Dear Deborah

Dear Deborah-Issue 1 2020

A few weeks ago my husband mentioned my reserved demeanor and uninterested attitude toward friends, our relationship, and family activities.

Dear Deborah,

A few weeks ago my husband mentioned my reserved demeanor and uninterested attitude toward friends, our relationship, and family ctivities. Not long after, my oldest
daughter commented, “Mom, you don’t seem yourself anymore.”

Hearing these observations surprised me since I’m fairly outgoing and upbeat. Their comments definitely caught my attention and confirmed my own concerns. Deep down, I knew something was amiss, but I couldn’t put my finger on it exactly. So after a lengthy self-review, the realization of my drift toward isolation hit me hard.
And now I don’t know what to do. How can I reconnect?

Even worse, I’ve completely ignored repeated comments from my family about “too much screen time.” I’ll admit that scrolling through social media and random internet searches for endless hours and for no reason became an obsession. Even though I know it’s a waste of time, I inevitably grab my cell phone the first thing every morning. Honestly, I’m addicted to my electronic devices more than I thought. In fact, the thought of not having my phone near me at all times breaks me out in a cold sweat. Please help me find balance and my way back to my family.





Dear Disconnected,

The scenario you describe isn’t unusual. While our electronic devices are necessary and have great advantages, the negative consequences often outweigh the good.

It isn’t hard to see why countless individuals struggle to find balance with device usage. But be of good courage! You can regain normalcy, reconnect with family and friends, and—most of all—improve your overall well-being.

Most people are aware that by limiting screen time we can have increased quality and quantity of sleep, fewer headaches, less neck pain, improved vision, and even improved selfimage and emotions. However, the negative effects on social connections are often neglected—and many times denied. Technology is here to stay, so implementing practical ways to maintain balance is crucial. By adopting one or more of the following suggestions, you can be on your way to a healthier and more engaged you!

Pray first thing when your eyes open in the morning, asking God to help you.

Download a phone usage app. Use it to track and limit your screen time.

Place your phone/smart watch in a different room while you exercise.

Encourage “cell-free” periods in your home, especially during dinner and family worship.

Disable notifications and sound alerts.

Finally, pray together as a family and discuss creative options to lessen screen time and reconnect. Holding one another accountable will benefit everyone, and before you know it, a win-win reconnection will occur.