Technology has become nearly inseparable from daily life.Most of us wake up to the sound of a phone alarm. After hitting snooze, we roll over onto our pillows and scroll through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for the next 5 to 10 minutes.
And the rest of our day practically revolves around technology. Our assignments are online. Our quizzes are online. Our papers are typed. Our communication is primarily through email, texting or phone calls. Our journals are online, often in the form of blog posts.
Our food can be ordered online. It could be argued that parts of our identities are online in the form of social media profiles. Our calendar is digital. Even our Bibles are online.It’s no wonder that people who lose their phones often walk around as if they’ve lost a limb. In a way, our cell phones have become a part of us.And yet, it’s good that we embrace technological pursuits. In fact, we should be creative and explore the world God made because we bear His image (Genesis 1:27).
But it’s essential that our generation learn to unplug. We shouldn’t be so dependent on technology.In many ways, our personal devices have become a social crutch. Often, we walk around campus in between classes with our phone in our hands.We text or we scroll. And some of us hope that, in doing so, we’ll avoid eye contact with peers to avoid small talk.
Many of us feel bored or awkward if our environments get quiet and we don’t have a phone in our hands to distract us or keep us occupied.The point is, we must maintain control of our technology. And though it’s impractical to handwrite every paper or replace every text message with snail mail, we should explore ways to unplug from technology.
Spending time with nature, for example, is extremely restorative. Take more walks or spend your weekends studying outside or hiking Black Balsam.You can also read more books, play an instrument or listen to music. You can also establish individual challenges, such as choosing not to text on the sidewalk between classes or choosing to eat entire meals without touching your phone.
Talk to Dr. Gary Weier, who teaches the course Media and Society, about taking a full or partial media fast.Above all, we should renew our minds in Christ. The only way we will truly be able to clear our minds and escape the stresses and distractions of life is by running to Christ.
Whatever the case, let’s find ways to unplug from our technology and hit “refresh” every once in a while.