Unplugging to connect : reimagining Christian identity formation in the digital age
Screens are here to stay. With their myriad uses, screens have found a permanent place in our lives. We reap many benefits from our screens, but thoughtful observers cannot help but wonder, “Are screens delivering on their promised purpose in our lives?” There is good reason to consider thoughtfully how we use them. Overstimulation and constant connection are taking a toll on our souls. We have seen a significant decline in mental health since the invention of the smartphone. Overuse of screens, especially social media, leads to lower levels of happiness and higher levels of anxiety. We do well to be intentional about how we use screens and to implement practices that will mitigate their negative effects. This paper explores the shadow side of screen use. It also looks into relevant Christian practices that help develop one’s identity as a beloved child of God. My project invited families into a six-week experience with imaginative prayer. While my focus is on kids and screens, I believe this project offers something for everyone who wants to be released from screen’s grip into glorious freedom as beloved children of God.