A Lenten Challenge

Look Up

There has been a tremendous amount of discussion in the media recently regarding the ill-effects of technology use, including increased rates of depression, decreased self-esteem, and the prevalence of a true addiction to phones and social media particularly among teenagers. We've compiled a list of resources and articles for families to help them navigate this topic.  

Our Challenge to the EHS Community

Because this is a problem we all deal with in our homes and families, EPC and Campus Ministry decided to embark on a Lenten campaign to challenge all members of the EHS community — students, parents, and faculty/staff — to reduce time spent on cell phones and social media so that we can all reengage more wholeheartedly with the world around us.

We challenge you and your family during Lent to take some steps to change these patterns. We’ve put together a list of ideas to help you get started. How to help your family reduce phone and social media use over the next six weeks:

•Commit to specific phone-free time. Leave phones in a central location in your home such as in a basket or box. Check it once and hour/once an evening/or not at all. And charge phones outside of the bedroom.

•Try a social media fast. Commit to checking your accounts once per day/once per week or not at all until Easter!

•Set a timer. Allow yourself a set amount of time online each day or week and set your timer. When the alarm sounds, log off.

•Use an alarm clock. Avoid grabbing the phone first thing in the morning by using an actual alarm clock instead of the alarm on your phone.

•Change your phone’s settings to grayscale. Your phone will loose some of it’s appeal without the bright colors and you may have an easier time setting it aside. Here’s how to change it on an iPhone: SETTINGS> GENERAL > ACCESSIBILITY > DISPLAY ACCOMMODATIONS > COLOR FILTERS and select GRAYSCALE.

•Turn off social media notifications. Silence the ding, vibration or ring of your phone. By taking control of your notifications, you will avoid interruptions or distractions and you will be able to check social media when it is convenient for you instead of when notified.

•Learn more by reading.There is a plethora of information regarding teens and screen usage. We've compiled several useful and insightful articles that may serve as a great starting point for a conversation with your teenager about screen usage.

•Use social media as a reward for work done. Stop procrastinating by allowing yourself to check social media once work or homework is done. Students will be encouraged to adopt better habits during the school day as well. Teachers will make suggestions of things to try. EPC will provide some fun treats/prizes to kids at various time to encourage them to engage with friends at lunch, for example, rather than with their phones. Coaches and co-curricular moderators will be encouraged to participate as well, so that teammates are present and having fun together where they are.

Let’s all do this together and see what we learn! Will we be calmer, more focused, and more engaged? Will our kids be happier? Get their homework done more efficiently? Make new friends? Let’s LOOK UP! And see what happens.