This is the question my husband recently asked our sophomore daughter.
He had just watched and agreed with the reasons behind secular comedian Louis C.K. not allowing his kids to have phones. The fact this man was not speaking from a Christian perspective and took serious enough the negatitive effect of being tied to our phones is what struck him (link here).
Though we aren’t pulling the plug on phones, we are having conversations. Not just with our kids, but ourselves and others.
So… Who are you without your phone? Or, I might add- your computer?
By this I mean, when you are alone without technology, what do you think about? Feel? Do?
- When was the last time you were alone…without technology?
- Was it hard? Why?
- Did you feel like you were missing out on something?
- Were you bored?
- Are you afraid to be alone with your thoughts? emotions?
- Do you stay connected so you don’t have to deal with reality?
Over Spring Break we were in the car without a charger so our kids were forced to just sit there after their phones and iTouch died. After some time our daughter broke the silence with,
“Dad, I’ve been thinking about what you said about my phone and I see what you mean.”
Our ears perked up.
Initially when he had asked the question it was not the most well-received. Now a few days later she saw that she was having a hard time sitting still and didn’t know what to do with herself without constantly checking Twitter, Instagram, sending SnapChats and texting. Without all those things she felt lost.
Is it possible that we are so in touch with what the world is doing at all times that we’ve lost touch with who we are?
We don’t know how to just be by ourselves without sharing every moment with the world or knowing what everybody else is doing. As a result we’ve built this false sense of community. We think we have so many “friends” because we are connected so broadly and share LOLs. But, then when we are actually with people in person, what do we do?
Check our phones!
Whether we are alone… Or with a crowd… Or feeling alone in a crowd, we check our phone.
And in the process have kept ourselves so busy and preoccupied that we don’t know how to just be. Or, what to think about about other than what we are missing. Or, simply just talk to whoever we are near (without having to make it a photo op moment).
As this reality settled in during our car ride, our daughter decided to delete her Twitter app off her phone for a time. It’s been a struggle, but after a week she reported getting more sleep, focusing more on her homework and turning to the Word. All blessings and things my teenager needs.
She has also sat on her bed… bored.
- With our phones having become such time-sucking fillers, what are we neglecting?
- How is it affecting our relationships and how we relate?
- How is it affecting how we view our lives in light of all the beautiful happy people we see on-line 24/7?
- Who are we on our own without worrying about the world or who the world sees us to be?
Have we already become so shaped by that standard that we can’t see the joy in simplicity, quiet, mundane, normal, routine, home, family, Christ?
As always I would love to hear your thoughts, knowing there aren’t hard and fast answers or across-the-board rules, but hopefully just by raising some questions we will find a way to not lose touch with our inner being and time for real faces, while still enjoying our social media lives.
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