In today’s world, it’s not uncommon for people to fall asleep with their laptops in their bed after working late nights, or to pass out with their phones in bed after spending 30 minutes scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. Then once they wake up the next day, the first thing they want to do is grab their laptops or phones to check their work emails or engage in the mindless “Facebook/Instagram scroll” again. If this sounds anything like you, it might be time for you to reevaluate your relationship with technology.
A friend of mine named Duane Wilson, who is probably one of the most efficient and disciplined people I have ever met, once told me that he makes his bedroom a technology-free zone. Once he goes into his bedroom, it is his time to unplug from the world until the next day. Although the idea of not having a laptop or phone next to the bed at night is hard to fathom for some, I believe there is wisdom behind what Duane shared.
Over the years, I’ve learned that it is imperative for us to identify points in our day to unplug from the world. If the first thing a person does when they wake up in the morning is immerse themselves into the “noise” of society, through technology, they give it the power to set the tone of their entire day. I remember one morning when I woke up, the first thing I did was check my emails on my phone. At the top of my inbox was an email with bad news. When I opened up the email, I freaked out, and it completely ruined my morning. I wasted a good 30 minutes that morning scrambling and worrying (which I will write another blog post about worrying later), and the rest of my day was thrown entirely off because of it.
Looking back, if I had waited to plug into the world for 30 minutes, and actually started my day off with prayer and meditation, I could have commanded my day, versus falling victim to the message that awaited me in my inbox. The reality is, technology has gotten us to the point where we think we are “suppose” to be connected and immediately available all of the time. By responding to every text, email, post, or call right away, we are a “better” person, “better” friend, and a “better” employee. I dare say that is a lie, and more importantly a setup. Who told us that we need to be always available and always in the know of everything that is going on? It is impossible for us to accomplish that, and unhealthy for us to make that our goal. I’ve learned it’s essential for us to set boundaries as it relates to technology, even for things that are important to us like work, ministry, friends, and family.
When it comes to my late nights and early mornings, my friends and family know that I have a bedtime. Yes, a grown woman like me has a bedtime, and once that time comes, it better be the second coming of Jesus for them to call me after 9pm or before 7am during the work week (okay, Jesus doesn’t necessarily have to be coming back for them to call me, but you get the point). For me, that it is an important boundary because those hours of the day are set aside for me to unwind or prepare for the day, and are committed to my personal development and God. Time alone, away from the world, is essential for your growth and development. By taking that time for designated prayer and self-development, you will find the revelations you will receive, and the growth that will experience will be undeniable. So I challenge you, if you find yourself on the verge of being a technology addict, take a step back and make sure you are setting proper boundaries for this resource that God has given us.
Technology, like so many things in life, can be used as a tool for good or for evil. When it comes to our lives, we must remember that it is a “tool” that we have the power and dominion over, and not the other way around.
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