How your smartphone usage could be limiting your relationship with God (and your whole life)

Five minutes ago I was journaling to God about the three day hiatus I had taken from reading the Word and praying. I was sorry, and ashamed, and it actually took me a while to formulate the words because I was so ashamed.

I’m usually pretty honest with God. I’m a messy messy messy piece of justified work. It aint pretty. So I was kind of shocked and disappointed with myself when I kept dancing around the issue with Daddy. I couldn’t broach the subject. I was too embarrassed. I kept almost formulating what I had done, but then I’d distract myself – unconsciously – trying to avoid the issue.

Because if a three day trek (and on-and-off for the past… three years) through making an idol out of crap isn’t bad enough, I did it with something so stupid. My stupid Smartphone.

Dumb. Walking around in this daze all the time, half aware of things and half not. I feel like my smartphone makes me think faster and more slowly at the same time. You know what I mean? And more foggy, too. Like when I finally settled down to pray, there was this thick, syrupy layer of gunk I had to remove from around my brain to finally think about anything spiritual or important.

So, yeah, that was why I was embarrassed. Because… really? If I’m gonna have an idol, couldn’t I have picked something less embarrassing? My spouse. Very common. My career. Semi-noble. Knowledge. At least that’s useful! Anything but my little stoopid plastic device.

So the last words in my journal are, “I’ve got some issues right now, Lord – I’m addicted to my iphone.” I  was about to write all the ways, numerically, my iphone was keeping me in bondage. But I decided to blog it instead so my many followers lol can read this.

  • I wake up and check my phone for 1-5 minutes. Doesn’t seem like a big deal. Then I go pee and sit with my phone and I end up on the toilet for at least a few minutes longer than I would have without my phone. Then you have to do the whole awkward, put your phone down, get toilet paper, pick your phone back up thing. Hopefully the willpower to not check your phone is there during breakfast, but probably not. Chalk up at least 1-2 minutes.3-10 minutes on a good day of wasted time on the smartphone in the first 10 minutes of your day. Guess what gets left out? Time with the Creator of the Universe.
  • Justifying everything.
    I’ve become a pro at justifying everything because of my smartphone usage. Five 10 minute videos about nutrition? Well it’s really good for me to watch these videos actually, because my body is a temple and it’s important that I know about nutrition so I can feed my husband and future kids good food so they won’t die, even if I disregard our relationship in other ways (like talking.)

    It’s okay to watch every single snapchat story when I have a lot to do, because I need to know what’s going on in other people’s lives, and it’s kind of just a normal thing that people do, is look through all their snapchat stories, and snapchats are really short so it won’t take very long. Besides, how would I keep in contact with my youth group without snapchat? It’s a ministry tool really.

    It’s okay to scroll on instagram for forever, because there is a lot of really good stuff on Instagram and I wanna see what my friends are up to and it’s fine because it is.

    Posting these videos/Instagrams/Snapcats/pictures/whatever aren’t to get attention. I want my family to know what I’m up to. Besides, I’m just being relevant with my culture. I “don’t care” if people think I’m special/pretty/cool/have a lot of friends.

    Reading 20 facebook articles in a row is probably going to make me smarter so it’s fine.

    Checking my phone consistently while in social situations isn’t a way to unhealthily escape awkwardness, it’s just a good way to fill silence which is fine because I’m not creating any long-term bad habits.

    The list goes on. Many lies mixed with little truth, my friends. Social media has made me a literal pro at consuming a bunch of useless information, making bad choices, wasting my time, and then convincing myself that it’s okay rather than really evaluating myself, with all my motives and decisions.

  • Addiction
    This goes into justifying but it’s probably okay that my intention is to look on facebook for two minutes and I end up sitting there for 45 minutes compulsively clicking on different links and different sites and I end up researching mad cow disease on a little known blog in a tiny corner of the internet, right?

    I can’t remember where I read it but you know you’ve heard that it changes your brain composition. I’m SO addicted to the comfort. Why is it so damn comforting? I don’t know. All I know is that I crave it, and I’ve been frightened by how natural it is for me to click off of sending a text message to facebook without even thinking about it. Muscle memory at this point. Yikes.

  • Lack and loss of intentionality and self-control.
    Similar to addiction but a lot of times when I click the beautiful round button at the bottom of my iphone, or the little rectangular button on the side, I have no plan for what I’m going to be doing. I’m using it as a distraction during a social situation. Or a time-filler, sitting on my couch. Or just doing it even though I have better, more important things to do. Or a de-stresser. A comforter. (Hm… A priority? A de-stresser? A Comforter? Sounds like what God should be.)

    When you pick up a book, you know what you’re getting into. It’s straightforward. Same with a bath. Or playing an instrument. There’s some variation, yeah, but there’s also a goal of some sort that you’re working towards. The problem with the internet is that it’s never ending – there is no goal – you can scroll forever on any given social media – unlimited Instagrams, practically unlimited friend-of-a-friend Facebooks, unlimited INTERNET. It goes on forever and it sucks you in and you can never find the end. If you don’t have a goal you’ll never get the reward you’re looking for!

    There’s no plan going in so I’m just click click tap tap scroll scrolling, searching for something that I’ll never find! Which is why I’m on there for 200 hours a day… No purpose, no plan, and looking for… something.

  • Satan freaking uses it to minimize your potential!
    Look at u. Look @ U! God’s given you so many skills and abilities you could grow. Things you could learn. For me, it’s art. Love it. Love the idea of finally honing my doodles and getting better at drawing. Know what gets in the way? Know why Satan loooooves this? Internet – and because it keeps us from reaching our full potential.I’m just so distracted. I’m so distracted with my phone that I have no time to talk to Daddy, no time to draw, write, or think, no time to meditate. Because I’m constantly filling empty spaces with IT. The proverbial black hole. Internet.

    I just wanna stop. I know this is Satan’s game and he loves all of us being so distracted. I’m not even going to get into embracing the moment, being fully present, cherishing real people and conversation, and disconnecting from technology. But I want those things too.

    I WANT REAL LIFE BACK! And I want my Daddy God, not electronics that just rewire my brain into mush anyway! Thanks for listening, whoever’s listening.

    EDIT: My iPhone broke 2 days after posting this entry. xo