I'm on a Tech Diet
I got at app called Moment that tracks how much time you’re on the phone and how many times you check it in a day. Let’s just say, “Convicting.”
I was at my daughter’s gymnastics class. There’s an upper balcony with bleachers for parents to watch their kids. Forty parents and all of them glued to screens.
Ten years ago, before the iPad and iPhone were mainstream, the average person had an attention span of about 12 seconds. Now it’s 8 seconds. Shorter than the 9 second attention span of a goldfish. See Adam Alter’s book Irresistible and his recent interview on NPR.
So I’m going on a tech diet. I’m not quitting, just putting my electronic devices in their proper place. Why?
I need to focus.
Alvin Toffler wrote a prophetic book in 1970 called Future Shock. He wrote of the technological change that would happen so fast it would cause “dizzying disorientation.” “Millions of human beings will find themselves increasingly disoriented, progressively incompetent to deal with their environments.”
My tracking app, Moment, counted 38 pick-ups yesterday. That’s 38 times I checked my phone. That’s 38 little interruptions throughout the day. I’m less attentive to people when I’m distracted by the screen.
When pummeled by email, social media, texts, calls, news feeds . . . I come to the end of the day, dizzily disorientated.
I can’t afford to waste time.
One study claims that teens spend nine hours a day on the internet. What do you think is your average? My tracking app told me two hours and 8 minutes on my phone yesterday.
We complain about not having enough time. “If there were only an extra hour in the day,” we say. Maybe there is. Time is too short. I don’t have time to waste. I can't afford to squander my minutes. I need to be present in a moment, not distractedly somewhere else.
I need humans.
Conversation. Laughter. Listening. When I’m with family or friends, I must really be with them. Not partially.
I want to see magic again.
I believe in magic. The world is filled with the Creator’s fingerprints. And it's amazing and abundant. But when I’m wrapped in the fog of my screens, I'm blind to the beauty.
With my technology, everything is figured out. It’s all at my fingertips. My world is digits and minutes, tasks and productivity, bills and taxes, chores and schedules, news and the latest trends.
There’s no wonder or awe.
I miss the mystery, magic, and majesty.
I went for a walk with my 3-year-old last weekend. A heavy, wet snow had just fallen on early blooms. Daffodils and magnolias were tucked in a white blanket. He walked up to a flower laced in snow. He breathed on it and the snow disappeared. He gazed in awe. He kept blowing on the snow like it was magic. It is.
The whole world is filled with a Divine enchantment. God is masterful and majestic. And my screen has gotten in the way of seeing that.
So, I’m only checking social media from 2:00-4:00PM.
My phone is off from 5:00-8:00PM daily.
I’m completely unplugged on Friday, my day off.
So, I'm powering down. Goodbye.
3/16/2017 02:55:35 pm
Thank you for your personal insight to a universal challenge, Jeff. I immediately linked your blog on my FB page with this comment: "This isn't the first time you've heard about our global addiction to technology. But it is a new perspective on one man's intention to lessen his grip:
3/17/2017 12:57:47 pm
That was great ! I want to download that app ..I'm all for less technology and more face to face communication ;-)
3/22/2017 09:18:19 am
So true. I start my day with a walk almost every day, often times in the dark, because I know the rest of my day will be filled staring at a computer screen. I watch families sit together at a dinner out, but no one talks to each other. Cars go by me with movies playing. I fear we will all soon be born with T-rex like arms and all be nearsighted!
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