6 Ways To Break (From) Your Cell Phone(Or Other Devices)

break phone

We are all attached, aren’t we? Let’s be honest, there are times when the phone/tablet dominates who we are and all of our time regardless of where we are or the people we are with. From buzzes and dings to ringtones and alerts, the never ending wonder/fascination/addiction to technology consumes much of our thoughts and lives. May I offer 6 ways to break from your phone to keep your sanity and be present with the physical world?

1.Pay full attention to the present people. When real people are present ready to engage in conversation, silence your phone. Give the phone a break when you have the chance to talk to people face-to-face and engage in meaningful expression. Turn it upside-down so you are not distracted by the screen lighting up.

2. Pay full attention to meals and company. When it’s meal time, leave the phone somewhere away from the table. Don’t trade a status update for a real date in front of you. Enjoy the time you have around the table catching up on events of the day and life happenings in real time with those in your family and circle of influence.

3. Get a full night’s sleep. Turn off your phone. Use a regular alarm clock. Studies have shown how sleeping habits have changed in students because of their incessant phone use. Students on average lose about 45 minutes a night because of their cell phone use. Sleep is vitally important for performing well in school, jobs or life. And I can almost promise that if you turn off your phone at least once a day, it will last longer too.

4. Full-proof a room. No-Tech Zone. Set up an area where no technology is allowed. When traveling or visiting people perhaps a time/space location that technology will not be allowed by anyone for any reason. Setting up a physical boundary is good to help combat the pervasive “wi-fi” signal.

5. Pay full attention to the road. No texting and driving. It’s the law in most places. Demonstrate restraint and respect for the law and life by waiting until you can text or use technology safely.

6. Take a full day off. No work. Sabbath. Most of us use technology and are engaged in some form of work almost all week long. God has given a standard of 6 days for work and one day for rest. Turn your phone off for one day and see how it affects you. A study was done of 82 students who agreed to give up their phones for 48 hours. Only 12 were able to make it the full amount of time!  God isn’t asking for two days…just one!

Hope this helps you become more engaged and attuned to your own soul and if nothing else, from really breaking your phone from overuse! Please submit any thoughts or comments. We’d love to hear from you.

George Profile

George Lockhart is a missionary with Vision 2 Hear and serves as the Creative Arts and Mission Pastor at New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA

The Youth Culture Report Digest

The Youth Culture Digest

Hey everyone,

Here are three articles you may have missed over the weekend that we published on our site: www.theyouthculturereport.com If you have not subscribed to our weekly newsletter, sign-up and get a top 10 list emailed to you each Friday. Here are samples of the content on our site. If it relates to youth culture, you will find it here!


8 Must Reads For Parents



What Pop Culture’s Childish Heroes Tell Us About Our Fantasies Of Youth


Caregiving Kids May Be At Risk






The Youth Culture Report Digest

youth-culture-report png

Hey everyone,

Here are three articles you may have missed over the weekend that we published on our site: www.theyouthculturereport.com If you have not subscribed to our weekly newsletter, sign-up and get a top 10 list emailed to you each Friday. Here are samples of the content on our site. If it relates to youth culture, you will find it here!

denzelequalizer Check out What’s Hot? This article is about things that are tearing up the charts over the last several days.

dove bath Check out Dove: Legacy. This video talks about how a mom’s self image is passed onto their children.

Can_We_Auto-Correct_Humanity__-_YouTube Watch this video of spoken word on addressing our attention to self and relationships: Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?

Tech Do’s and Don’ts


There is no doubt we are in an entirely different era of life. Smartphones, iPads and iPhones are seen in almost every hand, pocket or purse.  It’s nothing new to see kids texting at the table or hurrying through a meal to get back to their conversations online. But kids are not the only ones guilty of these relational faux pas. Parents are just as likely to be texting during times when connecting with their kids would be best. Whether it’s during “family time”, a sporting event or even church, adults and kids need to set some healthy boundaries for technology and relationships. May I offer a few do’s and don’ts for the school year and even life.

1) Designate a “tech free” time-out.

Technology is great for connecting with people who are distanced from us. However it can prevent us from connecting with people right in front of us! The tendency is to take the people closest to us for granted. Technology fools us into thinking that what’s happening somewhere else is more important or exciting than what’s going on right in front of us. Creating a tech free time-out for certain periods of the day can allow cultivation of personal familial relationships where each person can truly be focused. Setting aside morning times of 3o minutes for breakfast for quiet time, prayers, and connection with each other and God can be a wonderful way to start the day. Also, setting aside time at the dinner table, even if eating out, where technology is banned for the meal time can be a huge witness to others. Closing the day by requiring all phones and technology to be powered off by a certain time can also promote health within the family and allow for a good night’s sleep.

2) Designate a “tech free” zone.

These can be places like the kitchen table, church services, (I know some people have their Bibles on the technology but encourage old fashioned Bible carrying), and the car. All of these places are prime for connecting with each other in meaningful conversations. Technology can become a distraction if we are not careful and create spaces for people to cocoon and become lost for an entire journey “together”.

