Each Monday, we chat about faith and technology here at RachelWojo.com and today is no different with a hearty conversation about practical household rules for technology use. So what does that actually entail? Hmmm. I’m hoping for some ideas from you- but I’ll tell you what I’ve been thinking about so far. Before I spell out some of my thoughts on the issue, please remember that these guidelines are suggestions- all families are different. What works for one won’t work as well for another. So many factors come into play when considering technology use within your own household.
And one more disclaimer, I’m FOR plugging in to technology, as long as it doesn’t cause us to tune out our faith or each other. I personally believe that using technology to enhance spiritual growth and influence others for Christ is a wonderful way we can build our personal relationship with God and family, rather than break down relationships.
But today’s focus is to provide some practical family guidelines for technology use so that the family is media happy AND healthy. When the family is media happy and healthy, we will be RELIABLE for each other and others.
With that said, here’s how we can be RELIABLE in our family technology usage:
1. R- Reach for the salt and pepper, not the phones or remotes, at the dinner table.
I know this can’t be a goal for everyone. In fact, with my husband’s work, he often comes to the dinner table right at the end of a work day and there may be a loose end he has to tie up during dinner. It doesn’t bother us because we’d rather have him at the table with us than still at work. On the other hand, I rarely have a reason to have my phone at the dinner table- so I don’t. None of our younger children have phones, but we allow no toys or electronics at the table during meals and the tv is always turned off during meal times.
2. E- Encourage each other to discuss the day.
When I was young, there was a billboard in my hometown that displayed: “The family that prays together, stays together.” I’ve also heard the saying quoted: “The family that plays together, stays together.” The point is nothing can replace quality family time together, including praying and playing. Encouraging words at the dinner table will be remembered for a lifetime.
3. L- Look each other in the eyes, not at the tops of your heads.
If anyone’s head is bent down to look at anything other than food, we miss the blessing of truly being WITH one another. (This is where one of the blessings of technology kicks in that I absolutely love- Facetime!) The key to maximizing technology to build the family is in the choosing of when and how it is used.
4. I- Incorporate technology in family time together.
Play the Wii together as a family. Play games against each other on your various media devices. Use Facebook or Twitter as a tool to stay connected at times you can’t otherwise. Use a Bible app to read together. Use children’s Bible apps together. Technology is a beautiful thing when it brings the family together.
Stay tuned next week for the last four points of making our families RELIABLE for media happy and healthy homes. (CLICK HERE for this post)
Do you have any family guidelines for technology and media usage in your home? I’d love to read about them in the comments below.
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