Tired of living on screen time? RACHEL CHAN explores how we can disconnect ourselves from our devices and reconnect with life.
It is too easy these days to be constantly connected with the world through technology, but not truly be connected with anyone. When was the last time you allowed yourself to put your devices away and reconnect with real life?
If your answer is “a long time ago,” then it’s time to get started. Put away your devices (yes, including your phone!), leaving them out of sight and (hopefully) out of mind. When you don’t need them, leave them in a different room on silent mode. Better yet, set aside a specific time each day to leave your devices off or on airplane mode so that you aren’t tempted to use it. Start with 15 minutes a day and slowly extend it to an hour. You might be surprised at the difference it makes to your life.
Not convinced? Try it yourself! Challenge yourself to reconnect with the parts of your life that are often crowded out by noise and distraction.
Reconnect with God
It’s perfectly acceptable to use a digital Bible or utilise search engines to go in-depth into Bible study. However, our devices are more often a source of distraction rather than assistance as we are easily tempted to open another window or application.
Try having your quiet time using a physical Bible and notebook, with your phone in another room. When you meet a verse you’re unsure about, make a note to find out more about it later so you can stay focused on what you are reading now. Take uninterrupted time to pray, and don’t forget to sit and listen to God speak as well!
Reconnect with people around you
During meals or gatherings with family and friends, put your phone away and resolve not to use it. Be fully present. Instead of turning to a screen during a conversation lull, take time to pause and think about how you can encourage the person or be a better listener. Simple questions like “How was your day?” or “What are you currently excited about?” can spark meaningful conversations.
In quiet moments, spend some time thinking about your loved ones. Make mental or physical notes about why you love and appreciate them. Pray for them, and ask God how you can love them better.
Reconnect with yourself
Is there something you are struggling with emotionally? Don’t bury it under the carpet or distract yourself so that you don’t have to think about it. Face those emotions so that you can reconnect with yourself. Grab a journal and spend time processing your emotions with yourself and with the Lord in a healthy way.
You can also reconnect with your physical body. Exercise to keep yourself healthy. It doesn’t have to be vigorous — from a short time of stretching to a walk in the park, any type of movement gives you a better awareness and appreciation of your body. The endorphins released during exercise also helps to boost your mental health!
Finally, give yourself time to relax screen-free. Daydream. Think about things that bring you joy. Keep a gratefulness journal. Lie in bed and listen to the sound of waves on a beach. Sing like you mean it! Find something that works for you.
Reconnect with your surroundings
When your head isn’t bent down low and your eyes fixated on a screen, you may find yourself observing your surroundings much more. While travelling to and from school, look out of the window and see what’s new. While walking around, pay attention to the décor, or even the patterns on the wall or floor. Open your eyes to the needs around you and who you can pray for, such as the delivery riders outside a mall or a tired-looking person walking beside you. Who knows, you might even be inspired creatively or find new ways to serve God through observing your surroundings.