Have you ever planned a trip to get away, relax, refuel and spend time with family only to find yourself and those you have pulled away to spend time with totally immersed in your devices? Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Netflix…the list goes on and on. It’s crazy to look around and see how drawn to our devices we can be. We are “connecting” with everyone except for the people we intentionally brought together to connect with. This is the case far too many times in our lives.
Don’t get me wrong. It is not bad to check in on friends to see what is going on in their lives. The question is not about good or bad, but is it the best thing we could be doing? That is the real question. It happens innocently enough. You pop on social while you are waiting for everyone for a quick check. One post leads to another, and you have to watch that video. The next thing you know, it's an hour later when you look up and see your family has arrived, and everyone is looking at their phones.
Wow. How did we get here? When did these phones become such an important part of our lives? If you don’t think you're attached to your phone, try leaving it at home while you go to work or just out to dinner. Is it just me? The last time I left mine at home, I felt lost without it. I recently ran across some stats that indicate our culture has developed an unhealthy attachment to our phones.
Did you know?
- 84% of cell phone users claim they could not go a single day without their device.
- 67% of cell phone owners check their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.
- Studies indicate some mobile device owners check their devices every 6.5 minutes.
- 88% of U.S. consumers use mobile devices as a second screen even while watching television.
- Almost half of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any calls.
- Some researchers have begun labeling “cell phone checking” as the new yawn because of its contagious nature." [SOURCE]
Time to Unplug
Recently Tim, my husband, and I decided it was time for a getaway…just the two of us to relax, refuel and spend time together. We were celebrating a milestone in our marriage and wanted to hit the pause button to focus on us. As we started to plan our trip we wanted to get rid of the usual distractions, so we opted for a trip where internet and phone service were scarce. Can I just say that was probably the best decision we made about our trip. Seriously, more important than where we were going or what we were going to be doing was the decision to completely unplug. We spent five days with no phone. No Facebook, no texts, no emails, no phone calls, no nothing. It was incredible!
Unplug to Reconnect
At first, I would grab my phone to check the weather or google a random question only to find we had no service. Thankfully it didn’t take long to catch on. No one else could demand our attention through a text, phone call or other notification. We were able to focus on our relationship…no interruptions…no distractions…we could simply reconnect, relax and truly unplug. Our relationship is stronger for it.
Even more important than my relationship with Tim is my relationship with God. I need time with God daily that is focused and distraction free. Time when I can read the Bible, pray and reflect. It is a time for God to renew my mind, refocus my priorities, and refuel me spiritually for the day ahead. Our relationship is stronger for it. When is the last time you truly unplugged?