In 2007 my wife and I each bought Crackberry (I mean Blackberry) Pearls. From the moment we bought them, our lives would forever change. This change would come with both positive and negative consequences. It’s no secret that I love to use technology to accomplish things. Facebook, Twitter, Email, Text, iChat, GoogleChat, or whatever gets the job done. I remember getting what I’ll call “the jitters” during that first year of smart-phone-dom. “The Jitters” came in the form of anxiety. Anxiety that I could feel as soon as I opened my eyes in the morning. It wasn’t over social media or text… my anxiety was actually over work emails, especially the ones that came in after or before working hours or the weekends. I would fight not reading them and if it was something negative I couldn’t not take care of it. So as I fought responding, I got “the jitters.”
During that time I developed a no-read hour when I first woke up, but that discipline has slowly eroded with time.
I recently started to feel some anxiety like that again. So a few days ago I decided to do a 24-hour #techfast. A fast is a biblical term that is all about refraining from something (usually food) in order to refocus your mind on who the real sustainer of life is. My #techfast wasn’t from all technology, as my wife will point out, I used the AppleTV to watch a documentary on Netflix. It was from all electronic communications. In fact I left my iPhone off and by my bedside for the entire 24-hours and didn’t touch my computer or iPad at all.
text phone even googling
So at 7:48am on Saturday I sent out this tweet.
It was a little harder than I anticipated, but I made it out alive. JK. But seriously, it was not easy for me. Here’s a few things I learned or re-learned in the process:
- I need designated time away from technology
- I need to remain present in the present, more
- The world still goes on even if I don’t tweet about it
- Instagram really doesn’t care if I don’t post that picture of my kids I’m dying to share
- Facebook friends don’t really expect an immediate response to everything
- People will leave a voicemail if it’s urgent enough
- Vine doesn’t miss me
- Two Cities WeAreTwoCities.com video shoots can happen without me knowing up-to-the-minute updates
- I am refreshed by time offline
- I am refreshed by a clearing of my mind through reading the Bible
- I am refreshed by a more steady and on-going prayer throughout the day
- Technology is a tool to be used for Kingdom purposes and we often abuse the tools God allows us to use
- When I do this, there will be a ton of voice mails, texts, emails, Facebook messages, etc when I turn my phone back on… and it’s ok to miss them for a day
The list could go on. None of these things are revolutionary, but I find it necessary to remind myself of these things and I am going to try to do this once a month, at minimum, just to hit reset on my thought processes.
What do you need to take a break from in order to reset or refill?