the New Drug…
Technology addiction will steal your life if you let it.
I truly believe we have entered a time where the word addict isn’t just associated with drugs and alcohol like it once was.
There is a new addiction lurking in the shadows and most people are completely oblivious of the extreme havoc it’s wrecking on our lives.
Technology addiction is real.
Just like any other addiction, technology addiction is damaging not only our minds, but also our relationships, and it’s stealing our time.
Our society is becoming completely disconnected from reality and sucked into a virtual obsession that’s almost deemed normal nowadays.
With that said, I too own a smartphone, a tablet, and a laptop computer. Obviously, if I didn’t, this article wouldn’t even exist. However, I make a point to use these devices as a tool, more than an escape from real life.
While there is nothing wrong with a little entertainment, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to become totally obsessed with digital life while our real-life passes us by.
Mindlessly scrolling on social media and intense video gaming are only 2 of the ways our society has gotten sucked into the normalcy of technology addition. Our cell phones are being put at the top of our priority list, while family gatherings and little moments get pushed to the back burner.
Feel like you aren’t connecting with your children because you simply can’t put the phone down? Check out How to Be Present with Your Children for simple tips and an eye-opening story about a young mom dealing with her own technology addiction!
The Harsh Reality…
Yesterday I was reminded just how common this problem is.
I walked into a local orthodontist’s office, where my son had an appointment that afternoon. As I looked around I saw 2 fathers waiting for their children to come out, both staring at the screens of their smartphones, oblivious to the world around them.
I honestly didn’t think much of it until a few minutes after I arrived another father walked in with his son, pulling his smartphone from his pocket the second his body hit the chair.
His eyes met the screen and again, oblivious to everything else.
I watched 5 more adults walk into that waiting room over the course of my time there. Each one going through the same routine, check-in, sit down, pull out smartphone, scroll, and stare until time to leave.
I was the only person in that room not scrolling through social media, playing a game, or watching ridiculous videos. I was people-watching instead – which isn’t something I normally do.
However, I was completely disturbed by what I saw.
We live in this world where digital connections are more important than physical ones – a world where we only know life through a screen.
Not a single person in that room struck up a conversation with another, enjoyed the beautiful artwork hanging on the wall, or glanced out the window at the birds flying by. They were all completely checked out and in their own virtual world.
Can Happen to Anyone…
About a year and a half ago I actually found myself in a very similar predicament, being glued to Facebook on my iPhone multiple times a day.
I’m a homeschool mom and it was just an easy thing to do in my downtime. One day something in me just snapped. I realized I was missing out on key moments with my children throughout the day and I couldn’t take it anymore.
Plus, Facebook had kind of become a miserable place for me to spend my time. My feed was filled with constant Mom competitions, arguing over politics, hate speech & constant unfriending when people don’t agree.
It was ridiculous, so why was I even doing it?
Something had to give.
I immediately started limiting my time spent on social media tremendously.
I made it a priority to spend time with God, my family, and do something productive every day before I even glanced at my Facebook account.
Honestly, it wasn’t even that difficult.
Missing out on the constant negativity of social media brought positivity and light back into my world.
After a couple of weeks, I didn’t even have to try anymore.
Facebook was off my mind completely and I was much more in tune with my life!
I was going several weeks at a time without using social media and it felt great. To be completely honest, I actually had to force myself to log on sometimes!
Because of this, I have seriously debated on just getting rid of social media altogether.
With that said, I do have a handful of long-distance friends and relatives that like to contact me there. Plus, I use it for my business and connecting with other homeschool moms. So I hang on to it, but again I try to think of it as a tool more than an escape.
While I’m back to logging in every day, it’s mostly for business purposes or chatting with a friend. I always, always limit my personal scrolling time — because if I’m honest, it’s super easy to get sucked back in!
A Simple Change Makes all the Difference…
I now use my phone as a tool only. I deleted all social media apps and games, sticking to only functional purposes – calls, texts, shopping lists, health tracking, etc.
Yes, this means it takes me longer to respond to messages and comments on social media. Yes, I might not be the first to comment on someone’s amazing lunch photo or super cute birth announcement – but you know what? That’s okay.
Have a child that is struggling with screen time usage or technology addiction?
Check out How to Limit Kids Screen Time for simple tips on cutting screen time usage down or even eliminating it altogether!
The Unconventional Lifestyle
of Less Technology Usage…
My point in all this is clear – Technology can rob anyone, anywhere, anytime it wants.
It takes the little moments, the relationships, and ultimately our joy.
Social media, smartphones, tablets, and streaming services are all becoming the only acceptable way of life!
This concept is a little crazy to me.
Does it make like easier? Sure. Does it give us that instant gratification we all desire? Totally.
However, there is (and should be) so much more to life than technology.
We should want a life where we connect with our loved ones, experience nature, and remember all the little moments.
Most everyone considers a life with less technology to be a little unconventional.
Seriously though, if we actually decided to change our priorities around and unplug a little bit, we would get labeled as weird.
For example, my family got rid of Netflix some years ago.
Honestly, I was completely disgusted by much of the content and felt like it was a no-brainer for us. However, I immediately had friends making comments or asking “Who in their right mind gets rid of Netflix?!“.
While it may not be the world’s normal, it’s my normal.
We don’t have cable, Netflix, or any other streaming service.
My kids don’t have cell phones or their own computers.
While we still use technology on a daily basis, we live a somewhat unconventional lifestyle compared to most.
Live life in its truest form, instead of a virtual one.
Protecting Yourself From
Protecting our minds is essential. If we aren’t careful, our minds can become the most neglected part of our bodies.
We all worry about proper food intake and exercise. However, we forget to give our minds the proper nutrition it needs.
This is why breaking the technology addiction is a must!
In our house, we limit screen time and skip entertainment with inappropriate content.
Why? Because our minds are fragile.
If we don’t take the proper steps to protect and nourish our minds who will? Seriously though.
The world wants nothing more than to feed us the unhealthy and sell us the newest and best. Instant gratification is the motto.
We must break the mold.
Ready to Kick Technology
Addiction to the Curb?
Try our simple 30 Day Screen Time Challenge for a little screen time limiting motivation – Plus, get a good inspirational kick in the pants 😉
Need additional help? If the addiction is one you can’t kick to the curb on your own, don’t be afraid to seek help!
Check out these simple technology addiction resources below.
- A Place of Hope – counseling, and help for those struggling with technology addiction.
- Common Sense – additional technology addiction resources
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