Attention Word Slingers readers: Beginning December 11, 2019, all posts will be available at Thank you for reading Word Slingers!

They’re everywhere. Small ones. Big ones. They demand our attention every day, including on days like Thanksgiving.

I’m talking about screens, these “glowing rectangles.” Yes, society is in a screens craze. From personal devices to flat screen TVs, there’s almost no way to get away from screens these days.

I do not need to quote studies for us to realize that screen time is taking a bigger bite out of our daily lives than ever. These tech devices have numerous perks, such as entertainment, commerce, means of communications and even physical fitness apps and prompts. Yet the drawbacks are significant, especially when it comes to relationships.

This means Christians must regulate better our attention span, so we are not drawn away from Scripture and prayer. It also means we need to focus better on the people around us, instead of staring at screens all day (You have my approval, by the way, to stop reading this blog on a screen right now and focus on the people around you).

Here are three ideas to help you this Thanksgiving to focus more on people than screens:

  1. Unplug. Thanksgiving is one of those times when a majority of people are off work. This is your chance to cease checking work email, calls and texts. Take one day this year to have your phone away from you.
  2. If looking at screens, do so as a group. From watching the Dallas Cowboys football game to going out to a movie, screens can be enjoyed as a group. If you are going to enjoy some screen time, this Thanksgiving, try doing so as a group instead of a collection of atomized individuals.
  3. Make it a habit. If less screens for you on Thanksgiving goes well, try making a habit of it. Whether one hour a day or one day a week, such as Sunday, make a habit of checking your personal screen device less often. Apple’s iPhone itself has come out with some helpful tools to regulate screen time behavior, as well as numerous other helps out there.

As Thanksgiving comes and go, let’s all give thanks for what God has placed in our lives and what’s most important. And let’s try to balance out screen time with “others time.” In so doing, I think we will be glad we did and give thanks for it, even beyond the holidays.