*I am mainly speaking to myself in this post. I feel like I fail at this most days but my heart longs to be better when it comes to how much time I spend on my phone. I hope this is encouraging to you too.
“You are always on your phone…”
His words stung as they came out of his mouth but I knew it was only because they were true. My husband and I had been having little arguments that day, mostly centered around things that bothered us about one another (those are always SO fun, right!?!) and this was at the top of his list of things about me that irk him. The whole day had been a little tense and the car ride home from dinner that night was pretty quiet with the exception of the backseat noise from the kids. As I sat in the passenger seat, scrolling photo after photo, swiping story after story…he pointed out what I already knew to be true: I am always on my phone…and I hate it.
I love social media. Quite frankly its more entertaining than watching television. There is always something new to see no matter what time of day you check in. I’ve connected with wonderful people that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to otherwise, making the world feel just a little bit smaller. On days when I’m homebound and feel like I can’t handle another moment of cleaning up a mess or breaking up bickering siblings…I escape to the world that fits in my palm filled with square boxes of beautiful images and watching someone else’s clips of their current vacation.
Just 5 minutes, and then I’ll put it down and play with the kids…
10 minutes pass…and I’m still scrolling.
Addiction. I need to call it what it is.
Once we got home that night…I knew I needed to lay down my pride, own up to my faults and do something about this. I had just upgraded to a new phone a few weeks prior and during the set up, it asked me if I wanted to establish screen time limits. At the time I quickly skipped over that new feature…telling myself I could handle my own limitations (or more honestly that I didn’t WANT to have limitations). It took less than a minute for me to set up my time allowance for social media activity. Someday’s I still hit “ignore and remind me in 15 minutes” when I’ve met my limit but it at least allows me to have some kind of accountability and realization of just how much time I am spending on my phone.
I’ll never forget a quote I heard from our pastor when speaking on technology: “Steve Jobs told us to look down…and God tells us to look up.” I don’t want to live my life looking down, missing out on whats around me or non-verbally communicating to my kids that what’s on my phone is more important to look at then them. It would crush my soul to hear the same words “you are always on your phone” my husband said to me come out of my child’s mouth.
“Mommy, look at my face”
“Mommy, do you hear me?”
“Mommy, I need you..”
And sadly my responses to those requests at times have been “just a minute…”
Beyond just my communication of whats important to me based on where I’m filling my time…am I also looking to the Lord or looking to my device to bring comfort, answers and security? Is my hope in my identity and security in who God says I am or is it being found in my number of likes?
“for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt 6:21
I want to be fully present.
I want to fully listen.
I want to fully love.
Signing off now to take this device out of my hand and go hold a tiny hand in my palm….