Capture

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For the season of Lent I deleted Facebook and Twitter from my phone.

40 days without the distraction of all the craziness that is social media.

It was a fantastic decision, and one that taught me a lot. Strangely even though I knew those apps were not on my phone anymore I still would habitually scroll to where the apps were as if I was going to open them up. Endless scrolling through social media was so engraved in my brain that for forty days I would unconsciously try and pull up the deleted apps. Honestly, that is a little scary to me because it revealed how much of myself is dedicated to wasting time on my little distraction device. I realized that my phone has, in so many ways, captured me. I think my wife may even argue that it consumes me. It is unsettling. After Lent I reinstalled those apps and was convinced that I would not return to wasting so much precious time staring at the blue hue of a screen. I was wrong. Very, very, wrong.

It seems simple and truthfully ridiculous to think an inanimate object could take captive so much of our time, but it happens. IT HAPPENS A LOT! The average American spends two-hours a day in apps on smart devices. TWO WHOLE HOURS! That is 730hrs a year, or just shy of one month spent staring aimlessly into various smart phone apps every year. (I do not even want to see how this pairs up with TV usage.) Studies show that we check our smartphones around 160 times a day, I can testify to that!

I could write a mile long list of the benefits, and all around pros, of having smartphones/tablets. They are useful tools for so many things. For me It allows me to e connected with family an friends that I rarely have the chance to see, I love sharing stories trough social media, I am an avid reader so Kindle is one of my best friends, and I write 99% of my blogs on my phone(I am doing it right now!) These are just a few things on my list for why I love this technology, but the thing I love most about it is that it enables me to capture moments. Moments with my wife, moments of my son, celebrations, victories, losses, and so much more that the generations before us had no ability to capture in such detail, we are able to literally point, click, and share it with the world. On the inverse I love being able to see other people’s moments, especially those that I rarely get to share in-person-moments with. So please do not think I am demonizing technology because I truly believe it is a great tool when we use it to capture and share life.

I can think of a ten mile long list of things that would serve me much better to spend two hours a day doing rather than being on the phone. It is so easily to just let ourselves be distracted and then blame our mountain of an endless to-do list on being to “busy”. It makes it all so palatable.

We utter things like “I just wish there were more hours in a day.”

Or response to “How are you?” Is “You know me just busy as always.”

First, 24 hours is more than enough time in the day. If we need more God would have given you more. So suck it up.

Secondly, this is not how life is suppose to be. Running around like a chicken with your head cut off is unhealthy on all accounts. Truth be told this is probably a cop out, but on the off chance you are always busy then I suggest you take a step back and honestly evaluate how you spend you time. Rest is essential.

For me most the term “busy” means I am being unproductive/lazy (probably staring at my phone) and need a scapegoat for explaining why the grass in my yard is a foot high, or why I have yet to finish a book that I started on over a year ago all so I can sleep a little better at night. I do not know the steps it am going to take to make sure I am not wasting precious time yet, but they are coming.

Get busy capturing moments and sharing life, but be careful to not let this little distraction device capture you. We only get one time around and we need to make the most of it. Our famines, friends, and communities need us to make the most of it. Life is happening an will continue to do so with or without us.

Sincerely,
A guy who is trying to figure out how to divorce his phone….

PS.

Here is a link to an article on how smart devices are messing with our brains. LINK

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