For as wonderful and helpful as smart phones and other electronic devices can be, I’ve noticed that they certainly have their downsides. And it’s not just teens that struggle with them.
Our devices create a lot of noise.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed that my device creates a lot of noise in my life. Every time I have 30 seconds free, I’m grabbing it and checking my notifications. I do a quick sweep of Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, email, the news, the weather, my blog stats, and whatever else I feel like checking. Oh, and if there’s no new notifications, I’m looking for something to occupy my time. Something to fill these few seconds or minutes that I am forced to wait through.
This habit is killing the quiet time in my life.
I’m destroying those calm, still moments throughout the day.
No, I don’t mean I’m missing my devotional time. I mean that I’m destroying those calm, still moments throughout the day. The ones that should be allowing me to think, to pray, to listen, and just to enjoy life.
We need quiet moments.
We need downtime throughout the day. Time to reflect, time to brainstorm, time to connect with God.
How are we supposed to come up with fresh ideas if we’re wasting every spare moment checking in on everyone else’s life on Facebook? How am I supposed to hear that still small voice if every spare second is occupied with scrolling through Pinterest or browsing the rest of my notifications?
It’s time to be intentional.
We’ve got to do something, so what’s the answer? For some, it may be limiting their time on their devices or even ditching them altogether. But for me, I’ve found that one small change makes a big difference – just being intentional about why I’m grabbing my device. And ignoring it when I have no reason to grab it.
I don’t really need to check Facebook every 5 minutes. I can go a couple hours without checking to see how many people are reading my blog. The weather probably hasn’t changed much in the last 10 minutes. And my Pinterest and Twitter notifications will still be there later in the day. I know that I don’t need to be constantly checking all these things.
So I’m trying to be intentional about why I grab my phone. Do I need to check my email? Okay, check my email. That doesn’t mean I have to do a tour of the rest of the phone. Do I want to check Facebook? Okay, I’ll check Facebook. But that doesn’t mean I need to check it again in 10 minutes.
I don’t need to grab my phone every time I get a spare minute.
Do I have 2 minutes to spare while I’m waiting for something to cook? That doesn’t mean I have to grab my phone. Maybe I should just spend this time thinking, praying, or playing with my little one. Or even just enjoying a moment of quiet. There are so much better things to do (or not do) than grabbing my device just because that’s become my default.
It’s a work in progress.
I have to say, some days I’m better at this than others. But the times that I don’t fill every spare second with my device are the times that I connect better with my family, that I can enjoy a moment of quiet, and that I can start to hear that still, small voice.
So I need to do this more. I need to allow the quiet moments to be quiet moments. I need to pick up my phone only when I have a reason to pick it up. I need to not allow it to suck all the quiet out of my life.
Because I need those quiet moments. And so do you.
Have you found that your smart phone or other device is creating too much noise in your life? What do you do limit the distractions it creates? Share your thoughts and experience with a comment below.
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