I have always been an avid reader. For as long as I can remember, I was fascinated by books and devoured them quickly. I love to curl up with a fuzzy blanket and just rest in the quiet. It used to be Nancy Drew, The Babysitters Club, and Little House on the Prairie. Then it moved to romance and westerns. Then to Amish fiction. Since then, it has been all about self-improvement.
I love me a good self-improvement book. I love to learn things and I love the ah-ha moments that allow me to better myself and in turn better the lives around me. So many books have shaped who I am becoming today and so many books are ingrained in my head that allow me to make better day to day choices.
I have always also loved writing. From winning a “Young Authors” trip in 6th grade, to starting my own blog in 2009, writing has been a way for me to express myself. I love to encourage others through my story and what I am learning, and writing has been a great way for me to do that. Until lately…………..
I have no attention span anymore. I cannot stay focused on anything for more than a minute or two. This realization has me reeling. What is going on?
Technology is what is going on.
My iPhone, in particular.
When I reflect back over the years, I can see where this lack of attention started creeping in. Around 2013 when I got my 1st iPhone.
Since that time, I can count on one hand how many books I’ve read. This blog has become inconsistent at best; non-existent is more like it. I can’t watch a movie to save my life. I can’t sit and focus on anything for more than a few minutes. My mind is constantly chaotic and bored at the same time.
I got to a point a few years ago where I stopped watching so much TV because I felt that it added nothing to my life. But at that point, I read a ton. I still don’t really watch TV, but I don’t do anything else either.
I feel like if I keep myself busy, then I’m ignoring my family….but apparently, being on my phone leaves me available to them. Such stupid logic.
A ridiculously common phrase in my house is “MOM…..did you even hear me”?
A ridiculously common answer from me is “what?? Sorry….I wasn’t listening. I was reading this article or I was writing a comment/text. What did you say again?” And by the time they tell me, I am involved in a response to the text that I just received in response to the text that I originally sent. And so the cycle goes.
How did I get here? How did I let my family get here?
It breaks my heart when I look around and a couple are watching TV or are on tablets and the rest are on their phones.
Do we need to sit around and sing Kumbaya all the time? No But this
is getting has gotten out of hand. And I am to blame.
I’ve made it a point in the last few days to lay my phone down. To leave it in another room. To be fully present when my kids or husband are around.
My husband used to get irritated when we were in the car and I got on my phone. Now I only get on the phone if he’s talking on his. As soon as he hangs up, my phone goes back down.
I am reading more.
The crazy thing is that I felt like I didn’t have anything to say, but the more I stay off my phone, the more I have to say. I am getting tons of post ideas. I am getting tons of video ideas. I am leaning toward re-writing and actually finishing the book that I started 4 years ago.
I am cleaning my house more.
I am having conversation with my family just sitting out on the deck.
I love it when we are at our camper in the Upper Peninsula because we have limited cell service so I am FORCED to leave my phone in the camper. WHY do I like to be forced to be out of touch, but I can’t seem to do it at home?
I have been so chaotic in my brain for the last few years. While I know that some of it was because I was on a life journey and dealing with some crazy stressful life events, some of it was also because I decided to check out. It was easier to get on my phone and scroll. That allowed striving and comparison to become overbearing in my life. What I thought was checking out was really feeding discontentment into my life. It was nothing more than whining about my life and yet doing nothing about it. Information overload.
I am tasting so much freedom since Rev Well and it has opened my eyes to what I’ve been doing to myself and to my family. I despise that my attention span (other than for scrolling) is Z.E.R.O. I’m done with it. I am going to read more. I am going to learn more. I am going to build my business. I am going to write. I am going to pray. I am going to sit with the Lord and let Him speak life into me. I am going to cherish this time with my girls. I am going to focus on getting to know my husband better. I am going to nurture real life relationships.
I am going to be present.
I will not reach for my phone because I am bored in 30 seconds. I will get comfortable being bored.
I have never been an antsy person. I’ve always had to fight laziness. The fact that I always feel frazzled and chaotic while not actually doing anything confirms to me that my phone is to blame. But the choice to let it control me is mine…..and I choose to not let that happen any longer.
A few of the things that I’ve been doing is:
- not picking my phone up if a conversation is going on
- not looking at my phone – even if it dings- when company is present
- not picking my phone up at red lights
- not looking at my phone until I’ve done my devotions/reading/praying 1st thing in the morning
- not being on my phone in the car unless my husband is talking on his (when I’m not driving, obviously)
- consciously picking up a book or my kindle instead of my phone
- consciously journaling or writing down ideas for articles/videos (doing brain dumps)
- thinking about/dreaming about business goals and the steps needed to achieve them
- FORCING myself to just sit and think. No expectations, no goals. Just to be still.
I am thankful for technology, but it is taking over my life and actually CHANGING WHO I AM. That is scary and unacceptable. I have a purpose for my life and I am confident that it’s not to waste my life away watching what everyone else is doing on social media. That gets me no closer to my goals and it actually hurts my health in more ways than one.
I’m done. Join me?
“I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but I will not be mastered by anything. ~ 1 Cor. 6:12 (emphasis mine)
Do you notice yourself not being able to focus on anything? Have you replaced the things you once loved with technology/social media? Are you willing to do anything about it or are you comfortable being checked out? What are you hiding from? Let me know in the comments…..let’s get better together!!!
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