Apple comes out with a new iphone constantly. I got my new iphone 5C, then soon I am feeling like I need to upgrade to the iphone 6 or 6s. I have been feeling this pressure to always have the best smartphone. I just got an email the other day, and you probably did too if you are an iphone user. The iphone 7, in red. Guys, its red. It is exciting, don’t get me wrong. I love the feel of a new phone, but it is also hard to keep up with the ever changing upgrades (and expensive I might add…). I am not sure about you, but I am getting tired of feeling like my phone is never good enough. I got so tired of it, that I decided to accept it. I went and got rid of my iphone 6s all together.
I said goodbye to my smartphone.
I said goodbye to feeling behind. I said goodbye to the culture pressure to have the biggest and the best. I said goodbye to carrying a little computer everywhere I go. I said goodbye to being tied to my phone. I said goodbye to instant replying to people. I said goodbye to being glued to my phone when I was out with friends and family.
With saying goodbye to my smartphone I have given myself a chance to see what I have been missing out in my present reality. I am learning to have the ability to just be myself and be comfortable doing nothing. Not the nothing that I use to do, scrolling through my social media on my phone. The doing nothing of sitting, and just… sitting.
I found myself checking my phone every few seconds to see if someone had liked my picture or post. Checking to see if I got a text message or snapchat from someone. My iphone became my way to feel social validation. It was an involuntary response to measure how much I was thought about or loved by my peers. In turn, that would tell me how much I was worth, or if I was good enough. It was a craving that could never be completely filled. I searched for validation from my friends and family through a screen, and when it wasn’t there, I had overwhelming feelings of sadness and loneliness.
Now, because I was feeling sad and lonely, I would turn to my smartphone to always feel connected to people. Being on my smartphone allowed me to avoid these large feelings that I was having. It allowed a distraction from the anxiety, depression, or loneliness, or whatever feeling it was that I did not want to feel.
That validation I was looking for in others, is the very validation I could have been looking for in the Lord. His continuous grace and love is proof enough in my life to know that I am valid. I am enough. I am worth so much more then I let myself believe. I placed my value in the wrong spot. I was relying on other people to make me feel loved and valued, where I should have been relying on God. The people in my life do an amazing job at loving me, but ultimately I was trying to fill a God sized hole with a false sense of human interaction. I tried to fill a God sized hole with my smartphone and social media.
I had an unhealthy relationship with my smartphone. I replaced the richness of human interaction with the view of my small smartphone screen. My smartphone took my attention away from the present moment. To live in the present moment is to live where life is happening. The attention I get from my smartphone can never replace the need for human interaction, as much as I subconsciously believed it would. Technology is our friend, but only if we use it, not it using us.
I am taking this time away from my smartphone to reevaluate what a healthy relationship with my phone looks like. Today, I use a little no name phone with a full keyboard. It doesn’t have wifi and I don’t need data. I do not know how long I will go with this phone, but I am enjoying how I am not feeling the need to have it with me all the time. I am enjoying the freedom I feel, and the awareness of Gods presence I have with less screen interactions.
I would like to challenge you to step away from your smart phone. If only for a hour, or while you’re at dinner with friends or family. I challenge you to put up some healthy boundaries with you’re phone. See if you feel something different.