by Ella Corey
I am a nineteen-year-old college freshman. On my iPhone, I Tweet, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, pin on Pintrest, e-mail, iMessage and FaceTime. I communicate with others in the room next to me and on the other side of the world, all by tapping on the screen of my 6.7 square inch device. It’s always either in my hand, in my purse, or plugged into my laptop. I, along with most of the country, am possibly addicted to social media.
This didn’t really come to my attention until recently. All of a sudden, my one-year-old iPhone 5 decided to call it quits on me. The screen flashed a white screen and shut off indefinitely. While this is the end of the world to someone whose life is in her calendar, reminders, and e-mail, I was surprisingly relieved when my phone stopped working. It meant I got a break.
I’m currently unrestricted by the need to refresh my Instagram and Twitter feeds, or instantly respond to texts that come my way. While this is somewhat an inconvenience, it really has allowed me to be more in the present moment. Conversation is so much more beneficial when it’s uninterrupted by someone’s phone going off. How many times have you been annoyed when you were trying to talk to someone, and all they did was stare at their phone?
We’re all always plugged in, whether we’re in church, class, or having a conversation. It really isn’t necessary to broadcast every moment on the Internet. In fact, Jesus wants time with Him to be intimate. He encourages us to slow down in Matthew 6:6 when he says, “ But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
I also think unplugging is necessary when engaging in conversation with others. Can you really listen when you’re staring at your phone? Imagine all the things we miss when we’re updating our Facebook statuses or taking a picture. There’s something Pastor Rick Warren said in his book, The Purpose Driven Life, that I find totally relatable to this, “Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time. It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. Words alone are worthless.”
Time is important and God wants us to spend it well. Whether it’s with Him or with others, sometimes its necessary to be giving our full attention. I encourage you to take a step back from your phone for a while, and spend your time intentionally and wisely.