I have three darling, intrusive friends that are a big part of my life—Laura, Bekah and Julie. You’ve probably heard me talk about them.
Every Thursday, we meet for lunch and ask each other hard questions about every part of our lives. We get honest about our marriages, our kids and parenting, what we’re afraid of, where we’re sinning, and we celebrate the awesome, fun stuff too. But what I found this past week was that I was not being fully honest about something…
My time spent on my phone and computer. It flies under the radar and I’m not even aware how often I’m on it.
Now don’t get me wrong, the Internet, our phones can certainly be redemptive tools. I have seen Jesus go out to corners of the globe through technology.
But, I fear we are missing our lives.
Is technology really giving us life? Do we ever feel filled up after an accidental hour on our phones?
Our addictions are pulling us away from the purposes God has for us. They numb us, distract us and make us focus on anything but Him. Then, we wonder why we can’t find community, why we don’t feel close to God, why we feel stuck, why aren’t seeing more fruit in our lives, why we are not seeing Him.
I really believe this is big part of it. We have swung so far from discipline and order to avoid legalism, but end up missing all the simple things that are meant to give us God.
I am tired of it and I bet you are too—so here are a few ideas to help us not miss our lives for our phones:
1. Track how much you use your phone.
A great tool to help us phone-addicts: Moment App. The first day I used it, I was on my phone for 1.5 hours. Continued over a week’s time—10.5 hours. More than a full day I’ve lost to my phone.
Oh and there are days it is worse than that!
So practically speaking, this could be as simple as downloading a time tracking app for accountability or leaving your phone in the kitchen at night. A while back, I went and bought an old school alarm clock specifically for this purpose. I wanted to break the habit of mindless scrolling as soon as I woke up.
2. Have real life friends.
I love the friendships I have online—but they cannot take the place of eyeballs and laughter and meals and sitting on patios. If our online community replaces our real life people, get offline.
Do you share what’s going on in your soul? And if you don’t have an outlet for this, why not?
3. Following people who are close to God is not the same thing as being close to God.
I love following podcasts, blogs and accounts of leaders I respect, but there is a temptation to let it replace the church. Because we are hungry for God, we go to people who we think have Him instead of going to Him in the Scriptures ourselves.
4. Phone station. Have a basket by your door and everyone put your phones in it when you come home. Take breaks, days away.
Take 24 hours off technology this week. It will be the greatest gift. You may realize you can actually breathe a little better without it!
Are you addicted? How do we break this?