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My name is Rebecca, and I’m addicted to my phone.

“When you are on Instagram, you are not the customer, you are the product.” John Mark Comer

Sitting down and reading a book is a thing of the past with three toddlers running around; but I love listening to a good podcast!

My current favorites are:

That Sounds Fun by Annie F. Downs

The Holy Post by Phil Vischer & Skye Jethani

Fight Hustle, End Hurry by John Mark Comer & Jefferson Bethke

While each of these podcasts feature very different people, lately they’ve hosted speakers on the idea of living a restful life and using technology well – apparently something I needed to hear (over and over again).

About a month ago, our wifi was down for over a week. It was awful, and yet, somehow it was the best thing that could have happened to my family. The first two days were manageable but, without wifi we blew through our phone data in two days with five days left in our month.

All of a sudden I couldn’t endlessly scroll Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest. And I couldn’t stick my kids in front of the tv every time they got overwhelming for me. We all went through withdrawal. It was then that I realized how addicted we are to technology and how we have a need for constant information and entertainment.

I realized we needed things to change for the health of our family.

I went out and bought crayons, markers, paint and coloring books for my kids. I set daily limits for apps on my phone. I turned notifications off until after my kids’ bedtimes.

And while the first few days were hard as we weaned ourselves off from constant noise, I liked who I was as a mom so much better. I found the kids less needy, and enjoyed my time with them. I remembered to take my vitamins and give the kids theirs too. Without social media or netflix always on, I was able to manage our household more smoothly. I realized how much wisdom there was in John Mark Comer’s words – I saw the endless ads now… I found I had time in the evenings to do things I enjoyed. I was motivated. It was the best few weeks I’d had in many months. Things were changing and I loved it.

Then I got sick and spent 24 hours in my mom’s guest room while she took care of my kiddos. Unable to get out of bed, I turned to Netflix, Facebook and Instagram once again. And for the next week while everyone took their turn with the flu, the tv became our primary coping mechanism.

“It’s okay, it’s just for when they’re sick.”, I thought to myself. But the kids got better, and they were still watching hours of tv a day. I was spending hours, rather than minutes, on my phone again, and finding it hard to be patient with my kids.

It all came to a head when I caught myself watching an episode of This is Us at 1 am. I don’t even know what woke me up, but I just realized how ridiculous I was being. Completely stuck on technology again. No motivation. No patience with my kids. No cooking or keeping up my cleaning schedule. And it had been weeks since I had been sick.

I texted my best friend in the morning. It was time for another change.

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