This is a guest post by my friend, Arlene Pellicane. I think you’ll enjoy it!
His comment caught me off-guard.
Since I was speaking at a youth conference about teens and technology, I figured the dad waiting to speak with me wanted to talk about his crazy texting teenager.
But he didn’t come to talk about his daughter. He came to talk about his wife.
You see, this man was a father of three who had a wonderful wife except for one little area. She was addicted to Twitter.
It began innocently enough. His wife was involved in women’s ministry. She would notice someone in need and send them an encouraging tweet during the week. The recipient of the tweet was so touched that Nancy began sending messages to more women in the church to encourage them. Before she knew it, she was constantly communicating with friends on social media.
Being digitally connected became a part of her life and she didn’t know how to stop.
On date nights, she would sit with her husband at dinner, phone in hand. She would reply to tweets and send tweets about the restaurant. During commutes, at home, at play – one thing was constant. Her connection to her phone at all times.
The man’s friends started calling his wife the “Twitter Queen” and that wasn’t meant as a compliment as you can imagine.
This husband and wife aren’t the only ones struggling with the intrusion of technology into our relationships. Parents are glued to their phones while they walk their kids from the parking lot to the school yard. At home, moms or dads constantly face screens, whether it’s a computer, tablet, television, or phone.
We’re busy checking emails, social media, stock prices, daily news, and text messages. Headlines grab our attention while our kids or spouses go unnoticed.
No child wants to compete with screens for their parents’ attention nor should they have to. Yet adults are becoming increasingly dependent on their devices, causing communication to erode with their children. Kids don’t need constant attention from their parents, but they do need the assurance that they rank above the noise of the screen world.
Here’s a great video from Gary Chapman on the issue of raising relational kids in a screen-driven world.
So before you scroll through posts on social media, ask yourself a few questions:
Am I wasting time on social media?
Do the people in my family have my full attention or am I distracted by social media?
Is there anything I need to change to make sure I don’t end up like the “Twitter Queen?”
Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World (co-authored with Gary Chapman), 31 Days to a Happy Husband, and 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife.
Arlene has been featured on the Today Show, Fox & Friends, Family Life Today, K-LOVE, The Better Show, The 700 Club, Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah, and TLC’s Home Made Simple.
Arlene earned her BA from Biola University and her Masters in Journalism from Regent University. She lives in San Diego with her husband James and three children.