Hiking is part of who I am. I love to walk the trails, ascend the mountain side, get away, experience back-to-nature and just be there in the middle of thousands of acres of wilderness – often by myself. One of the benefits of being on the trail is very often I become unplugged … no phone reception, no internet, no texts, no bings of notifications, no anything. And though it’s normally only for the day hike, it is quite a blessing.
Unplugged is not for everyone. Many have to have tethers to their responsibilities and going no phone, no web, no connection is not an option. But many are addicted. They have nomophobia – fear of going without a cell phone. And this fear becomes obsessive.
So I want to challenge you to think about making sure you control your phone use and your phone use doesn’t control you. This is not so much about phone use but is about social media, YouTube, TikTok, FaceBook, etc. Not for the whole year – maybe just 22 days – 22 days for 2022.
This social media fast may be hard – you can start small if you need. A day here, a week there, or just some restricted hours. Difficult yes – but it also will bring several benefits.
Here are a few benefits …
More Time with the Savior … we are to redeem the time, making the most of every opportunity. We are to run the race with our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. And when we take our eyes off the social media, that gives more time to put our eyes on the Savior.
Clarity of Mind … this greater clarity, this focus comes when you don’t jumble your brain with the mayhem and fragmented world views all through social media. As we spend time with Him, we have a greater clarity to our real purpose, to what it means to accepted by Him.
More Time for People and Other Things … some relationships on social media are extensions of valid relationships, but many are relationships that will dry up and blow away if not connected in the virtual world. Now you have time to actually talk with people, getting coffee in person, and more.
Better Sleep … once the anxiety of the withdrawal subsides, the absence of screen time prior to bed will help with falling asleep faster. And if going to bed faster leads to better quality sleep. Need a mind distraction that hour before bed? Read a book. Pray. Write an actual pen and paper letter.
Live in the Moment … when we stop obsessing and constantly distracted by looking for more likes, more hearts, and more followers, we find we can focus on the here and now. (Ponder the Biblical word kairos – living in the appointed time.)
These are in addition to the normal blessings connected to any fast seeking spiritual guidance and wisdom.
So, I don’t suggest giving up everything or anything. This is not about what I think is wise. This is about what you feel God is desiring for you. About seeking true Godly wisdom and direction. About being addressed with a life decision.
But I do suggest you yield the prompting of God in your life. And if you do turn it off a bit, MuddyShoes will be here when you get back.
The montage clip art as the header came from this Facebook page.