Facebook gives you a feed of your friends’ activities mixed with your interest in groups, pages, with some ads tossed in.
LinkedIn provides the same, but the concept is more professional and less personal.
Even workout apps like Strava, and the like, provide the same.
The joy of our feeds is they keep us connected (at least digitally) and they inform us with news and updates that we choose (for the most part).
But we get lost in our feeding as well, don’t we? One survey says that up to 80% of smart phone users check their feeds within 15 minutes of waking up.[i] That’s an amazing stat that might very well be convicting as you consider your own patterns.
The true question is, “Are we better or worse off because of this reality?”
If that question is beyond us, we should at least ask, “Are my phone habits and tendencies spiritually and even physically healthy?” The answers have incredible impact. Consider these practical considerations in light of our constant need to check the feed.
Physically, am I doing damage to my eyes and even my brain by my “feeding” patterns? Do I move less because I’m more attached to my phone’s screen?
Spiritually, am I feeling my soul with information that will encourage me and benefit me or am I filling my soul with data that tempts me to frustration and even jealousy?
Cognitively, am I losing connection with real people in real time by my need to feed.
Wherever you find yourself, choose discipline over being disciplined. Practically, put disciplines in place where you are choosing to check your phone instead of your phone dictating to you. Don’t let the need to check your phone function like the need to smoke a cigarette.
If you are in a place of authority or encouragement, like a parent or a doctor, be clear with guidelines that will healthfully instruct others to make good choices.
And finally, take a break every now and then. Choose an evening or a lunch when your phone is not near you or perhaps even in another room. Recognize your need to check your phone and suffer through the absence until it feels more comfortable.
Who knows? You might even pick up a book.
Gospel Rich Books
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