I remember a few years ago when there was an intense storm outside and it caused a power outage. Our TV and computer turned off and cell phones eventually ran out of battery. My family and I were “forced” out of our own little world of technological devices and “had” to spend time together. My parents convinced us to play old fashioned board and card games. At first we dreaded the idea, but after playing for a while, we started to enjoy them. We were so busy playing games and bonding that we didn’t go back to watching TV or playing on our phones when the lights came back on.
That night taught me something very important; technology in itself isn’t a bad thing, but many of us (including myself) have been guilty of spending way too much time on our devices. Technology can get in the way of our relationships with people: friends, family and even our relationship with God. We need to unplug our devices and start spending time in the real world.
I am not saying it’s easy. Just the other day, I meant to take a minute and check my email and I found myself sucked into website after website. I wasn’t doing anything bad, but at same time, I could have been on a walk with my mom, talking with my dad, or having fun with my brother and sister. Even more importantly, I could have taken some time with the Lord and read my Bible. But, instead, I was looking up memes on Pinterest. It’s amazing how much time had gone by and I didn’t even realize it. From that point on I had to start making a conscience decision to make myself “unplug”.
Here are a few simple choices I’ve made to make sure I am not tied to technology or social media. First, I know longer bring my phone to meals when I sit with family and friends to eat. I keep my phone in my purse when I’m having quality time with people. If I don’t see it I’m not tempted to check it every five minutes; that way I can engage in the conversation instead of seeing who’s posting on Instagram. Another thing I try to do every day is have devotions before I pick up my phone to start scrolling. These are small things, but these habits help me keep my relationship with God, family, and friends a priority. After all, they are more important than the people I only know online.
I know unplugging is hard; however, there are so many reasons to put your phone down or log off your computer. I encourage you to take the challenge and unplug for one month and see what amazing things you can accomplish, the people you can get to know, and how your relationship with Jesus will get so much stronger.
Nia (pronounced “Nye-ah”) is an aspiring actress and author. She is a student at Westerville central High School and Fort Hayes Perfoming Arts School . During her free time, she loves reading, writing, and listening to music, and is passionate about bringing the Kingdom of God through the stories she writes and the characters she portrays on stage.