The Week Without A Phone / by Emily Margaret

Last week, my phone spontaneously died, which was very inconvenient but also fantastic at the same time.

My friends and I were having a conversation recently about the influence of social media and technology in our lives, for both the good and the bad. After being convicted by Jen Hatmaker about my instagram addiction, I set out to decrease my screen time, but there must be a law of the universe dictating that when you decrease your intended online time, you actually decrease your offline time. So when a few days later my phone broke and forced me to unplug, I did not miss the irony. Aside from the inconvenience of having to use other methods of communication (hello old-school email!) and being unable to randomly text my boyfriend cat videos (you know, the important stuff), I didn't miss my phone.

I didn't miss the constant buzz of notifications or the feeling that there was so much going on that I wasn't a part of. I wasn't thinking of about what everyone else was doing, comparing my life to theirs. I wasn't thinking of the tweets, the facebook statuses, or the instagram likes that I wasn't getting because despite the way we feel and what facebook would like us to believe, that is not the stuff that matters. What matters is the things like the relationships that I grow, the books I read, things I write, praying, my church community group, traveling, actually cleaning my room, spending time with my family, doing yoga, and using my gifts and business to help people instead of growing my own following. That is the stuff that matters. 

Let's have less stuff and more experiences. Less facebook and more people. More of the things that matter. Rome wasn't built in a day and I'm a big fan of progress over perfection, so this doesn't mean going full retro and ditching social media all together. Technology/social media can be amazingly useful and powerful, but it shouldn't be a distraction from the important things in our lives, but instead a tool we can use to create more connections and community.

What are your thoughts on the influence of social media? How do you keep it from becoming a distraction in your life?