Defining Your Relationship to Screens – A Famous At Home podcast

In a world so driven by social media and technology, we don’t recognize how enslaved we are to the things that keep us from being fully present in the moment with others–especially our loved ones. On a Famous At Home podcast, Dr. Josh Straub unpacks the costs of out screen addition and discusses two significant ongoing practices that have helped him limit his technology use.
Freedom in Showing Up
We live in a world of digital distractions that can take us away from being present and engaged with others. After a three month hiatus on social media, Dr. Josh Straub has started to think differently about the role technology plays in our modern lives. Josh reflects
“Years of technology have wired my brain for something other than I was created for.”
He believes that a lot of us have squandered the freedom of being “all there” and present with those we care about and don’t realise how enslaved we’ve become to our screens.
The effects of overusing technology
Technology not only affects how attentive we are to our spouse or children, Josh says it’s to life in general.
“We feel the pressure and the pain of what researchers call actual ‘partial continuous attention.’”
Josh shares that partial continuous attention is actually hindering our children’s brains. Even as early as infancy research shows that if a parent shows partial continuous attention, there is a part of the brain that shuts down in the infant and it affects the attachment to the caregiver which leads to anxiety and depression in the child. Josh observes,
“When your emails follow you around, when notifications follow you around, when text messages follow you around and you feel the pressure to get back to someone immediately in the moment- your phone owns you.”
He quotes Dr Lane Langberg who says that anything you cannot fast from owns you. Whether it’s notifications, emails or our followers online, there is a subtle place in our lives where we gravitate to our screens and for many of us, there are thousands of times a day we are tapping onto our screens. Josh warns of overusing technology,
“My fear is that muscle is also used for relationships and so we stop remembering facts about people…We stop remembering to send an encouraging note to someone or to pray for them because we get so caught up in our own little world.”
There’s a lot of ways that overusing social media makes us live suboptimal lives so that we view our lives through the lens of how others perceive us online.
A rule of life
In Josh’s journey on reflecting on his relationship to screens, he has adopted two significant practices that help him to show up well: daily rhythms and ordering his inner world. After studying monastic traditions, Josh has implemented a rule of life that shapes how he shows up for God and for others.
“We live in a disordered world and the only way you can navigate a disordered world is to have your inner world ordered.”
By fasting from social media for three months, Josh found that he was more present with people inside and out of the home. Not only is Josh spending more quality time with his wife and three children, he is more engaged in conversation with others and has more free time to help in his local community. Josh has also noticed that his inner emotions have changed from being fearful to joyful.
What is making me so busy?
Josh believes that lies and idols may be shaping our technology addiction. We all can face the propensity to believe the lie that we are not enough or we are not loved by God. We chase idols, we chase things that come and soothe us when we are not doing so well. Josh highlights,
“Chasing on the screen is a reflection of what I’m trying to cover up as a result of insecurities.”
By following a rule of life and spending more time with God we become more aware of God’s love for us and that we are His beloved. This removes the striving and the fear that often comes through social media as we become trapped into comparing ourselves with others or fearful from world events because we are constantly scrolling the news.
For more insights by Dr. Josh Straub into overcoming screen addition, listen to the Famous at Home podcast here.
About Dr. Joshua Straub

Joshua is most renowned for his role as a husband and dad. He is also a recovering human, an ongoing journey that includes therapy, coaching, a tight-knit faith community, and staying fit. On stage, Josh is a speaker, author, marriage and leadership coach, and a podcast and TV cohost. He and his wife, Christi, lead Famous at Home, a company equipping leaders and corporations in emotional intelligence and healthy family systems. Josh is also a Fellow of the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling. Josh most enjoys coaching leaders to be famous at home so they can thrive on their stage. He also speaks regularly for Joint Special Operations Command and serves military families across the country.