I admit it. I love my cell phone! I love scrolling through social media and seeing updates from friends’ lives. I get excited at just the thought of receiving text messages. I enjoy scrolling through Pinterest and getting new ideas for recipes to try. But, I have come to the conclusion that this love has taken over my life. If I were to be honest, I, like most 20-somethings I know, have an unhealthy balance in my life when it comes to how consumed I am by the world wide web accessible through my phone instead of experiencing and engaging with the actual, physical world around me.
I know that there is a toll that too much cellphone use takes on my life. When I don’t take time to unplug, my relationships decline because I’m spending too much time with the “screen” version of my acquaintances instead of focusing on the physical relationships that really matter.
It’s time to take a step back and investigate why it is important to be unplugging regularly from the phone. There are four specific relationships that I want to take a look at that are worth unplugging for.
- You Should Be Unplugging For Your Kids. Please know that I do not come from a judgmental, non-parent, know-it-all standpoint. Where I do come from, though, is an understanding that children follow in their parents’ footsteps more than we often like to admit. The children of the upcoming generation do not know life without screens and cellphones. If they never see the adults they look up to unplug, then we can believe that it will be just as, if not more, difficult for them to unplug. “What one generation tolerates, the next generation accepts.” Let’s decide now that we will set the example of what a healthy relationship with cellphones looks like.
- You Should Be Unplugging For Your Spouse. Marriage is tough. Ministry is tough. It should be no surprise to us that marriage in ministry is tough because we’re combining the two. It takes two whole people who are 100% in the game to make a marriage in ministry successful. You need time to tune out the rest of the world while you focus on the person you married and remember why you married you them in the first place. Your marriage will be stronger if you take time to cultivate it. It is absolutely necessary to make your marriage a priority over less important things that are calling out for your attention through your phone.
- You Should Be Unplugging For Yourself. You need time to just be alone with you! Take a warm soak in the bathtub. Go on a walk and enjoy God’s beautiful creation. Take time to actually make one of those projects or recipes from Pinterest instead of incessantly pinning more. The more time you spend comparing the highlights of other people’s lives through social media to your behind-the-scenes life, the less you tend to like about yourself. You need time to focus on you before you can focus on ministering to the rest of the world. Take time to unplug for a day and do something purely out of enjoyment for yourself! You need it!
- You Should Be Unplugging For God. I know. As if you weren’t already feeling convicted enough, I have now saved the cliche “Jesus” answer for last. But it’s true. I know that the more time I spend looking down at my phone, the less I am inclined to look up to my heavenly Father. God is calling out for alone time with you. When was the last time you answered His calling over someone on your cell phone calling?
I love my cellphone, and it’s okay that I love my cellphone. What’s not okay is when my cellphone takes precedence over the relationships I have mentioned above with the physical ones around me. It’s a tough pill to swallow (especially if you’re on your phone reading this right now!), but it’s such an important truth for us to grasp.
Do you unplug from your phone often? What are some other reasons why you unplug?