Cell Phones Erode Relationships – Unplug & Sign Off

I stumbled across this video and was so moved by the message of knowing when to UNPLUG & SIGN OFF that I had to blog about digital addictions. You can’t go anywhere these days and not see a great number of people eyes glued to their cell phones.

I was in the grocery store the other day and decided that I would try a natural sugar to replace our Splenda consumption.

There were a variety of sugar substitutes and I could not decide, so I took out my iPhone, pulled up the Internet and began to see which one was better. Because of this instant access I was able to make a choice.This is clearly an illustration of how cell phones can HELP.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I went out to dinner and in just our small eating area we saw a half dozen people with families or on dates texting or even having the phones up to their ear. This is clearly an illustration of how cell phones can HURT.

The emergence of cell phones as ever-present communication devices has expanded the ways in which we live and interact with each other, BUT if not properly put into CHECK by establishing certain boundaries, it can and will ERODE our relationships.

This video is clearly indicative of the times we live in and illustrates a clear message of what could happen if we become oblivious to our surroundings because of our preoccupation with technology.
As you can see cell phones AND computers have change how we DO relationships and is not always for the better.

Take a look at these statistics:

According to Pew Research. . .

82% of Americans own a cell phone
average cell phone users check their phone 34 times a day
84% people don’t think they could be separated from their phones for just one day
75% cell phone users feel “panicked” when losing their phone
65% of cell owners have slept with their cell phone

NOMOPHOPIA – (no mobile-phone phobia) The fear of being out of contact with someone via mobile phone.

A couple years ago, a video went viral of a girl so engaged with her cell phone that she walked right into mall fountain.

Why, the cell phone obsession?

Unlimited options/instant access

Alarm clock, GPS, camera, video, Facebook, Twitter, movies, music, text messaging and instant Internet access are just a mere handful of applications that can be found on any phone.

One evening I was walking out onto a pier when the lamp post light went out. I took my phone, opened up the app store, downloaded and installed a flashlight app all in less than 60 seconds. It was then that I said that these smart phones can do everything short of repairing a leak in the kitchen sink.

It is no wonder why we stay glued to our electronic devices.

Know when to UNPLUG!

Just as the video depicts, our preoccupation with our phones (or our computers) can put a strain upon and or ruin our personal relationships.

We must exercise caution and be disciplined in our use of technology while intentionally connecting with those we love by giving them our UNDIVIDED attention and time.  This is done by establishing appropriate boundaries and knowing WHEN to sign off, disconnect and unplug.

Have you assessed just how much time your are giving to your digital devices?

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Top 3 Reasons Why Your Volunteers Get Weary in Well-doing

volunteer burnoutBelow is a list of the Top 3 Church Volunteer Pet Peeves.  See if any ring familiar.  I have taken the time to write down some of their suggestions that would make life a whole lot easier!

  1. Feel like their time is being wasted
  2. Unproductive meetings
  3. Lack of resources to do their job

Feel like their time is being wasted. Volunteers complain that meetings start late which means they will end late, key people are absent rendering meetings obsolete, there are times volunteers show up for scheduled meetings that don’t occur.

Potential solution:  Pastors, emphasize to all of your chairpersons that meetings need to start on time and they need to take the responsibility of sending out email and or text message reminders; encourage them to have another committee member help them.

The average smartphone has a group text option.  This allows you to create a group name i.e ‘Ushers.’ Input members cell phone numbers once, write text message and hit send. The next time you need send your them a message you just click Ushers, write your message and hit send. There are features in church management systems that will do the same thing; however there are associated costs.

Email and or group text reminders should include: date and time of meeting with a call for a response. “Please Advise ‘yes or no’ regarding your attendance.” Do this even for regular monthly scheduled meetings.  People have a lot going on in their personal lives and will benefit from reminders.

If there are not enough confirmations consider canceling or postponing meeting.

Unproductive meetings.  Volunteers often complain about attending meetings where there is no agenda or copy of minutes.  Everyone tends to ramble on with their own issues meeting after meeting. Another common problem is someone has promise to take ownership over a tasks and fails to complete it; it goes UN-noticed until the next alarm sounds.

Potential solution.  Pastors make agendas and minutes mandatory.  These tools help to guide and focus meetings. Suggest that chairperson assign someone to take notes or set a ‘Round Robin’ schedule where everyone takes a turn taking notes.

Create a 4-Column Task Sheet: Date, Open Task, Assign to, Complete Date. This task sheet should be attached to each agenda and reviewed at each meeting.

Lack of resources to do job.  Nothing is worse than having a meeting and discovering there are no tables or chairs in your room, the curriculum was not ordered or the classroom is locked or worse yet, your entire committee is waiting outside on the parking lot again because the church building is locked.

Potential solution.  Pastors, we are asking these volunteers to sacrifice their time for the ministry work for the church.  The least we can do is assure they have the resources to do their jobs. Repeated complaints concerning access is unacceptable.

Engage your trustees, who are also volunteers, in solving this problem.  Perhaps a new system needs to be developed or a policy needs to be put in place regarding the removal of furniture from the rooms. If this happens frequently there may now be a legitimate case to purchase additional furniture assuring that rooms are properly set up.

Empower your chairpersons to work with trustees regarding access.  If this continues to be a problem, perhaps it is time for a  ‘changing of the guards’ or time to issue out more keys rather than risk shutting down an entire ministry because of frustrated volunteers.

 volunteer neededSUMMARY. Ninety percent of our churches run today are run by volunteers.  We are always recruiting.  It’s important to treat them with care. Contrary to popular belief committed volunteers are not that easy to come by. In addition, the average committed volunteer is working up to three or four other ministries so burnout is common.

With all of this mind, it is extremely important that we show our appreciation and care for their well being.

Was this helpful? Perhaps you have some other recommendations you would like to share.