Featured image

I was relieved to hear the U.S. Surgeon General call for an immediate warning label on social media platforms in a New York Times op-ed, similar to warnings on cigarette packs mandated by Congress in the 1960s.

I've been praying for this—or something like it— since 2019.

The nation's second largest school district has responded by banning cell phones, something we were already doing at the Christian high school my husband founded.  

Why were we ahead of the curve? We're small. We could be. Compelled by the alarming correlation between the advent of the smartphone/social media and the exponential growth in loneliness, anxiety, depression, and suicide in our children and grandchildren--we just put a seat belt on the teens God has entrusted to us.

But I didn't buckle my own belt.

While the same detrimental impact does not seem to hit us once we’re over the age of 25, I think many of us still feel the negative impact of social media habits that are not controlled. And mine are not. It's having a negative impact on my spending habits, my time with God, and my desires. But I felt it most in my relationships.

My husband doesn't have my heart. My phone does. Far too many nights, I go to bed to bask in the glow of my screen instead of pursuing connection with the most precious person in my life. (Can you identify?)

Long ago, our marriage counselor taught us the difference between a functional belief  and a uninhabited belief. He helped me to see that I can have the truth in my head but not be living it out in my life. Here's how that looks in my marriage right now.

My uninhabited belief: Other than God, Bob is the most important relationship in my life.

Functional belief: My phone is the most important relationship in my house.

Based purely on the hours I spend with my face in my phone versus my face in Bob's face, I'm having an affair with my phone.

Last night as I was crawling into bed, I felt a conviction to step away from social media and optional screen time completely to see how it impacts my own heart and Bob's. I did this back in 2019 for a total of four months. The change was not immediate, but I can testify that being on my phone less resulted in being engaged with real people more. I found myself considerably less anxious as notifications and emails had less control over me. More than anything else, I liked the gift I was giving my husband of being available and truly present when I was in the house, rather than absorbed in social media that often didn’t matter, news that made no difference in my life, and work that could certainly wait.

Far too many of us are addicted to our phones. I'm one of them. We live photo to photo, achievement to achievement, comparison to comparison. No wonder we are anxious and stressed!

And lonely.

I believe resting from technology may just be what I need to slow down, allow God to show me my blind spots and gives me the capacity to be present for the person right in front of me. This month, I hope that's a lot of Bob.

I'll jump back on here in August to tell you how it went. In the meantime, here's a mini collection of some tools. They may help you if anything I'm confessing resonates with your own heart.

4 Tools To Push Reset On Your Social Media Habits

Four Things to Consider Before You Post on Social Media (Podcast)

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge from Revive Our Hearts (Daily Email Sign Up)

Why Every Mom Needs A Social Media Policy from True Girl (Blog)

A Right Perspective on Social Media from Revive Our Hearts (Podcast)