It’s 6 a.m. and your alarm goes off on your cell phone. Before you know it, you’ve scanned your email, checked the weather, browsed your favorite store’s latest sale, and watched a few YouTube videos on how to repair your leaky kitchen faucet.
And that’s all before you even say good morning to your spouse or get out of bed!
Tech addiction is becoming a serious problem! And we’re not talking about the time you spend on your computer at work, or the occasional TV show you watch, or the five-minute mental break you take on Facebook. Those probably aren’t going to change your life.
We mean the endless, mindless staring and scrolling that begin to chip away at the world right in front of you—and limit your time with family, friends and God. That screen-time becomes a form of idolatry as you look to your devices for answers more than you look to Christ.
The Bible’s clear about not worshiping idols or putting anything above God. Check out what Psalm 135:15–18 (ESV) has to say about that. It’s talking about statues, but doesn’t it sound like it could apply to technology too?
The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; they have eyes, but do not see; they have ears, but do not hear, nor is there any breath in their mouths. Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them.
If you’re tired of feeling like you’re so plugged in that you’re out of touch, then maybe it’s time for a change. We’re here to say that you can break that habit! But it’ll take some time, so start small.
Here’s the challenge: Go screen-free tonight! Try these three ideas for starting the process. Yes, they’re simple, but they may be just what you need to get the ball rolling.
1. Shut off your Wi-Fi at the source.
First things first: Protect yourself from yourself. If you disconnect your Wi-Fi as soon as your evening routine begins, you’ll create a barrier between you and your web browser when you feel the urge to jump online. You’re adding an extra step to the process of reconnecting to the internet (or streaming a TV show!)—one that might be just enough to keep you from doing it.
Oh, but I have a data plan, you think. But do you really want to pay for that data? How funny are those YouTube videos, anyway? Repeat after us: It’s not worth it!
2. Hide your phone.
Maybe one barrier’s not enough. Maybe you need to create a few more between you and your screen of choice. Go one step further by hiding your phone (or laptop or tablet) in a drawer or basket somewhere in the house. That keeps it out of sight and out of mind but still close enough in case of an emergency. Just don’t forget where you put it!
If you’re really determined, you could always lock your phone in your car’s glove compartment overnight too. Now that’s commitment!
3. Announce two hours of tech-free time starting at dinner.
If your house has too many devices to wrangle or you can’t devote your whole night to going screen-free, you could always choose a short window of time to start. Find alternate activities to do instead that enrich your relationships. Exercise or play outside with loved ones, or set out some board games and invite friends over. Spend time in prayer or devotions and reconnect with God.
Whether technology takes up too much time and space in your life is up to you. But even if you’re in deep, it’s never too late to scale back. You can do it! Just start with one evening, and see if you can gradually increase your tech-free time from there. We guarantee you’ll like what you see!