How Screen Time Became My Idol Part 3

Anything can become an idol. Anything can take your focus off God. Ministry work can become an idol if you allow it to puff you up or if you are pursuing a works-based salvation. Doing the dishes can become an idol if you need rely on the solitary moments for refreshment more than you need the refreshing of the Holy Spirit. Going to Bible study can become an idol if you are elevating your Biblical knowledge and not worshipping the author of the Bible. Anything can become an idol, and I allowed screen time to become one of mine.

Screen Time in and of itself is not going to cause idolatry for everyone. Screens as an object are not evil and do not become a source of sin in every individual. My children have learned so much by playing educational apps and I am very thankful to have positive options for them to utilize. There are definitely some benefits to Screen Time and technology. In full fairness to technology, I want to share some of our favorite apps.

Some of our favorite apps are:

1. Peekaboo Barn: This is a fun app for toddlers where they learn the names of barnyard animals and the noises these animals make. The peekaboo setup is entertaining for littles and the cute animation is endearing. There are several other Peekaboo apps as well.
2. Bible App for Kids: This app is 100% free and has a large library of Bible stories with activities. It goes through the Old and New Testaments, reads the Bible story aloud to the child, then has interactive picture pages. As you progress through the story you can unlock hidden truths and at the end there is a quiz question over the story. My boys enjoy playing through these stories and it is teaching them the Bible in an age appropriate manner.
3. Letter School: We primarily used an earlier version of this app and I am not as familiar with the current version. It teaches shapes, letters, and numbers. You learn the names of each item, it’s purpose (A is for Ant), and how to draw/write it. There are matching games, flash cards, and quizzes.
4. ABC- Alphabet Phonics: This app teaches letter recognition and phonics in a fun game format. There are multiple difficulty settings and the child is asked to choose the correct letter based on the name/sound. If the wrong letter is selected the child is encouraged to try again, which emphasizes learning and does not shame the child.
5. Endless Reader/Endless Alphabet: I credit this app with J starting to read independently at age 3. This app teaches how words go together, how phonics work, and about general sentence structure. It is interactive with kids dragging letters/words to their outlines and then narrates the silly sentences about monster friends. It makes spelling and learning to read fun!

I am very thankful for technology. As a military family, it is easy and convenient to keep up with friends and family all around the world with social media and video calling. I am thankful for educational apps that teach my children in new and fun ways. I am thankful to have access to such great resources and thousands of age appropriate cartoons since we do not have television service. There are so many benefits for Screen Time.

I am still working on finding the right balance with Screen Time and our family, but I refuse to allow it to rule my life. I refuse to allow screens to parent my children more than I do. I refuse to be so attached to my screen that my children are surprised when I am not holding my phone. I refuse to interact more on social media than I do in my neighborhood and community. I am so thankful for the positive effects our family has experienced due to Screen Time and I pray that in the future I am able to more wisely utilize our time and seek to honor God with it.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17

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