As many do at the start of a new year, I decided on a few personal goals. One of them being using my phone less. I don’t know about you but I am on my phone quite a bit – which if I’m going to be honest is an understatement. I’ve known I’ve had a problem with using it so much but when you’re addicted to something it’s hard to stop.
Being a stay at home mom with a baby and toddler, you sometimes feel like you are in a black hole. Between juggling the kids and respecting nap times (which I try to do), it’s hard to get out. Most days it’s me, my children and the chaos that comes with them.
I’ve always used the excuse that my phone was my connection to my friends and my sanity. I would send questions for things I couldn’t figure out and sometimes just vent/complain/laugh about all that was happening in the moment. I would check Facebook for comments/messages that would connect me to the world outside our home. It wasn’t until I seriously started to limit my cellphone use that I realized what was really happening.
I had replaced God with my phone. My phone became the thing I would sometimes run to when I was happy, sad, mad, exhausted, bored etc. Depending on my feelings I would turn to my phone to seek support and encouragement. It would become my distraction when I didn’t want to face the craziness that was happening in front me or keep me occupied when I was trying to complete a “boring” task (aka dream feeds). I would look at people’s post and pictures which would eventually turn into jealousy, and sometimes pride (that my life seemed to be going a bit better than theirs). My phone was and had become my idol.
So as I try to achieve my goal of limiting my phone use I have started to try and substitute a few things:
- seeking prayer first instead of texting to complain/vent
- seeking patience to stay in those moments of chaos instead of “disappearing” into the virtual world to be distracted
- loving uninterrupted by turning off my notifications (well at least my text/social media notifications – baby steps!).
- seeking to put all my energies into whatever I may be doing in the moment instead of dividing it between whatever activity I may be doing and using my phone
- seeking what God defines as good first instead of looking at what the world holds dear through people’s posts and pictures
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with using your phone! It’s a great way to keep in touch especially if you aren’t able to get out as much or have friends who live far away! In this day and age though when there are notifications going off left, right and centre, I encourage you to make sure your loudest notifications are coming from the one true God.
Who perceives his unintentional sins?
Cleanse me from my hidden faults.
Moreover, keep Your servant from willful sins;
do not let them rule over me.
Then I will be innocent
and cleansed from blatant rebellion.
May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to You,
Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19: 12-14