Title: Calm, Cool, and Connected: 5 Digital Habits For A More Balanced Life
Author: Arlene Pellicane
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Back Cover: Calm, Cool and Connected
give technology A PROPER PLACE
LET’S FACE IT: most of us are on our devices way more than we’d like to be—more even than what’s beneficial. We know that overusing technology harms our health and relationships, but how can we rewire our habits for a healthier life?
In Calm, Cool, and Connected, Arlene Pellicane will walk you through an easy 5-step plan for decluttering your life and moderating screen time. By introducing a few simple habits into your daily routine, you can transform your relationship with technology and enjoy more time with God and others.
Turn down the noise, close the computer, and release the stress. On the other side of a little effort is a new kind of life—one that’s more manageable and much more fulfilling.
Book Review: Calm, Cool and Connected
The book Calm, Cool, and Connected is a very easy ready, but don’t let its small size fool you, it’s packed with useful information. Arlene uses an acronym of HABIT to provide tips to help us find ways to stay balanced in our high tech, ever demanding world.
H = Hold Down the Off Button
A = Always Put People First
B = Brush Daily: Live with a Clean Conscience
I = I Will Go Online with Purpose
T = Take a Hike
These HABIT tips, along with eye-opening statistics and her own personal testimony makes Calm, Cool, and Connected a book for anyone that struggles with finding balance in their life. She also included a quiz and questions to help the reader determine if they need to find balance in their lives.
She co-authored the book Growing Up Social, with Dr. Gary Chapman, that helps parents understand how to help their children navigate life in a highly social world and the importance of having clear boundaries in their lives. With that in mind, she wrote this book, to help adults do the same.
Topics that she also covers in this book are the possible dangers of using the internet, i.e. pornographic sites, and social media, as well as the importance for people—especially Christians—to use good social etiquette online, even when you disagree with someone. She also covers the lure and damaging distraction of the ever in-coming email, the illusion of multitasking and the new era of “selfies”—and the “me society”—we’ve developed into. Finally, there is a topic that she covers that one might not think is really necessary, but it is…internet shopping and it’s possibility for addiction.
As a former television producer, she’s keenly aware of the impact of media on people. Likely, her job was to oversee all aspects of video production on television programs, which could include various business matters too. Her business was to find shows and present them in a way that would entice viewers to not only watch TV, but to keep coming back for more. This background makes her a good candidate to write a book about the emerging technology that has many businesses working hard to do the same in today’s rapidly growing internet world—via our phones, tablets, TV, internet, you name it.
My thoughts about Calm, Cool and Connected
One areas of the book that I found helpful is what she termed “the pivot”. It’s a move, with a few easy steps, that one can make that will keep those important to us, feeling like they matter more to us than any technology we are engaging in.
This book, overall, was a wonderful and helpful book. I took the quiz at the beginning and answered the questions throughout the book. I scored well for being balanced, but the truth is, my life has only found this balance in the past few months. What changed? One of my dearest friends, Jaynee, and me were talking on the phone one day and discussing how much we didn’t like that social media could (and for me did) consume too much of my time and attention. We discussed how it can make people so anxious and stressed, just by scrolling through the newsfeed. After talking to her and praying, I decided to make a very difficult, but important and much needed change…disconnect from social media or at least engage less.
How did I free myself from the hold social media had on me, my time and attention? I simply deleted apps that I didn’t need anymore, because I rarely used them. I opted to check in with my social media platforms only one time a day or less and to only check my email once in the morning, once in the afternoon, once in the evening and that’s it. My phone only goes off Airplane mode if I’m running errands or if my husband isn’t home. I tend to leave it in the living room when I go to sleep. I stopped checking into Facebook (FB), Instagram (IG) and YouTube, when I woke up and before bed. The less I did that, the less I felt that I needed to do it.
What’s changed? I have so much more time to read and write, to pray, to spend time with God and my family. I find that I’m less stressed and have so much more peace in my life. I didn’t realize how frantic that social media was making me, until I disengaged with it. The more I used social media, the more I felt that I had to use social media. Seriously, it can be so addicting. There are certainly people that I miss engaging with on social media, especially my friends on IG, where I’ve formed wonderful friendship, as well as on FB, where I have so many of my family, friends, former patients and classmates, co-workers, etc. It took a bit of adjusting and yes, I’ve lost followers, but the life and peace that I’ve gained are priceless.
