I know a number of people who gave up some amount of phone activity for Lent. Most gave up social media and even deleted apps and changed their home screen to avoid them. I did not give up my phone or social media for Lent but yesterday such a sacrifice was forced upon me.
I don’t have a lot of luck with cell phones.
Once I took my iPhone out of its case and then it fell onto the concrete while playing a game at church, shattering the screen.
Once I took a different iPhone in a waterproof case with me while snorkeling in Hawaii. I put the phone into my pocket and when the bottom hatch opened it ceased to be waterproof.
Then on Monday, while walking into our apartment, I dropped my phone in its shockproof case after which it didn’t turn back on.
Thankfully it came back to life after being dead for only one day. Even though it needed less time than Jesus, I’ll still worship him instead of my phone.
I thought that spending an entire day without my phone would teach me all sorts of lessons about being aware and connecting with people on a deeper level. But it didn’t. Mostly it was just frustrating and an inconvenience.
We often like to demonize our technology and point out all its negative impacts. I’m all for addressing the dangers of technology and social media, but we also need to remember that technology can improve our lives and increase our effectiveness.
Here are some things I wasn’t able to do without my phone:
- Text all of our students to remind them about youth group.
- Look up information while at a lunch meeting to plan our summer events.
- Respond to text messages from other leaders.
- Call my friend Andrew while driving home from church like I do every Tuesday.
- Maintain my mayorships on Foursquare.
- Instagram pictures of Elphie waiting for Alycia by the door.
- Play Temple Run 2.
While missing out on some of those activities probably helped me be more productive, missing out on most of them really threw a wrench into my day.
Technology can be distracting, a hindrance to authentic relationships and an obstacle in making the most of every day. Technology can better connect us to others, increase our effectiveness and just make life easier.
And it only took me one day to figure that out instead of 40 days of Lent.
How does your phone benefit you?