Sometimes, that is.
We get along really well at times. I like being able to text people, getting notifications for new emails, playing Words with Friends, making the occasional phone call. And Twitter–if it weren’t for my smartphone, I probably wouldn’t bother with it.
But it is very, very easy for me to get sucked into all of it. Not checking my phone sends me into a tizzy, sure I’m missed a crucial text. The battery dies and I’m certain that will be the 5 minute drive home my car breaks down. Gmail stops syncing and I have to pull out my laptop to see if that message giving me some news I’ve been waiting for all my life has arrived yet.
I’m very good at rationalizing it though.
I was a Communication Studies major, after all. I’m a people person. These are just the ways I keep in touch with people, maintain connections that give me energy and help me feel like me.
In May I went on a trip to London and Edinburgh (and half a day in Oxford). (Learned a few things along the way, too) For the duration of my visit I was smartphone-less.
And it kind of rocked.
No texts. No phone calls. No emails. No game notification. No @mentions. At least not while I was out and about for the day.
Standing in line for my coffee, I had nothing to check. Wandering the city, I was forced to be observant. Hanging out with people in a pub, I was able to be truly present. No one could text me, no one could call me. I was fully there.
Yet as soon as my plane touched down in Newark, it was back to normal; returning missed texts, updating my parents on my hectic journey home, posting statuses lamenting flight delays.
And so it goes. Even on my 2 minute walk at work from my desk to the restroom, I often feel the need to bring my phone along to pass the time. Most of the people I pass in the hallways there are doing the same thing.
This isn’t how I want to be though. This isn’t how I should be.
This isn’t how God wants me to be.
Does this mean I’m going to ditch my smartphone? No. The problem isn’t the phone; the problem is me.
They say admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. Being able to honestly admit that I hate my smartphone at times is probably a good way to start then.
It’s taking the rest of the steps that will get tricky. When I was on my trip, discovering new places and meeting new people, it didn’t seem so bad to be disconnected. In my everyday life of working and hanging out with family and friends and writing and reading and watching TV shows, my desire to constantly be connected so I don’t miss out on anything is a lot harder to fight.
But it’s a fight I need, and will continue, to fight.
Til next time…
Today, my piece “Facebook Envy” went up over at Relevant Magazine.
If you clicked over from Relevant, first of all, thank you. For reading there, and for stopping by over here.
That being said, I want you to know…I wrote that piece more for myself than anyone else. I cannot tell you how many whiny, ranting, bitter drafts I wrote. Finally, I realized my writing cannot become a rant against other people simply because of my own insecurities. Only then, by writing of my own struggles, did the rest begin to follow.
Those suggestions I offer, particularly the one about finding my worth in God? I’m not there today, I won’t be there tomorrow, and I won’t be there a month from now. I’m not sure we ever completely “get there.”
So here’s to being a work in progress. To writing of messes and insecurity and uncertainty, and how God is in and through it all, even when I fail to see it. I’d love for you to join me.
Here’s a snippet from “Facebook Envy”:
“We’re often warned of Internet pitfalls: pornography, illegal downloading, addiction to video games or social networks, neglect of real-life relationships and more.
Yet there is another insidious Internet predator we don’t often talk about.
As I scroll through my Facebook news feed or Twitter home page, I’m bombarded with pictures, status updates and blog posts from my peers. Many people in their twenties, like me, are still figuring life out. They’re off on adventures, exploring the world and learning new things, figuring out love and friendships and what it looks like to follow God in this stage of their lives. As I browse their posts, I often find myself wishing I could be in their shoes, living their lives. Glamorous lives, it often seems.
In other words, the online realm sets up the danger of comparison.
Road trips. India. Beaches. Paris. Weddings. Mexico. Celebrities. Babies. New York City. Skydiving. Grad school.
My life currently includes none of those things, and it is all too easy for me to wish my circumstances could be otherwise.
In small doses, comparing our lives to others doesn’t seem so bad—it seems only natural to see and analyze what others our age are doing. At times, it may compel us to work harder to achieve what we desire, or provide perspective when we find our circumstances overwhelmingly bleak.”
Thanks, friends. =)
Til next time…
p.s. Is Facebook envy something you’ve struggled with? How do you deal with it? I’d love to hear from you–leave a comment here, or at the original post. You can also find me on Twitter.