Book Review: Calm, Cool and Connected

“Be purposeful about your media use to enrich your life. Use it to grow, not just to know.” – Arlene Pellicane

I recently received a copy of my family friend and previous neighbor Arlene Pellicane’s new book: Calm, Cool, and Connected: 5 Digital Habits for a More Balanced Life. I’m not one to read a lot of non-fiction books, but I am so glad I read this one. In fact, it came at the perfect time – right after we moved to Virginia and when I had lots of free time on my hands.

As a twenty-something, I can remember a time when the world wasn’t so consumed by smartphones, TV, and social media. But I’m also young enough that I spent some time growing up with it all. While I didn’t love when my parents forced me to go outside, I do appreciate that I was encouraged to be creative and use my imagination as a kid. Sadly, as an adult, I find it harder and harder to motivate myself to do something creative or get outside when spending time scrolling through Instagram is much more convenient. Can you relate?

If so, I highly recommend reading Calm, Cool, and Connected. It’s a short read, only about 120 pages, but it is so worth your time. Arlene draws on her work from her book with Gary Chapman called Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World and gives us adults some practical tools to manage our technology use. Though the concepts are simple, they challenged me to be much more thoughtful and intentional about how, why, and when I use technology.

She uses the acronym HABIT to give us five tools to help live a more balanced life, including:

  • Hold down that off button
  • Always put people first
  • Brush daily: Live with a clean conscience
  • I will go online with a purpose
  • Take a hike

I really appreciated that at the end of every chapter, there is a practical takeaway as well as a prayer to ask God for self control. Amidst anecdotes of her family and gripping statistics about technology, Arlene’s genuine desire to help readers balance their lives comes through crystal clear.

If you’re like me and you know that spending hours on social media or watching TV isn’t the best use of your time, but you don’t know how to change, pick up a copy of Arlene’s book. You can even get 25% off your copy with promo code CONNECTED25 at! You won’t regret it.

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