I’m a runner (well ish). My best friend and I are training diligently for a half marathon coming up. Thus I religiously log every workout, every step, every heart beat, seven days a week.
A few days ago as always I put my Apple Watch (brilliantly used to chart my every movements) on its charger while I hopped in the shower. Guaranteeing that at most I’m missing only two steps of my day, one in, and one out. Please Fanatic active trackers like me leave me a note and assure me that I’m not crazy, just obsessive.
While in the shower Jesus began to talk to me about some things and in my excitement I jumped out of the shower and ran downstairs to feverishly write out what He’d said. As much as I want to share with you that aspect of this story it’s not pertinent to the topic at hand, but I’ll write about it soon.
I typed away on my iPhone all He’d shown me and began my journey back up to my room when halfway up the staircase I had a disappointing realization. In my post shower rush I had totally forgotten to put the Apple Watch back on my wrist.
The consequences are devastating. At least 30 steps missing, possibly more, I’ll calculate that later. Not to mention a flight of stairs, at least 3 minutes of standing time for the hour, and definitely a raised heart rate as I raced down the stairs.
As I sulked back to place the watch on my wrist I had the reality hit me of how the psychology of technology is affecting me everyday.
We’ve all heard the phrase “pics or it didn’t happen!” We’ve bought into the lie that if it’s not tracked, photographed, or posted then obviously your word is not credible enough to believe.
Ironically it seems to work like our court system in reverse. Guilty until proven innocent with insurmountable proof.
I’ve taken a break from social media this last month. Not a fast, not a hard law of do not log in at any cost, but rather a period to refocus. I removed all social media apps from my phone and just leisurely checked them on occasion with minimal to no posting.
I noticed the uncomfortableness of my thinking day one of my break. I’d have a funny thought to post, Jesus said something that convicted me so by God you all should be convicted too, I traveled to Amish country in Pennsylvania for crying out loud and the pictures are awesome. My friend’s kid looked so darn cute in her rain boots that the world NEEDED to see and of course I’d take a break the very week that my nephew was mowing the lawn with his grandfather. One after one thoughts and experiences that begged to be posted for all to see.
You may not understand, but it’s probably because the kids in your life aren’t as cute as the ones in mine. Did I say that? Write that? Think that? Maybe it’s because the thoughts I have are just more intelligent/important than yours?
Well, what is it? What is it that causes us to feel like our life MUST be posted?
As I reflected on my Apple Watch incident I realized that somewhere in my brilliant logic it truly felt like if those steps weren’t logged then I couldn’t appropriate them toward my day. Somehow in my thinking I really felt like if I didn’t see those numbers in my app then it didn’t happen. And the truth is the problem isn’t the Apple Watch, instagram, Facebook, or technology the problem lies within my own thinking.
Social media is a great tool. In fact I really enjoy it. From my travels throughout the years I have friends and family all over the world, on every continent from sea to shining sea and I love that social media gives me the access to watch their kids grow, their ministry expand, lives being touched, or even to see the salad they ate for lunch 😏 I love that it enables us to have access to leaders and their daily thoughts in a way we’ve never had before. You can literally log into Facebook and watch your hero in their living room as they impart some life changing truth to you! I thoroughly enjoy hearing things God has showed you and being able to share the things he’s showing me. Contrary to most people’s beliefs I actually know people who have changed their minds because of a social media posts, ones who have been deeply encouraged, or even encountered Jesus through a live stream. (If that weren’t true I wouldn’t waste my time)
So I am in no means anti-technology or anti-social media, but I wonder with the rate that this tool has grown if we’ve taken the time to discuss with Holy Spirit how to yield it.
I wouldn’t hand my adorable little nephew a knife without instructing him how to use it. The truth is the knife can assist him in his purposes when used correctly but can deeply wound when used wrongfully.
Take time to sit with Holy Spirit and get his heart for these things in your life. If it’s leading you into self absorption, anxiety, comparison, or anger maybe take some time away. If you find that you feel an overwhelming pressure or need to post then be bold enough to recognize addiction in your life and choose to stop.
On the other hand I think God is breathing on media in our generation and using it to touch people who would never walk into a church, so if you can control it instead of it controlling you, use it and let’s see lives transformed through media.