Calm, Cool and Connected is well written, it’s brief, concise, yet very impactful and a delight to read. It’s timely in arriving on the scene of a society that finds it more real to interact online than in person. The interactions online are real, they are valuable and I am so grateful for the connections that I’ve found through social media, but when social media leaves our family feeling like they never get to see or talk to us…something needs to change—desperately.
I work from home, so social media and staying connected plays a big role in my life, but it should never have been so critical to me that it had me taking so many pics or checking in with my social media platforms at all hours of the day, so that I could “stay connected, engaged and not lose followers.” The struggle is real, the prevalence of social media addiction is on the rise and books like Calm, Cool, and Connected offer tips to help us find balance in a world that seeks to keep us off balance at every turn.
When engaging online, in whatever form it may be, takes our time away from God and our family, it’s definitely time to sit down and take a long, honest and hard look at our priorities and to find out if it’s become an idol for us.
One thing that I really appreciate was Arlene’s no-condemnation approach to writing her book. While it’s very healthy to be convicted by the Holy Spirit, so that He can help us change, we know that God’s Word says that there is no condemnation for those of us in Christ Jesus (see Romans 8:1).
We are blessed to have such amazing technology at our fingertips that once (when I was growing up) was not possible. The speed and far-reaching influence that social media offers is amazing! But, there has to be a level of balance in our lives that allow us to live the life God planned for us, to serve Him first and to faithfully honor and love Him and those He’s placed in our lives. While it can be a tool to help us share the love of Christ with the world, too often, it can have us, unfortunately, spending more time talking about Him, than to Him. Again, I know for many that the struggle is real, but we are not alone and we are never without hope, because we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Phil. 4:13).
Would I Recommend Calm, Cool and Connected
Yes, absolutely. While I doubt this would ever happen, this book should be given out with the purchase of every new phone, tablet, tv and computer. It’s so critical to know where we are in this battle and get help to find some much needed balance that our lives maybe missing—that we may not even be aware of.
There should be nothing in this world that has such a tight grip on us that it consumes all our time…that right belongs to God alone. There is nothing that this world has that should keep us from what we were created and called to do and there is nothing this world offers that should steal the peace the we have received through Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Calm, Cool, and Connected is a gift from God, especially in a time when our attention and even perhaps the productivity our very lives are being taken by the enemy, as often and as much as we will allow him to have. The enemy longs for nothing more than to take us from God’s purpose and from His hand, if at all possible. Satan desires to steal our time, our peace and our joy, at the very least. It’s to us, to be watchful, prayerful and ever ready to fight for the blessings of this life that God has so graciously given to us.
Calm, Cool, and Connected is for anyone that is ready to find balance in a highly social and ever distracting world, that cares little if we ever find balance again.
And, that’s a wrap… Calm, Cool and Connected
I hope you found this review helpful. If so, please share it with your family and friends, so they can learn about this great book too. You can click here or on any image of the book on this page to see it on Amazon. Thanks for taking the time to read this review and God bless!
“Technology does have many good uses and can strengthen relationships when used intentionally, moderately, and cautiously. This book you are holding will help you form healthy habits around your devices. The steps are simple but the results can be quite profound in improving your most important relationships with God and the ones you love.”
“If you are willing to make a few simple changes, it can be well with your phone. We must measure our dependence on our devices from time to time to make sure we aren’t making idols out of them. It’s more desirable to be Wi-Fi-poor but soul-rich.”
“When human relationships get difficult—and they often do—it may just feel easier to default to devices, which are so much easier to manage. Your phone doesn’t disagree with you and does exactly what you ask it to (usually). The phone provides an illusion of connection, but in reality, its overuse leads to isolation.”
-Arlene Pellicane, Calm, Cool, and Connected, pp. 13, 17, 23 (respectively)
In full disclosure, I was not required or requested by Moody Publishers to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255