What impact has increased screen time and consumption of digital media had on us during the coronavirus pandemic?

This is the question posed in a recent BBC Cymru article. Whilst advancements in technology for our generation have meant that many of us throughout lockdown have been enjoying all the benefits of such things as video calling our loved ones or buying necessities online, they have also brought the ever-present debate regarding our relationship with devices to the forefront.

Godly discipline and true fulfilment

As God’s people, let’s ensure that we are disciplined consumers of technology, and not allow technology to consume us.


For those of us who have been made to work from home during the pandemic, WiFi and laptop devices have meant, for the most part, we can continue with our jobs. For the latest coronavirus updates, we have been able to do a quick search online to see what the current data and news is. And then, for light relief after a possibly stressful day, we can load up the TV or switch Netflix on.

However, while screen time has made lockdown easier in many ways and often cured our boredom in the short-term, what we consume may not necessarily be fulfilling.

For example, misinformation has been a key issue relating to our consumption of screen time, with a recent study revealing that a third of the UK population had come across misinformation relating to coronavirus in the past week. In fact, the study goes on to further reveal that the majority of the UK population are not concerned regarding the amount of false or misleading information they might be getting about the coronavirus”.

Don’t conform. Be transformed

As God’s people, these findings should be challenging us, encouraging us to question whether we properly regulate what we consume during time spent on our devices. We should be wary of the threat of misinformation, and discourage its spread. Romans 12:2 says, Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Let’s depend therefore on God and on His love to renew our mind, not on Facebook or the TV.

An identity rooted in Christ

As well as touching on the issue of misinformation, the BBC Cymru article states that the research has clearly shown that more time spent on social media platforms is connected with higher levels of anxiety and depression” (translated). With over two thirds of us regularly using

social media, this should be of real concern to us all and make us consider our level of interaction with such sites.

We should therefore also be stirred into action regarding the connection between mental health issues and social media use, centring ourselves on the fact that our identity comes from being made and loved by God and not from our online profiles.

As a church therefore, let’s be at the forefront of promoting a healthy and disciplined culture in regard to our use of technology and screen time, to understand the potential danger that it carries and to be active in cultivating good habits and most importantly, rooting our identity in God