Written and media by Kelsey Neier.
It’s bedtime, and just as I’m starting to fall asleep, I’m blinded by what seems to be the light of one thousand suns. I look over my pillow and see something lit up, my phone. The urge grows stronger as I fight to sleep but can’t stop thinking about the notification that has popped up. Who texted me? What if it’s an emergency? I have to know. Once again my body loses out on much-needed sleep as I reach over and find out it’s just a notification for a game. I then proceed to play pointless games and browse social media sights into the early hours of the morning. I know I’m not the only one right? I just had to know at that exact moment what was going on when my phone lit up. Whether we realize it or not, technology starts to control us. It creeps into our mind and consumes our thoughts. When we can’t find our phone, we start to panic. We live in a world where we have access to everything right at our fingertips, and this can be very dangerous for a variety of reasons.
First of all, the news and information that we can quickly access may be misleading. We live in a society where we need to know everything right as it happens. What we might not be thinking about is that some of the information we have that is readily available to us is inaccurate. News travels fast across the world wide web and it’s out before we even have time to think about if it’s true or not. That’s why it’s always important to make sure the news you hear is from a reliable source so your facts are correct. I certainly don’t want to be giving people the wrong information as soon as I hear something tragic happened to someone I care about. Sometimes, it’s best just put the phone down and wait the situation out for a bit or make sure what you’re reading is from a source you can trust.
As I previously stated, when you choose your phone over sleep your body pays a heavy price. The occasional extra time spent with technology started to become a nasty habit. Every night I would think it was okay to spend some time browsing the web and every morning I would hate myself for it. I was extremely tired for my morning classes which led to a harder time trying to retain information. Technology withdrawal could be compared to a caffeine withdrawal. When you start to fight that addiction you feel weak. When you feel tired and your strength starts to fail it’s so much harder to complete daily tasks and pay attention to your surroundings. Your mood can start to change too. Sometimes I see something on Facebook or Twitter about politics or religion and it really upsets me. If you spend time dwelling on other people’s views and lives, it can affect yours negatively. It’s best to take a break from all the media and focus on your own life.
The most important reason to cut back on technology is because it’s taking time away from family and school work. Why spend time with Pinterest or Instagram when I could go four wheel riding with my brothers, or make crafts with my Mom? Technology will be around forever, but our family and friends will not. We need to spend more time in the real world with our loved ones while they’re still around. We must cherish every moment and make memories to tell our future generations. We’ll never get the people we love back until we reunite in our new life with Christ. Until then, we need to study hard in school and laugh with our loved ones. We need to focus on building our relationship with God rather than building unhappiness in apps on our phones.
So I must ask you, when is the last time you put your phone down, opened the blinds and stepped out into the world? Look at all the damage technology is causing. If we would just cut down a little bit a day, imagine the huge difference it can make in our lives. I know that we would all start to feel a little bit better and focus on what really matters. We really do have to make the most of each day. We need to think about what’s really important in our lives and put our main priorities first. Let us disconnect from the pixelated world and be with people we can see, hear and touch. Let’s have adventures and go exploring new sights. I don’t ever want to feel like I should’ve spent more time with someone when it becomes too late to do so. It’s time to put down the noise and bustle of the electronic world and spend time outside with those we care about.