But a brightly-lit screen is not the problem, it’s my inability to use it in moderation.
As this is posted, I will have recently returned from a week-long technology diet. Beginning with a three-day cold turkey withdrawal, I’ll move to once-a-day emails and/or a phone call to family when necessary. No Facebook, Twitter, or games. I won’t even utilize my calendar (on phone) because we will be away from home and its responsibilities.
- playing games on my phone in bed for the first half hour I’m awake and the last half-hour before I sleep.
- playing games as a passenger in a car rather than using valuable time to connect—talking may or may not be the norm. We might listen to radio programs or music, look out the window, and let our minds go where they will, asking each other questions that we might not have thought of when distracted by tech.
- intending a 5-minute break that too often turns into an hour of distraction.
- being somewhere else than where I really am, without any deep thoughts that take me there.
- watching movies or TV shows and hitting “next episode” over and over again, then stressing because I am not ready for the realities of life.
Why am I going on this diet?
- I want to spend time reading God’s word and listening for His voice.
- I want to spend more time outside in our beautiful world rather than seeing it on a screen.
- I want to return to a habit of enjoyable exercise.
- I want to read books—actual physical books that I hold in my hands, make notes in, and refer to often.
- I want to be present in my world.
I need to relearn the law of “everything in moderation” and apply it to technology. I am a writer and a graphic designer—my computer is a fantastic tool I treasure. However, together with my smart phone and tablet, technology has made too big of an inroad into my time, into what is important to me, and into my view of the world.
Technology tempts me to speed across the surface of life rather than digging into it to see how it works, so I’m putting it back in its place.
I want to own technology; I don’t want it to own me.
As you read this, I will be struggling to adopt the healthy rhythms and patterns I discovered during my technology diet and turn them into long-term practices.