Dear Families and Friends,

Here we are in the middle of February, and slowly but surely, the days are getting longer. I always remind myself of this fact as we enter Lent, a time of contemplation and introspection, repentance and atonement. Mrs. Cox provided a wonderful sermon about the meaning of Lent in Chapel this morning, and explained why Lent is necessary in order to appreciate fully the miracle of Easter.

In my remarks during the announcement part of Chapel, I encouraged students to consider “cutting back” on screen time during the this season of Lent, and to replace it with a concerted effort to be present with the people in our lives. Recently, I have thought about the ways in which our preoccupation with screens generally, and smartphones in particular, has changed the way we interact with others.

Smartphones – while amazing in so many ways, especially with regard to the access of information and contact with others – have fundamentally changed the dynamic of our society. It is somewhat shocking to dine in a restaurant and notice that nearly everyone is texting (or, God forbid, talking) or searching Google for information on their smart phone. More often than not, people at the same table are engrossed in their smartphones, not realizing that they are in the presence of friends or family. I suppose this same dynamic applies to video games as well.

Frankly, I am guilty as charged when it comes to my over-reliance on smartphone technology. For Lent, I am striving to rely less on my smart phone, especially when at home, and be more present with my family. I will keep you apprised of my progress.

At Trinity, we encourage students to remember to be present here at school and at home. Thankfully, our school community does not permit the use of smartphones during the day, and generally speaking, screen time is academic in nature. Conversations are celebrated and a premium is placed on eye contact.

Warm regards,
Jim