Is Your Smart Phone Making Your Life Small?
Recently, I overheard my mother-in-law explaining to my 7-year-old niece that once upon a time all of our phones were connected to the wall by cords. This information just about straightened her adorable brown ringlets.
You may have veiled memories of that ancient time.
You may recall a time before you could check the weather, order a pizza, contact someone in Taiwan, and have 7 black tank tops shipped to your door by Thursday all within 47 seconds from the palm of your hand.
I still, and I’m about to date myself here, remember the first time I used my friends “car phone.” It plugged into the cigarette lighter of her Ford Taurus.
We ordered Chinese Food.
We were very cool.
How could any of us possibly imagine that a few years later, we would simply be lost without our Smartphones? They’ve become our maps, our news source, our recipes holders, our Bibles, our grocery lists, our go-to for design inspiration, our calendars, our notebooks and our way to remain in constant contact with our people.
Personally, I’m a massive fan. You will never hear me demonizing all the good that technology has brought into our lives.
I love that fact that I have a camera on me at all times
and can calculate the least traffic-y way to my destination. I love the fact that I can look up a mysterious ingredient on a food label, listen to audio books, (like this one read by Chip & JoAnna) refill a prescription and remind myself to call my Aunt all from a device that fits into my pocket.
READ: But mostly gets lost in my purse.
But you know what I don’t like?
How easily distracted I am.
But you are too right?
There you are minding your business when you think, “Hey I really want to know what the weather’s going to be like today.” And then suddenly, it’s 20 minutes later. You find yourself hunched over in some awkward position. BUT you are resurfacing to the rest of humanity with the new found knowledge of how to make your own kimchi, what you need to buy at the Nordstrom semi-annual sale, how much a 3 bedroom ranch goes for in the city of Des Moine and much more than you ever wanted to know about your new co-worker’s Himalayan guinea pig.
Smart phones can be a blessing, but because we’re a generation easily distracted by shiny objects, to use them properly requires the “D” word that none of us have a fondness for:
BUT GOOD NEWS: if you’re like us and HAVE found your world getting small and yourself getting sucked into the palm of your hand, take heart.
We’re not going to tell you to throw your Samsung out the window. We just want to offer a few hints to keep your smallest pieces of technology from making your life and your world small.
None of us will get this right all the time. As I was writing this post, Instagram Stories lured me in with it’s boomerang magic for WAY too long.
So take heart friend and let’s lay hold of a few ideas to make our technology work for us instead of we for it.
1. Have Boundaries:
This is going to look different for everyone. But it’s important for all of us. Do you have a time when you are not connected? Can you leave your phone in your pocket, purse, or another room when you’re at the dinner table or out with friends? Can you shut off your devices for a few hours at night or at least by a certain time in the evening?
What’s the most distracting thing for you? Maybe it’s the “ding” of notifications. Could you turn them off or at least only answer them in bulk? Maybe you remove email from your phone altogether and only answer emails while at your desk? Maybe you move your social media apps off of your home screen so you can get to them when you make time for them and not when they’re chirping, “You have 78 notifications.”
2. Stop Mindless Scrolling:
When you find yourself in the “mindless social media” scroll that we’re all guilty of, STEP AWAY FROM THE SMART PHONE.
Don’t miss your life while you’re busy admiring the lives of others.
I don’t want to get heavy or preachy so I’ll talk to myself here:
“Dear Megan, you may be missing some beautiful moments in your own life because you’re too mentally engaged in the lives of others. You may have completely missed opportunities to:
-see something beautiful
-recognize and add value to another person
-show your spouse that they’re your priority
due to your mindless scrolling.”
Ok, my toes hurt. ;P
3. Stop Comparing:
Repeat after me: The success of someone else does not make me a failure. We’re all on our own journey. And the quicker we can start celebrating each other without being threatened by each other, the better. Let’s determine to be inspired by others, but not intimidated.
Because here’s the Truth: Comparison is a thief & a liar.
It’ll do its best to rob you of the life you were designed to live.
It steals your joy.
It distracts you from the person you are by taunting you about the person you’re not.
We have an entire post on the Comparison Trap with 2 steps to help you step out of the crazy. Click here to read it.
You can’t compare what you know about yourself to what you don’t know about others.
We will all get exactly where God has designed for us to go if we’ll stop wasting time wishing our circumstances looked different. Let’s keep our eyes on our own journey.
Like I said, NONE of us will get this right all the time, but here’s a bit of truth to guide you from Emily Ley’s book, “Grace not Perfection.”
* a book you will LOVE btw 😉
“Instead of striving for balance in our lives, let’s work toward lives fiercely devoted to what matters. That means turning the volume down on the things that distract us from being present.”
That’s what we want to be known for right? Someone “fiercely devoted to what matters?” Someone who’s able to put their phone down and celebrate the life that’s right in front of them.
AND-if you’d like to take it even a step FURTHER and make your smartphone work for you, we have a free present for you. #treatyoself
Click the pic below for 3 apps that you can use to actually boost the “luv” side of your life instead of distract you from it.
What kind of boundaries have you put around your technology to keep it from making your world small? We’d love to hear!!
Until next time,