Last Sunday (Sept. 15) I started what I am calling a “phone detox” and at least a two-week break from Facebook. I knew I was spending way too much time checking “what’s new” on Facebook, seeing what friends were doing, sharing funny (or not-so-funny) memes, and generally wasting time. And 90% of the time I was doing this on my phone. During the evening. When I should be focusing on my wife, even if we are watching TV together. I knew I needed to be more “present” and not tethered to my phone.
And then I read a post by Joshua Becker about cell phone addiction. Unfortunately, I know more than a little about addiction (and addiction is much more than drugs or booze, but that’s another post) and this post was a slap-in-the-face wake-up call for me. Things I had been sensing came into focus and I realized I had a problem.
Just the opening of Becker’s post was staggering:
These cell phone addiction statistics are quite overwhelming:
- The typical cell phone user touches his or her phone 2,617 times every day. 2,617 times!
- Most people, on average, spend 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phones each day.
- Half of all phone pickups happen within 3 minutes of a previous one.
And the impact of this usage is staggering:
- Reducing the quality of conversations.
- Adversely impacting short-term memory and problem solving.
- Negatively affecting our sleep patterns.
- Resulting in more negativity, distress, and less emotional recovery in young children.
- Increasing obesity.
- And the positive correlation between smartphone addiction and depression is alarming.
Wow! No wonder time seemed to keep slipping away from me. And that impact list might as well be my life story – conversation quality affected, short-term memory issues, messed up sleep patterns, obesity, and depression. Yep, each one of those affects me in some manner or degree. (Looks like I have a lot of future posts already lined up.)
I decided that enough was enough. Now, something else is also going on in my life right now as the Holy Spirit is drastically changing a lot of things about me, and my relationship with Jesus has taken a major step forward. And this phone addiction revelation fit in exactly with things I am learning from God on this journey. And I realized that letting my phone control me to this degree was letting an idol control me. And the only thing I want controlling me is Holy Spirit power.
So I declared to God that I would put my phone away, except for important phone calls or messages, every evening when I was finished with work. And I also decided to take that break from Facebook. Eventually, I’ll have to resume some Facebook activity due to work I do with Oyler Creative, and to share these posts (y’all feel free to share this one however you see fit), but for two weeks, I am stepping away from the mess that is Facebook land. And you know what? I haven’t missed it at all. No drama, no hatred being spewed, no disturbing stories, no memes. It has been a refreshing break.
I’m not going to let my phone or social media rule my life. And evenings are now much less stressful. I am free to devote all of my attention to my wife and whatever we may be doing.
And that is my story of my Phone Detox.
Grace and Peace, y’all…
Things That I Write About
Some days I will continue to share my memories of my past. It has been a long strange trip so far, and my journey has shaped a large part of who I am today. But it is God who has molded me into exactly who I am now. And if I don’t also write about how God is continuing to mold and shape me, I am missing the main point of my life right now. My past is interesting, and my struggles are real. But my walk with God is vital, and I firmly believe that my walk with Him today is why I am here to write about my past.
This is the final story of my three runaway adventures while I was in high school. This took place during my senior year at RVCS in 1977. The result was quite disappointing for me, but God had different plans for how this story would end.
It’s been a while – again – since I last wrote something. I need to get better at this as I enjoy writing, and as was pointed out to me earlier this week, I just need to sit down and write. Today, I am going to start writing about the three times I ran away…
I have shared part of this post before, telling how I finally came to terms with my grief over my dad’s passing. But I’m sharing it again because the overall message seems to apply today for many, if not most of us. Right now the world seems out of control with the virus, quarantines, conflict,…
It’s been way too long since I last wrote anything new here, and right now there is no excuse for that, so I’m going to do a quick update on the past few months. Since I first wrote about my weight struggle back in October, I’ve been in a mostly downward spiral. Maybe I should…