Last week I wrote about Unplugging from our tech devices for health reasons such as circulation, eyesight and general posture and mental and physiological health. This week we’re finishing up the two-part series by talking about Unplugging for our relationship’s sake.
Not only is unplugging a hot-button topic in the blogging world, it’s become a catch-phrase. Just one more item on our to-do list. “Oh yeah, I need to unplug, just wasting too much time on social media and my tech gadgets lately.” How many times have we all said this?
The question I want to present is not “How much time am I spending connected to my tech gadgets?” but rather “How much time am I spending away from the connections that matter?” The two questions are linked, but are not the same. The first comes from a place of connectivity to things, the second from a place of connectivity to people. The second is the most important question. It speaks to our relationships.
When we speak of relationships, the relationships that should matter to us are those of the people who are in our lives. Those who love us, and who we love most dear. The top of our list should be our relationship with the Lord. Isn’t that the relationship that should matter most?
We don’t have time to pray, yet we have time to scroll through Facebook and read the status updates.
We couldn’t read our Bible, yet we know what our cousin’s best friend had for lunch because they posted it on Instagram.
We couldn’t make it to outreach, but we read the latest blog post and we always know the latest news.
How often is our connectivity to things that DON”T matter affecting our relationship with people who DO matter? I’m not sharing anything here that I haven’t struggled with personally, which is why I’m writing about it. It’s a constant struggle, that’s what we have to remember. Unplugging once isn’t going to do it. It has to be a conscious decision. I’ve included a few steps here to combat the problem of connectivity vs relationship.
1. PLAN: I love the phrase “If you fail to plan, plan to fail.” It’s true. Especially in the area of an endeavor to change a habit or life pattern, which unplugging essentially is. You’re re-wiring yourself to consciously engage with people instead of objects. Plan and prioritize your day without technology/social media in that plan. Then, take a step back and see where social media and the extraneous tech fit in (I work on a computer all day too, I understand the dilemma. Create a plan where your work on the computer is prioritized, not the tech traps we set for ourselves.). Do you have ten minutes twice a day you can choose to use for social media connections? How does that time balance with the real relationships in your life?
2. PRAY: If HE knows the hairs on my head, surely He knows about my endeavor to create more time with Him and His people. He cares about your goals – include Him in your life. In that plan you set up, carve out time for prayer.
3. PARTNER UP: Let’s be real here, accountability is not fun. It’s hard to say “I messed up.” But when you acknowledge that you’re trying, you messed up, and you want to keep trying – it helps to have someone to keep you accountable. Find a Christian buddy that will help hold you accountable to your plan. Help them with theirs. Connect daily and encourage each other. Remember, you’re building relationships – the more people who know about this, the more connected you will be with real people, not just pictures of people who you aren’t intimately relating to.
There are so many ways to unplug, but the most important thing you can do? Just start. Just do it. Isn’t that what NIKE likes to use? It works. Just choose to spend time away from your phone. Start by choosing people. Choose your children. Choose your husband. Choose your BFF. CHOOSE JESUS. That’s one relationship that will never fail – and the signal is ALWAYS good with that connection