A Social Media Sabbath

As I mentioned on my Facebook page yesterday, I have to step away from engaging on Facebook for season. It is part of an overall attempt to liberate myself from my smart phone, which I feel like I always have to have on and accessible.

Saturday morning my wife and I had a rather testy but honest discussion in which we accused the other of paying far too much attention to our smart phones. I think the overall tone of the conversation (which wasn’t exactly pleasant) spoke to the truth being exposed. We do spend too much time with technology.

I installed an app on my phone back in February called Break Free. It tracks your smart phone usage by looking at overall times you access your phone, what apps you use the most, and how much you use said apps. Keep it to a minimum and it rewards you with a happy little Buddha. Too much screen time and your Buddha gets angry. I won’t get into statistics, but I know my angry Buddhas outnumbered my happy ones by about 5 to 1. Most of those good scores came when I was on a family camping trip, and had limited access.

I am not one of those of people who thinks that technology is bad, or even that social media is bad. It really has to do with how you use it. After tracking my phone usage for about two months, I am astounded at how much time I wasted on things like Facebook and Reddit. I found it hard to believe how many times I unlocked my phone per day, which tells me that if I so much as approach the edge of something that feels like boredom, I pick up my phone. And really, that speaks to something deeper. Have I developed a need for constant digital stimulation? What is really going on right in front of me while I am staring at the glow of that magic little device?

So, I am signing off for a season. I plan to be off Facebook and Reddit until at least June 1, maybe longer. I am turning off mail notifications on my phone. In general, I want to relearn how my smart phone can serve me, rather than allowing it to enslave me. I hope I can do a little more long form blogging, something I used to do regularly but which I now claim I don’t have time for. I also hope to never again have my wife look at me and tell me she feels like I pay more attention to a phone than I do to what little time we have together.

Just a note: blog posts automatically hit my Facebook feed. If you read this, and have a comment you want me to see, you have to leave it here. If you leave it on Facebook, I won’t see it.



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