“People never stop writing books. Too much studying will wear out your body“, declares the wisdom writer, Solomon.
Apply that loosely to technology and social media and we’re on to something.
Every other day I check about four media outlets to read up on personal growth, healthy habits, time-management, and productivity. I receive daily emails from those outlets offering between 5 – 12 articles each on their subjects.
Then there’s social media. Though I’ve seriously cut back on social media, the little bit of poking around I still do ends up devouring precious time… and energy.
It’s all exhausting. I’m convinced I’m not alone.
We think we’re exhausted by overwork, family stresses, too many responsibilities, and the plethora of demands on our time. But I’m convinced much of our exhaustion is self-inflicted.
Which brings us back to the words of Solomon. Allow me to put his words into the 21st Century: “People never stop writing and checking emails, writing and reading posts, and surfing social media. Too much will wear you out.”
And we’re worn out.
The real reason for our exhaustion is that we’re slaves to technology. Don’t get me wrong, today’s technology is nothing short of breathtaking. My kids cannot compute a world without Instagram. Technology is a gift!
But it’s also a Tyrant.
And a Master.
And we’re slaves.
Studies show that constant use of our smartphones actually prevents us from recovering from our work and the stresses of daily life.
Blogger, Benjamin Hardy, an expert in this field, shares scientifically proven harmful outcomes of being owned by our smartphones (I highly recommend his piece, 6 Things To Recover From Everyday). Quoting Hardy, the harmful outcomes are:
• Increased depression, anxiety, and “daytime dysfunction”
• Decreased sleep quality
• Decreased psychological and emotional well-being
• Decreased emotional intelligence (this study also found that if parents are reflective and thoughtful about smartphone use, their children experience less detrimental effects)
• Increased stress (which lowers life satisfaction) and decreased academic performance
Hardy continues with a study showing how using our laptops and smartphones 1 -2 hours before bed has significant negative effects. He then shares the positive findings of those who actually do put their smartphones away at least 1-2 hours before bed:
• Experienced substantially higher sleep quality and less sleep “disturbances”
• Increased ability to maintain enthusiasm to get things done while working
Give me some of that!
So what can we do to own technology and it not own and exhaust us? Here are a few thoughts.
• Put your smartphone away 1 -2 hours before bedtime.
• Upon waking, wait 1- 2 hours before checking email or social media.
• Make your smartphone off-limits in the evenings while with family.
• Plan 3 – 5 times (I practice 1 – 3 times) throughout the day that you’ll engage with emails, posts, social media, and so forth.
• Avoid temptation by keeping your smartphone out of hand and sight when with people.
* When taking a break during the day, leave your laptop and/or smartphone be to give your brain the brief rest it needs. Instead go stand out in the sun, go for a walk, and the like.
Hardy concludes: “Get in the habit of not always having your cellphone with you, especially while you’re at home with your family. Very few people experience the gift of your full and uninhibited attention. Give them that gift. Keep your smartphone away from yourself as much as you possibly can. Your whole life will get better.”
According to Solomon, this is the wisdom we need to be on point and not worn out.
Which of the above will you immediately apply? Try it for a week and see how you feel.
BEFORE YOU GO:
Have you subscribed to my blog on my homepage? Coming later this month will be a free giveaway of “10 Ways to Support a Loved One with Mental Illness.”
If you liked this post, you might also like, 3 Simple Ways To Enjoy Life.
I will try everyone. I confess I’m addicted. Thanks for the tips and the conviction. My phone is a definite distraction and poor use of precious time. Thank you pastor Jarrod.
Thank you, Julie. Glad it helped!
I’ve owned a simple, totally unsophisticated cell phone which can make calls, receive calls and text!!!!!!! That’s it. Period. For as long as cell phones were invented. And I loved it. I was so happy and protected from the world of distraction, addiction to everything possible. I felt “in” the world, not “of” the world. THEN IT STOPPED WORKING. I caved and had no other choice than to purchase a beautiful, sophisticated, completely high tech smartphone this past weekend. I hate it and I love it. I have actually asked the Lord to protect me from myself and it!! I am about to read your article again. Love you, Pastor!
Love/hate relationship. Yes, that nails it! Thanks for sharing.