I have a nasty smart phone habit. Every commercial break, every need to stretch, every chance I get, I check my phone. I browse through Facebook posts. I glance at tweets. I absorb a lot and pay little attention to what is happening right here, right now.
I realized that I often do not interact, therefore, with much intentionality. I don’t really take the time I need to engage, because I’m just giving content a skimming glance. By the time I have time to sit and think and reflect and engage… well, something else new and shiny has distracted me.
So I reorganized the apps and widgets on my smart phone so the notifications and alerts and temptation to take a quick glance is less prominent. I put all social media into one folder that isn’t so easy to get to. I have a whole page dedicated now to “self-improvement and edification” that includes writing, prayer, health, finances, etc. I’m trying to take give myself just a little bit more sense of organization, time management, and focus.
What this means, is that I also need to take intentional time each day to truly interact and engage through social media. No more hit and runs but prayerful, thoughtful engagement. That hasn’t been too difficult so far and I’m actually finding I have MORE time because that effort is focused.
I would often check posts as I was stirring at the kitchen stove or walking up stairs or between episodes on Netflix. I have more time to be present in the moment, to breathe, and I think I’ve tripped a few less times.
I’m also a lot less anxious.
When I have constantly been flooding my presence with news and disaster and debates and provocative posts then my senses are on high alert all the time. Before Christmas, with the flood of Duck Dynasty and Schaefer Trial posts I was on edge, all day long, feeling agitated, frustrated, and not sure how to really respond. But to pull back a little bit allows space for engagement and time for processing. I’m not worried about the sinking ship all the time.
Philippians reminds us that fretting and worrying push God out of the center of our hearts. I’m not necessarily only going to focus on the good posts people share and ignore the struggles and trials of life… but being intentional about how I read and respond is giving me the opportunity to transform my engagement into something good, rather than crude and ugly.