Unplug Yourself from the Net, Plug into something even better

Between bed, my car, work, and coming home, I have looked at about 6 or 7 different LCD screens today, and now I am staring into another.  Technology in the U. S. has become so dominant in our lives, and is so abundant everywhere we look, many people actually get anxious when they have been away from their touch screens for too long.  What is even more alarming is that number of times people look at their smart phones even when they are out with friends or family.  The real question you need to ask yourself, do you control your phone, or does your phone control you?  Here are a few signs that maybe you need to give your smart phone a time out for a little while.

  • You feel the need to take a "selfie" for every occasion.
  • You get upper back pain on a regular basis from hunching over a tablet.
  • You get phone-panic when you accidentally left your phone at home.
  • You have never accidentally left your phone at home.
  • When you walk into the bathroom, so does your phone.
  • You have actually gotten into a argument about being on your phone too much.
  • You check it before going to sleep at night.
  • And then you check it as soon as you wake up.
  • How many times have you Instagrammed your meal this week?
  • You don't know a family member's phone number.
  • Your hand looks like this.
 
 
  • You use it while talking to people in real life
  • You've actually mastered walking and texting.
  • You miss entire TV shows because you are engulfed in what you were doing on your phone.
  • You can't really enjoy anything without posting about it on Facebook or taking a picture of it on Instagram.
  • Your opinion on a topic of discussion is someone's social media post.
  • Did you just check it since clicking this blog post?  Really?

 

Perhaps we are so comforted by our phones because there is something fundamentally important missing in our lives.  Or maybe it's just a bad habit that got out of hand.  I won't pretend to presume your situation, but I can tell you that there are some pretty great advantages to taking some time away from your phone, and even the internet in general.  These are advantages like getting more sleep at night, building friendships, exercising and getting in better shape, and enjoying the world around you.  There is also a certain freedom in not being able to be reached in any way.  In the back of our heads, you might think that you are missing some huge, amazing part of life by unplugging yourself for even just a week, or that your entire world may be unraveling on Twitter without you supervising it, but you can rest assured, the world will continue without you, while you enjoy your night out with your family.  So turn your phone off, and enjoy the world around you for an hour tonight.  Enjoy the silence, or the sound of the rain outside, or the people that live in your home.  Your notifications will be there when you turn your phone on again.  Try leaving your phone at home for the day.  Not much happens on social media from 8am to 4pm anyway.  Maybe think about unplugging yourself for a whole week at a youth camp.  I guarantee, it will be worth it.

-Jack Grimes