Just in time for the new year, and new resolutions, God laid it on my heart to share what I feel about the most addictive thing we all have in our day and age: our phones, our technology, and our social media. I challenge you (and me) in 2018 to try to unplug more often. To try and be more present with those you love and with God.
This phone. The very thing I am typing on right now. This small, lit up rectangle that runs my life. Without this little phone, I can’t tap into the entire world. I can’t talk to my old friends from high school. I wouldn’t know that it was my brother in laws birthday unless it reminded me. I can’t check my emails for school or for work that they send me every two hours and expect me to answer immediately to. I can’t watch other people’s relationships be perfect and admire what they’ve got that I don’t. I can’t compare myself to other people constantly that don’t even look like that in real life. I can’t play games while I have a little downtime to kill. I wouldn’t have anything to do at night when I get in my bed and I’m not sleepy. I wouldn’t have a platform to brag about my fake and amazing life. I wouldn’t have a place to make my grocery list, or to do list, or order things I “need” from amazon. I couldn’t stalk people that I barely know and judge their every move. I wouldn’t be able to text things that I’m too coward to say to someone’s face. I wouldn’t be able to watch endless tutorials on how to make myself look nothing like myself so that I’m “perfect”. I couldn’t look up my symptoms when I have a sore throat and realize that I’ve got much bigger problems than I thought. I couldn’t plan my perfect life out on Pinterest that would cost more money than I’ll ever have. I wouldn’t be able compare my husband or my wife to someone else that has been photoshopped and paid money to look a certain way. I won’t be able to ignore people that are around me while I scroll through endless memes that “give me life”. I wouldn’t be able to go on that trip to the mountains with you, because I can’t take enough pictures on portrait mode with 3 filters on top of each other that I can post on Facebook/Snapchat/Instagram/Twitter to make my friends jealous. I would be anxious because I feel like a piece of me is missing if it isn’t at my side. I wouldn’t be able to function.
Or, I would be able to hold a conversation with someone who deserves my undivided attention. I would live and love in the moment and not worry about how beautiful the pictures turned out, or how many likes it’s going to get me on social media. I would bow my head and pray when I had a little down time instead of reaching for this little rectangle that distracts me from Jesus. I would be able to take the first bite of my meal without wondering if I should photograph it first so that my followers on Instagram know that I am having a better dinner than they are. I wouldn’t look down my body in shame, knowing that I will never look like the airbrushed model that posts pictures everyday looking perfect. Maybe I wouldn’t compare my spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend to the “perfect” relationship that was artificially set up to look perfect on Facebook. I wouldn’t ignore my responsibilities because scrolling through dog videos is easier. I wouldn’t spend money I don’t have to try out a Pinterest recipe/craft that’s outrageous and guaranteed to make you look talented and amazing. I might not take 28 selfies to get the perfect light to hit my face just right and filter it just enough to look like I didn’t try really hard to make everyone think I’m beautiful. I probably wouldn’t argue politics or religion with a distant cousin and ruin a relationship because I said things I wouldn’t have said in person. I would enjoy that date night without feeling empty while they sit on their phone and ignore me. I would go out with my friends and actually listen to what they’re saying to me, and not worry about being in front of a camera so that we can pretend we are celebrities on social media. I wouldn’t make an idol or an addiction out of a little rectangular box that didn’t create me, shape me, love me, provide for me, or pray for me. I would have more time for things that actually matter. I would feel free. I wouldn’t be blinded by technology. I would breathe easier when I sat down in my bed and opened my Bible instead of opening Facebook. I would find new things for my hands to do, healthy ways for me to think. I would feel new.