We are all attached, aren’t we? Let’s be honest, there are times when the phone/tablet dominates who we are and all of our time regardless of where we are or the people we are with. From buzzes and dings to ringtones and alerts, the never ending wonder/fascination/addiction to technology consumes much of our thoughts and lives. May I offer 6 ways to break from your phone to keep your sanity and be present with the physical world?
1.Pay full attention to the present people. When real people are present ready to engage in conversation, silence your phone. Give the phone a break when you have the chance to talk to people face-to-face and engage in meaningful expression. Turn it upside-down so you are not distracted by the screen lighting up.
2. Pay full attention to meals and company. When it’s meal time, leave the phone somewhere away from the table. Don’t trade a status update for a real date in front of you. Enjoy the time you have around the table catching up on events of the day and life happenings in real time with those in your family and circle of influence.
3. Get a full night’s sleep. Turn off your phone. Use a regular alarm clock. Studies have shown how sleeping habits have changed in students because of their incessant phone use. Students on average lose about 45 minutes a night because of their cell phone use. Sleep is vitally important for performing well in school, jobs or life. And I can almost promise that if you turn off your phone at least once a day, it will last longer too.
4. Full-proof a room. No-Tech Zone. Set up an area where no technology is allowed. When traveling or visiting people perhaps a time/space location that technology will not be allowed by anyone for any reason. Setting up a physical boundary is good to help combat the pervasive “wi-fi” signal.
5. Pay full attention to the road. No texting and driving. It’s the law in most places. Demonstrate restraint and respect for the law and life by waiting until you can text or use technology safely.
6. Take a full day off. No work. Sabbath. Most of us use technology and are engaged in some form of work almost all week long. God has given a standard of 6 days for work and one day for rest. Turn your phone off for one day and see how it affects you. A study was done of 82 students who agreed to give up their phones for 48 hours. Only 12 were able to make it the full amount of time! God isn’t asking for two days…just one!
Hope this helps you become more engaged and attuned to your own soul and if nothing else, from really breaking your phone from overuse! Please submit any thoughts or comments. We’d love to hear from you.
George Lockhart is a missionary with Vision 2 Hear and serves as the Creative Arts and Mission Pastor at New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA