“Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.”
-Christian Louis Lange
I did a lot of reflecting and learning in my 3 months of forced tech-less living. Because, what else do you do when you’re not mindlessly scrolling through Facebook memes? I devoured books, 10 to be exact, I became incredibly aware of my surroundings and in tune with myself. I was spontaneous, intentional, and free of bondage. I became unapologetically me. I no longer contaminated my mind with comparison and the pressures to join the competition. The most astounding, liberating observation I made was how much time is in the day… I started to wake up earlier and really take in the sunrise for myself, not to brag about it with a picture. I got off my butt more and ventured into the unknown. I learned that I thrive in the unknown!
Reintroducing technology into my life, for the sake of safety in a new, foreign city, being a functional human being in this day n age, and staying in contact with loved ones, has brought forth some pretty alarming facts about myself. First being, I am way too vulnerable to the addiction! My enneagram is a 7, which means I can’t get enough of experiential satisfaction. The instant gratification of a like on Instagram will always outrun the satisfaction of finishing a good, challenging book. This is quantity over quality, people, and it is not sustainable.
Social media gives us this false sense of belonging, importance, and status. If we’re being real with ourselves, how many of our followers could we call if we really need help, advice, or a good laugh? Who am I without my likes, followers, and a false sense of security? How is my relationship with social media? Do I use it as a healthy, creative, communicative outlet or do I find myself using it when I’m bored, losing precious hours of the day? Do I find myself reaching for my phone when I feel an awkward moment arising rather than being assured in who I am? Do I find myself in patterns of self-loathing when comparing my life to others? Do I have a tendency to “like for like” rather than being genuine? Am I thinking for myself rather than being a mindless consumer? These are some challenging questions I’ve been hit with and really have had to meditate on what kind of life I want to live. One that is constantly chasing a certain standard or one with lasting, deep friendships, in-depth conversations, colorful places, eyes-wide-open, open doors, freedom, and joy?
Now to address the elephant in the web, I am typing this on a yes, computer, and I plan on sharing this post on, yes you guessed it again, social media, and I feel absolutely no shame in saying that I am excited to be back blogging and sharing my thoughts and journey. Technology is in no way “bad”; it is our manipulation, perception, and addiction to it that can control and inhibit our lives. Technology can be a beautiful tool for communication, connection, creativity, inspiration, ideas, and art to flourish, be enjoyed, and be easily accessible. But practically, what does a healthy balance even look like? Personally, I am weak and breaking a habit of consistent reliance takes a lot of self-control or forced removal altogether from an outsider, I was fortunate enough to have the latter (I touch on this in my last post).
Integrating tech back into my life has been a bit of a self-taught experiment, but I feel like I have some self-implemented rules that have totally helped me. Keep in mind that I don’t have an international plan, so I only have service in places that have Wi-Fi, apart from downloaded maps, music, and podcasts.
- I’ve been sensitive and attentive to feelings that arise from using certain apps, I’ve deleted apps that seem to only create a competitive, resentful attitude.
- I’ve set healthy, strict, black and white boundaries for times to unwind and use technology mindlessly (an hour a day).
- I do not take my phone out of my bag or pocket if I am with another person; I choose to be fully engaged and attentive.
- If I don’t need my phone for directions, I leave it behind and only take my camera out of the house.
I encourage all of us to really be brutally honest with ourselves and ask how the influence of technology and social media is defining our self-worth, body-image, life-status, and time. Be brave enough to live differently than the norm and put your life, health, wellness, relationship with the Lord, purpose, and friendships before what society has told you is “truth”.
As always, feel free to comment, leave any questions, or message me directly on my contact tab!
Be blessed ❤