3 kids sit in a living room holding mobile devices and looking at the camera

Screen Time Check-In

So a few weeks ago, Peter texted our family chat and asked everyone to share a screenshot of their screen usage numbers for the previous week. 

Screen Time Check-In

I’m not going to go into the details of the screen time check-in, but let’s just say we all came face to face with some habits we didn’t really want to present to the rest of the family. We recognized some patterns we didn’t even want to see about ourselves.

3 kids sit in a living room looking down at mobile devices

I also came face to face with my technical inabilities, since I couldn’t even figure out how to find the screen that would tell me the appropriate data. And then I saw the number of “pickups”—the number of times I pick up and open my phone every day. An average of 100. Gulp. (I did the math. If I’m awake for 16 hours, that’s basically me picking up my phone and checking it once every ten minutes. All. Day. Long.)

And I won’t expose everyone else, but I will say there is a LOT of time on TikTok around here. And YouTube. (What does it say about me that I would be THRILLED to see my kids watching sitcoms, television dramas, or actual movies for hours on end?!?)

None of us loved what we saw about ourselves. But none of us beat ourselves up about it either. 

The kids suggested putting limits on the amount of time they are allowed to be on each app. A week later, once they blew through those limits on a regular basis, they asked for a password that they didn’t know so they simply had to be cut off.

It’s been such a good experience in recognizing how much we need gracious accountability. How much we need honest and humble acknowledgment of the hard truths of our behavior. How much we need each other to stumble toward the people we some day hope to become.

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