The Allure of Screen Time

In this digital age, with the allure of screens, too many things vie for our attention. Thus, it’s important to help your child use technology wisely.


Have you ever seen a child who just couldn’t put the Bible down? Imagine your surprise if you called your child to dinner and they replied, “Mom, just give me a few more minutes in the Gospel of John!”

Unfortunately, kids aren’t glued to the Word of God. They are glued to screens. Now, it’s possible for technology to be used to read the Bible or even memorize Scripture, but that isn’t what kids are doing on phones and tablets.

Why is screen time so alluring to kids anyway? Here are three reasons:

1.  Screen time is interesting.

There are no dull moments in the world of screens because your child can always navigate away from something if it is not interesting. Drop-down menus offer more exciting choices. Everything is centered around what pleases the child─even how they listen to music caters to their interests. They don’t just have a CD of music they like; they have a playlist that has exactly what they want to listen to. When you can create a screen world that is based on your preferences, you have little desire in the real world to pay attention to anything you deem boring, irrelevant, or unpleasant.    

2.  Screen time is instant.

If you want to know the answer to “Who was Abraham Lincoln?” you don’t have to take out an encyclopedia or ask a teacher─you can search for the answer on your computer or phone and have the answer instantly. It's so easy to get information in this digital age. That’s a great benefit, but it can also be a curse. Children learn that answers come easily and instantly on screens. If information requires effort to obtain, many screen savvy kids give up. They become accustomed to instant gratification, and unfortunately, that expectation spills into other areas of life where things don’t come instantly.       

3.  Screen time gives immediate rewards.

When you click on something on a screen, you immediately get a response. A character moves, a ball is released, or a page changes to reveal something new. A child is constantly rewarded for their engagement. Children who play video games learn quickly that if they keep pressing the buttons, they will advance to the next level. Computer programmers understand that kids will play and engage indefinitely if the rewards keep coming.

Since instruction in school isn’t always instantly gratifying or rewarding, screen-driven kids enter the classroom at a disadvantage. Boys and girls need self-control and strong reading skills to succeed in school. They also need these skills to listen to biblical messages and read the Bible for themselves.

When a screen-saturated child faces a task that is uncertain, they often disengage and quit. It’s just too hard. In the screen world, children are trained daily to get what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. That doesn’t sound much like the real world we are preparing our children to live in.

In this digital age, so many things vie for your attention and the attention of your child─a notification, the next episode which plays automatically, or someone liking your social media post. Modern technology platforms are programmed to grab your child’s attention and never let it go.

Help your child to use technology wisely by modeling healthy use yourself and by setting consistent boundaries. Delay when your child receives personal devices. Proverbs 25:28 says, “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls” (NKJV).

Help your child win the war against the screens!

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