
Memorial Day-A Day To Remember
Veterans' Day-To Honor Our Men
Fall Colors
First Thanksgiving Day

Christmas: Stories behind the Songs
Christmas: Stories behind the Songs, part 2