“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 Corinthians 6:12 1 Cor. 6:12
I teach college students about detoxing from Facebook. I’m not kidding. I show them psychological studies from academic journals about how unhappy Facebook makes us. We talk about how and why it addicts us so much. We talk about the ways we live artificial, carefully constructed, half-lives through our screens. We spend more time considering our twitter “interactions” or Facebook “shares” than real face-to-face interactions and real sharing.
I actually love technology and what it can do, but too much technology harms us. What if you checked your screen only two or three times a day? What if you took a walk without your phone and enjoyed nature? What if you just tried a break from technology to test your addiction? Do you feel controlled by it? Is it your master?
Most students I talk to have a deep fear of being left out, missing an invitation to a party, or feeling out of the loop on news and conversations. Don’t worry; your real friends can find you if it’s important. Most of the information you receive on social networking sites isn’t actually useful or important. Try detoxing for a few days and see how you feel. Ask God to help give you the power to manage any technology addiction.
You might not remember what it feels like to have time to yourself without everybody reaching you through your phone. You might not remember what it’s like to not obsess over what every one else is doing. You might not even remember what it’s like to go ahead and live your fabulous day without needing to verify it as fabulous with photos and likes on Facebook. I do. I can remember the freedom of enjoying a real life and not a technological one. Try it!
How much time do you spend texting, updating your status, or tweeting your thoughts? Try decreasing this activity by 50% and see how you feel.