3) Determine to not allow technology  to prevent connection.

If you are in a room with people you really want to connect with and they are using their phones of tablets, send a text from your phone and simply convey that thought. Use the direct path and communicate that you desire face to face, eye to eye connection at this time. Sometimes the best way to fight a fire is with fire. Sending a simple text, or making a phone call to the person right beside you can be the gentle reminder without condemning.

4) Be consistent with what you ask and what you practice.

If you are going to require your children to use technology in certain ways you have to do the same. You have to pay attention, connect and communicate clearly. Technology is something we as adults feel like we “deserve” or need to do business etc. However, many kids can also feel cheated of their parent’s attention due to technology. It is imperative for the adults to set the right tone and example.

5) Don’t make technology the “bad guy”.

We all know that technology allows us to do so many things we were never able to do years ago. Practicing healthy boundaries and guidelines will only benefit us all the way around. Talk with your kids about the dangers of technology and the importance of safely using their phones, tablets and computers. Construct a family tech covenant that all can sign and honor. By adopting such practices, families and individuals are able to serve God without becoming slaves to technology.



George Lockhart is a full-time missionary with Vision 2 Hear and serves as youth pastor at new Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA.

No Bullies!

At some point we have all been affected by a bully to some degree. Many of us have even bullied others to a certain extent…just ask your siblings. But the bullies of old have morphed and become stronger, meaner, and more prevalent than ever! No longer is the bully just an oversized kid in the classroom among his or her peers. Nowadays bullies are almost everywhere the victims would want to be. And there seems to be no escape! With technology, cell phones, and the Internet, bullies can have their pleasure in tormenting their prey as much as they desire. An estimated 160,000 miss school everyday out of fear of being bullied with about 2.7 million children being bullied each year!

Studies and surveys have shown that 90%!!! of 4th-8th graders reported some form of bullying!

Look at these stats from http://www.bullyingstatistics.org

  • Over half, about 56 percent, of all students have witnessed a bullying crime take place while at school.
  • A reported 15 percent of all students who don’t show up for school report it to being out of fear of being bullied while at school.
  • There are about 71 percent of students that report bullying as an on-going problem.
  • Along that same vein, about one out of every 10 students drops out or changes schools because of repeated bullying.
  • One out of every 20 students has seen a student with a gun at school.
  • Some of the top years for bullying include 4th through 8th graders in which 90 percent were reported as victims of some kind of bullying.

There is clear evidence that bullying  in school is impacting our children dramatically. Much of this activity though started at school continues online via social sites like Facebook or Twitter, continuing virtually everywhere the victim goes.  Over half of all teens say they have been a victim of cyber bullying with 1 in 3 saying they have been threatened online.

Cell phones are the most common vehicles of technology  for digital harassment since they are much more private and individualized forms of communication. Digital harassment differs from cyber bullying in that it is usually between two people once romantically involved, although that’s not always the case.  Unlike Facebook or Twitter where parents or friends may intervene from being able see messages or pictures more easily, students are much more reticent to reveal their text or pic messages via mobil devices. Therefore cell phones provide easy-to-use tools for bullies and numerous ways for tormenting their victims outside of school.

A new documentary will be released on March 30 that will chronicle 5 victims of bullying at school. I would encourage every parent, youth worker and student to watch this movie to not only be informed but to take a stand against bullying in our nation. The movie will be released Unrated, after a petition of more than 500,00 decried it’s “R” rating. The movie reveals a real and raw look into the lives our kids live each day! Watch the trailer for the movie here: Bully

Here are a few general steps to take in dealing with your child and bullying.

Understand that bullying is a huge problem and your child is likely either exposed to or a victim of bullying.

Be engaged in the lives of your children. Isolation and ignorance provide ways for the bullying to continue. Knowing their friends, watching their behavior, and having meaningful open discussions with your children about bullying is vital in their thriving at school and in society. As a parent, teacher, or youth worker, being more actively engaged in the lives of your children will help safeguard them from bullies. Take initiative!

Understand that not everyone will stand up for those who are being bullied!

Be involved in your local school system. Many teachers and principals are not aware (and quite frankly some do not even care stating that it’s part of “growing up”) of the bullying that goes on in the halls or cafeteria. Being engaged means being involved. As adults, it is our responsibility to be actively involved in the nurturing and care of our kids. Don’t leave it to the school system to do something. Get involved!

Exercise your right and responsibility to be involved in the protection and safety of your child!

Be active in prayer and teaching. Many children may end up modeling behavior seen at home, on TV or in movies that is aggressive or violent in its nature like bullying. Praying for your child and instructing them in the ways of the Lord is essential. Help your child understand the right and wrong ways to deal with conflict, instilling within them a love for all people. Teach them how to control their tongues and be self -controlled when dealing with pain and anger. Be instructive!

There are many tools and resources available for helping you and your child deal with bullies. Here are a few links to assist.

National Crime Prevention

Pacer Center

Pacer for kids

Pacer for teens


Stop Bullying


George Lockhart is a missionary with Vision 2 Hear and works as student pastor at New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA