One aspect of our culture that I still have not gotten used to is the massive amount of content that is published (on the internet, mind you) about how technology is ruining our lives. I am weary of combatting those who hold the extreme conviction that millennials are to be blamed for this shift in culture.
It seems unnecessary to point fingers in this way. I only wish to address this overwhelming feeling that I experience regularly: that I’m addicted to my phone and don’t know what to do about it. I think, if we begin to recognize this together, we can begin to figure out how to grow with technological advances.
So, in a stubborn attempt to actually act on this feeling, I turned my phone off for 24 hours.
I warned a couple of people ahead of time, but for the most part I was entirely unaware of what I would miss by turning off my phone. Not having the opportunity to check my phone felt a little weird throughout the day. I began to recognize how instinctive and natural of a motion it is to pick up my own phone when I see someone else checking theirs.
The worst thing that happened to me as a result of this experiment was that I forgot about a meeting and had to be reminded in person rather than by text. This problem was resolved easily, and was not at all worth the worry. This small act of giving up my phone allowed me to recognize my addictive inclinations and be more aware of them in my daily life.
What I’m trying to say is that finding a way to balance our real lives with technology is a very important skill. I do not think I am alone in this conviction. Whether this means deleting some form of social media, just being more aware of how often you pick up your phone, or turning off electronics for 24 hours, we must be healthy about how much information we consume. We are called to be relational people, as part of the body of Christ. Oftentimes, and at its best, technology allows us to build relationships and understand our world better. However, if our phones are keeping us from being able to fulfill our potential, it may be worth giving ourselves some space.
by Abi Hillrich