I have a confession. There are times when I must force myself to take a technology fast.
Some mornings I check my phone, my iPad, and my laptop before I ever put my feet on the ground.
Social networking is important in my line of work, but I would be lying if I didn’t confess that I use that as an excuse to “check my devices” more than any one human being should in a 24-hour period. I love gadgets, apps, texts, tweets, blogs, and a slew of other words that were barely in the English vocabulary a few years ago.
While I am confessing, I believe Pinterest has to contribute to Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.
I am not sure how I can begin searching for orphan ministry blogs and end up learning how to make a salsa recipe. Before I know it, I am inside Kroger with a basket of vegetables and a lime wondering how in the world I got here.
I have to assume that I am not alone in this struggle.
Information is easily accessible. Because of technology, we have more control of our desire for instant gratification than ever before. We can shop online for most anything we can imagine and have it overnighted to our doorstep. We never have to watch commercials. We live vicariously through Instagram photos from our friends on vacation. We check in for a flight while sitting on our couch.
Technology is great, but we have to find a balance.
Replacing real, tangible time with people for a cyber social life is an actual temptation for us. We text serious conversations instead of sitting on the porch with a glass of lemonade and talking to each other face to face. Social laziness eventually leads to a lack of true community. The distractions technology brings can affect our relationship with God, too.
Not being accessible to people 24/7 probably seems like a foreign idea to some of us. Remember when people had to leave a message for you on a machine at your house if they needed you?
Here are just a few ideas to help you take a technology fast:
- Be disciplined enough to go “unplugged” for at least a few hours each week. This includes setting aside everything with a plug, wire, or charger.
- Read a book with actual paper pages.
- Sit down face to face with a friend.
- Go on a hike.
- Write a letter – the kind that you have to send with a stamp.
- Visit a neighbor.
- Play outside with children.
- Invite friends over to play games.
- Take a nap.
- Go for a swim.
Quieting your soul is essential to emotional and spiritual health.
If you find yourself discontent, lonely, scattered, frustrated, distracted, or unsettled, perhaps a technology fast will help you gain some much-needed perspective – at the very least it could keep you out of Kroger produce section in the middle of the night.
God designed us to live in community with other people. Technology should enhance, not replace that original plan.
Have you ever taken a technology fast? What are some ways you take a break from it?
*Photo credit: bptakoma