Screening Your Screen Time
February 2012

“Screening Your Screen Time,” New Era, Feb. 2012, 34–35

Screening Your Screen Time

Be wise with how you’re connected to the Internet, TV, and your family.

Technology can have a strong influence for good or evil, depending on how it’s used. Here’s how others are plugging in and unplugging from technology to make a positive difference. How will you screen your screen time this week?

Plugging In for Good

[Technology] ties the world together. I can listen to general conference at the click of a button. It also allows my family to communicate with each other.

—Daniel B.

The Internet [LDS.org] helped me prepare a talk for church. And I love that I can do family history online [lds.org/fhy] and how easy it is to just print out a name and take it to the temple.

—Terri J.

It helps with missionary work. Also, some families are able to communicate with a child who is on a mission. And now, I have the privilege to complete my Personal Progress online [personalprogress.lds.org].

—Haley A.

We use Mormon Messages videos a lot for family home evening.

—Josie A.

The Internet makes FamilySearch indexing [indexing.familysearch.org] incredibly easy and accessible anywhere.

—Janica L.

You are able to share the gospel, do [service] activities in the Vineyard [vineyard.lds.org], interact with other members of the Church, and receive daily messages from LDS.org.

—Elizabeth M.

Preparing for talks, reading and watching conference, watching Mormon Messages, connecting with family, finding piano music, looking up addresses of nearby chapels when you are on vacation … the list goes on and on! If you use technology appropriately, it can be a huge blessing!

—Katie K.

It helps me set up weekly temple trips with my friends to go do baptisms for the dead.

—Hamilton C.

It helps us to share the gospel worldwide.

—Jaryl M.

Unplugging for Balance

Sometimes it’s important to unplug from technology to keep a healthy balance in your life. Here’s what others have to say about taking a break from technology.

You need to take time out to enjoy the world and talk to God, not just to your friends on Facebook.

—Elise K.

Technology itself isn’t bad, but if it distracts you from what’s important, then it is.

—Louisa Jo S.

Like everything else, “moderation in all things.”

—Kurt M.

We did a “Turn Off, Tune In” technology fast for a whole week. It was inspiring to hear what we all learned by “being still” and listening (see Psalm 46:10 and D&C 101:16).

—Jacqui P.

In June, my dad encouraged everyone to not watch TV or be on the computer as much, so the family would hang out more. I really liked it, but it was hard sometimes. But I love hanging out with my family so much more than watching a TV show or movie!

—Alyssa M.

We do need to unplug every day, usually more than once. During those daily breaks we spend time with our families and with ourselves.

—Myrana E.

For the Strength of Youth tells us that we need to exercise, and we can’t do that if we are always involved with technology. Sometimes technology can distract us from listening to the Spirit.

—Savannah K.

If you live in a video game, you’ll eventually forget real life. It could break a family member’s heart to have brothers or sisters who spend more time with their virtual family than with their real family.

—Sarah A.

We need to unplug from the world, because if we don’t we become more dependent on technology than we do on the Lord.

—Hillary H.

These things should never take up too much time in your life or hinder you from spending time with family or God. As entertainment, they should be used sparingly and should never crowd out spiritual thoughts.

—Jacob S.

I believe it is good to unplug and spend some time to live in the now rather than through your phone. We also need time to ourselves to think a lot more often than we give ourselves.

—Natalie P.

Photo illustrations by Derek Israelsen and Robert Casey; photographs © ISTOCK/Alex Siobodkin, Rouzes