Capacity blocker: technology

I’m going to be upfront from the start and admit that I have been dreading writing this post. Mostly because I really don’t want to take the honest look at myself and how little I have progressed in allowing God to remove this blocker from my life. A little over a year ago during last year’s Write 31 Days challenge, I wrote a post called “Confessions of a phone addict”. By the interest it generated, I guess there are others out there who relate to this. A year on and I am still struggling with this. If anything, it’s gotten more complicated as other technologies have been added in for me, like Netflix. The ridiculousness that I was procrastinating writing this post by watching Netflix is not lost on me. 

One of the biggest time drains and blockers to being open to hearing God throughout my day is my technology use. My capacity to do other things is severely diminished when I indulge in this addiction. I can use all sorts of justifications and excuses. The truth is that I often sense God’s prompting to switch off and I resist. I flat out disobey. Then I beat myself up over it, determine to do better the next day, pray and then make the same choices. This may not always be true but far more often than I want to be the case. 

In being open with my downfalls, I do also need to acknowledge steps I have taken. I can honestly say that in general I am more intentional about reducing phone time when I am around my daughter (some days more successfully than others but still!) I am choosing to put on something that builds me up and inspires me like podcasts or an audiobook more often. This can still be an issue in itself but at least it is feeding me rather than filling my head with more junk.

Acknowledging how detrimental my level of technology use is may not be the issue for me anymore. The wrestle in myself on how to deal with this is an ongoing daily struggle. I don’t think the answer is to cut it all out entirely. There are many benefits that technology, social media, my phone and even Netflix bring. So what is the answer? More prayer? Accountability? Some sort of routine or schedule? I’m not really sure. I do know that I am incapable of doing it alone. God needs to do the internal transformation work to allow this to happen. I need other people around me to help too. 

One of the practical, my obedience things that I have been trying is to do two chores/housework tasks each day without having something playing on a device or headphones in my ears. When did I start needing that background noise on all the time? When did I get so uncomfortable in my own presence? There have been times when I’ve been asked what I think about something and not had a clue as I hadn’t given myself any space to process and think on it.

Another strategy that I’ve used in the past but have let slip is accountability. Maybe this needs to be implemented again! Having another person able to see exactly how much of your day has been spent binge watching or on social media is a good motivator for me, at least in the short term. I will have to give that more thought as to how and who!

I am trying to implement some house rules to support as well. One is no phones at the table if anyone else is eating with you. My husband and I often have to remind each other of this rule. I have seen some incredible ideas of phone boxes that they have to go into for a few hours each evening and other similar strategies. I haven’t been brave enough to go there yet. It would obviously affect my husband too so some hard conversations would be needed first!

We have recently returned from a 10 day camping trip where we had no reception. I loved being unplugged and hoped to continue when home but it didn’t last long. Some practical choices are needed but I also need to keep working it through with God. Another work in progress for me!

How have you managed your technology use? I’d love some ideas.

This post is part of a series called “My journey of increasing capacity” written as part of the Write 31 Days challenge. To read other posts in this series please click on the button below, in the side bar or on the Write 31 Days 2015 tab at the top.

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