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How to Tell if Technology Has You in Bondage

You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. (1 Corinthians 10:23)

 

You’re allowed to handle technology however you want to, but is your way responsible? 

When you read through the Bible, the theme of community is very prevalent and discussed often enough to make us realize it’s a cornerstone of healthy living. What’s happening in the world now is that we’re being persuaded to immerse ourselves in social sharing, TV, gaming systems and virtual experiences more than to develop healthy relationships with the people around us. You may have a strong grasp on interacting with technology in a useful way, or you might be dealing with the pains of feeling very detached from real life.

Here are some ways to tell if you are mastering technology—or if technology is mastering you.

 

1. It’s the first thing you interact with when you wake up. There was a season when I felt like I needed to “catch up with the world” as soon as I got up. I’d scroll through emails, social media, music, etc., even before talking to the Lord. What’s wrong with this is you’re creating anxiety just moments after your groggy eyes pop open. Feeling like you’re already missing out as you go over photos from your acquaintances hanging out the night before, or reading through emails full of questions about your latest project, doesn’t give you time to adjust to life’s demands in a beneficial way. 

What you can do instead: Consider reading the Word or at least praying to God at the beginning of the day. Take time to breathe and thank Him for another day. Ask Him to guide you and help you with the tasks you have waiting ahead.

 

2. It’s always on your mind. I once met a young woman who would take her phone with her everywhere—even into the shower—because she was so afraid that she would miss an important alert, text or phone call. What some might think is a quirky personality trait is really a form of obsession. If you feel naked without your phone or it’s hard to stop checking all of your apps every five minutes, you’re never fully in the moment or able to concentrate when you are face-to-face with another person or at your desk at work.

What you can do instead: Set boundaries and time limits for yourself. You can start by not taking your phone with you to the bathroom and not having it out on the table at a restaurant. You can also create certain time frames for doing the things you love. For example: only one hour of TV, one hour of social media and one hour of video games throughout the day.

 

3. You use it to avoid people. I know there are times when you really want to tune the world out and put your headphones on during your bus ride because you haven’t had your coffee and aren’t ready to communicate with other humans yet. However, if you live a lifestyle of being checked out of your real life because you want to avoid people altogether, it’s time to get to the root of it. 

What you can do instead: Ask God to help you in incorporating yourself into social situations. This may mean joining a club on campus or voicing your feelings to a supportive family member or friend. If you’re dealing with depression or thoughts of suicide, please get support online, call a hotline or contact a trusted adult to receive the help that you need. It’s difficult to be set free from that oppression by yourself.

 

4. It’s causing you to sin. An important issue that needs to be addressed is pornography, sexting, sending and receiving provocative photos, watching mature content, listening to inappropriate music and other forms of sexual engagement. The more you feed your flesh, the harder it is to live the lifestyle of purity to which God calls us. Anyone with an addiction can tell you that once it begins, it’s so hard to stop. It’s better to avoid it altogether, but if you’ve already been exposed to it, you can choose to cut it off today and/or seek help in overcoming your addiction.

What you can do instead: I’m an adult woman and I still choose not to entertain myself with R-rated movies, mature television programs or music with explicit content. Begin to censor the content you’re exposed to and detach yourself from the people who promote and engage in sexual indulgence. You can also find forums, support groups and counseling that deals with this if you need the additional support.

 

5. You need it to fall asleep. I know people who like to fall asleep to the sounds of white noise or gentle music. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you’ve developed a habit of watching TV every night until you can’t keep your eyes open anymore, this needs to be addressed. Zoning out is something that many people do to cope with feelings they don’t want to confront or problems they may want to avoid that keep them up all night. You may believe that stressful things will go away on their own, but they typically don’t.

What you can do instead: In the last moments of your day, ask the Lord to help you through the problems you’re facing and get to the root of how to solve them. You can read the Bible, look up a sermon that deals with your circumstances, or even listen to praise and worship to calm your thoughts in order to make sense of them and figure out a solution. God may even give you instruction on whom to go to for help.

 

Technology is not the enemy, but as with anything else, we have to set limitations so it doesn’t become a trap to steal us away from community. I hope this helps you to be set free from or possibly avoid the bondage it can cause.

 

If there’s anything I missed, feel free to join the conversation by offering some helpful advice in the comments below!

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2 Comments

  1. Hannah2001

    Posted by Hannah2001 on May 1, 2017 at 08:57

    What I have done this week is put my phone away and not take it to school or church or anything, and I have seen a huge difference. My relationship with God has gotten much stronger because my phone is no longer distracting me from that. My relationship with my family is also stronger too because I have more time to spend with them. My grades are also better. It is worth it.

    • Kytia Lamour

      Posted by Kytia Lamour on May 5, 2017 at 20:39

      Wow! That is amazing!!! Thank you for sharing that with us. What a great testimony of the impact our habits have on us.