This may be an ironic post to be writing on a blog but here I am anyways. Technology and the internet has opened worlds of opportunity and I honestly am grateful for it but is has also opened up a floodgate of new things to navigate.
I watched as technology as we know it today grew into being. I remember rushing home after school to use our dial-up internet and put the house phone out of commission for 45 minutes. That’s all the time we were allowed because the home phone was a pretty important tool and our family was cellphone-less. I got a fancy flip phone for Christmas my senior year of high school and learned as quickly as I could to T9 text & make “Ridin‘” my ringtone. Before YouTube & Facebook & Instagram was Homestarrunner.com, AIM, and MySpace. We were just seeing all the fun & good that could come with being more connected but the simple life was slowly fading away.
These days my phone is practically attached at my hip. Sometimes I set it somewhere (intentionally or not) and come back stacks conversations waiting for my input. I even get the ” you never answer your phone” or ” let me know your thoughts ASAP” messages too. I feel the need to be ready to reply to the text, the Instagram message, the email right away as if the length of delay shows how much I care.
And with this extention of my arm, I take photos all day. I look up random facts. I sometimes reply to messages or answer my phone (it’s ironic how hard it is to do this when my phone is so frequently in my hand… anyone else relate?!) I also scroll.
I mindlessly scroll on Instagram, on Facebook, on news articles. I do it while I am nursing, watching a show, making dinner, playing with the girls, laying in bed – heck even while waiting at a red light. What feels mindless is actually impacting me greatly. It makes me less attentive to what is right in front of me. It makes me more aware of what I don’t have. It adds extra worries, stresses, burdens to my shoulders. And it is filling my brain with fluff.
Now clearly I am not anti technology or anti social media. Here I am writing a blog and I haven’t deleted any of my social media accounts because I love posting cute pictures. But I have started removing the apps from my phone for seasons of time. Lately it has been for the weekends but I’m even more & more less motivated to add them back. I love keeping up with my friends but I hate the way the scroll grabs me in and takes me away from what matters. I hate the way it makes me jealous or less than. And I hate that I spend more time watching stories and reading posts than I do reading my Bible. What we put into our minds is what we spit out of our mouths – for better or for worse.
So I’m here to say it is okay to stop the scroll. Deleting Instagram from your phone for a day or two isn’t just easy, it feels good! And mindlessly scrolling? I just don’t have time for that. My brain, my kids, my family, and my community deserve more of me.
PS: My new thing before bed instead of checking Instagram one more time is to read a Psalm. It never takes long, but filling my brain & my heart with scripture gives me a strength, courage, joy, and hope to face a new day than Instagram stories can never give me. Try it with me if you like!