Smartphones. Ipads. Laptops.
These things aren’t bad. In fact, these pieces of technology are capable of helping us navigate our lives more smoothly, keeping us connected with people we love and helping us complete important tasks.
I can pick up my phone and within seconds, I’m talking to my husband while he’s on a business trip. We can even see each other if we choose to do face time or Skype.
My daughter can instantly look up information for school on her mini-Ipad. Within seconds she can access dates and places for her history assignment.
I can take my laptop just about anywhere and instantly be able to email, blog, write or do anything I choose to do in cyberspace.
But our instant-connection ability becomes a problem if we let it consume us. Even worse, our desire for instant-connection can lead to a disconnect from God.
I am often guilty of grabbing my phone before opening the pages of God’s word. Or I will spend too much time scrolling Facebook instead of seeking His face. Too often I’m looking down at my phone instead of looking up to Him.
I’d rather not write about this topic today. I’ve fought God in sharing this post with others. It’s easier to write about things I’ve mastered and have gained victory in!
But the unhealthy pull of technology is something I struggle with now. I don’t have victory over this area of my life yet. This is where I am constantly being challenged. But I feel God is nudging me to share this because I think many of you struggle with this as well.
What often starts out as something positive can get sidetracked to something negative.
I need to answer emails from my publisher. But then I start surfing the Internet for just a few minutes. Then those few minutes turn into an hour.
I need to answer text messages from friends who need encouragement. But then I click on my Facebook app and get pulled into an endless scroll of checking out what everyone is doing.
I need to post to my blog so readers can be encouraged and inspired. But then I’ll allow myself to get consumed with checking the stats of how many people have viewed my post.
Because we all live in a technology driven, social media saturated world, it’s become acceptable to constantly be looking at some type of screen. We don’t see it as a problem.
We can quickly judge others for their obvious, outward struggles, while feeling better about ourselves for not falling into certain sins.
He has a lust problem.
She has an anger problem.
They are addicted to drugs/alcohol.
They are too focused on materialism.
But too often I’ve drowned out the faint whisper of God in these moments. I’m not still enough to hear the truth He is trying to speak to me.
You have a problem too, Lisa. It’s not obvious to others, but it still interferes with your relationship to people and with me.
Yes. I. am. guilty!
Just a few more minutes. Just one more post. Just one more email. Just one more text.
If I’m not intentional, my time with technology takes the place of more important things.
I’ll get lost in endless scrolling and miss out on a conversation with my kids.
I’ll get pulled into an Internet search and forfeit time with my husband.
I’ll get overly focused on a writing project and later on wonder why undone tasks are piling up around me.
Ephesians 5:16-17 (ESV) puts it this way:
“Be very careful then how you walk, not as unwise–but as wise. Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
Technology isn’t evil. Social media isn’t wicked.
But how I choose to use them is crucial.
If anything takes the place of connecting with God, then I need to disconnect. If I’m running to anything other than God to fill a void, then it’s idolatry. If I’m spending more time on the Internet than interacting with my family, I’ve crossed the line.
So, what about you? Do you struggle with the amount of time you spend on technology? Do you allow social media contacts to interfere with real relationships? Do you attempt to fill a void with a screen? I’ll bet I’m not alone in this.
The first step is acknowledging we have a struggle. Once we do that, we can surrender to God our unhealthy desire for instant-connection.
His connection is all-satisfying. His connection is fulfilling. His connection is ongoing without any bad reception. His connection is eternal.
Blessings to you!