The doctor cleared his throat, sat down on the seat across from me and stated bluntly: “Your brain is overstimulated and overloaded. It needs a break.”
I sat puzzled and asked him, “What do you mean?”
He replied, “God made our brains for rest. Quiet. Stillness. In our society we have become so addicted to being entertained with quick downloads our brains are overworked and exhausted. It’s not that these things are bad, but too much of any good thing, is not a good thing.
I want you to take a break from social media, the internet, and anything you can view quickly. Seek quiet. Seek mundane and boring. Your brain was not meant to be distracted constantly. Take these breaks frequently, or you’re not only going to miss your life, you’re going to miss a real relationship with your Creator.”
I left the doctor’s office speechless.
So this is why my brain feels fried a lot of the time. This is why I am always seeking the next social media post, video, or pretty image. This is why I’m not hearing from God like I use to.
I sat and did some serious soul-searching of what it was that kept me so addicted to this rectangle portable computer I carried with me everywhere.
The doc was right, I had become addicted to being entertained.
For Pete’s sake I couldn’t even stand to be bored in the grocery store line or stopped at a red light!! I was always pulling my phone out to see if anyone had texted me or if I had any new notifications.
As I looked within I saw the reality of my situation. This mini computer full of walking and talking information was useful in many ways, but if I didn’t learn how to control my obsession with it, it was going to steal my life.
So I made a decision since social media, the internet, and my sassy iPhone are not going away anytime soon, I must learn new healthy ways to manage them. And teach these things to my kids or we are all going to be phone zombies tuned out of real life.
Okay, confession, the conversation above did not happen. That was a fictitious story I made up but the truths are the same nonetheless. To find the cure for our ailment we must first get a diagnosis.
I compiled a list of why I can’t stay off my phone, I wonder if you can relate with any of them and if you need a conversation with the “Doctor”.
Boredom- With all these fun apps who wants to be bored?? But have you ever thought that God made our brains to be bored? Our brains need rest. If you begin to pay attention, you will find some of your most creative ideas or moments you hear from God are when you are doing quiet, boring, mundane tasks.
Loneliness- I love that I can connect with others on Facebook or Instagram and I have made some amazing friends on there. BUT, nothing will ever replace real life connections with other people. God made us to look others in the eyes, to actually hear each other LOL, and to have real life Emojis.
Obsession with Self and Approval-Taking pictures of ourselves, thinking of ourselves, wondering how many others like us. Let’s be honest we love the instant replies or likes, we crave approval from others that social media gives to us. But, we must realize no amount of likes will ever give us the acceptance only God can give.
So, we know the diagnosis, the symptoms, so what’s the solution? It’s really quite simple. (not easy, but simple).
Take breaks from it all.
Delete the apps off of your phone for a day, a week, or heaven forbid, a few weeks. (Deleting the app off your phone will not delete all your info or page).
Engage in life again. Go visit your neighbors, go clean your car or your windows, sit down and have long, interesting conversations.
And just a FYI for parents of tweens or teens with phones, what we as parents do in moderation, our kids will do in excess. Our kids are not going to get off their phones or have self-control with these gadgets unless we teach them.
So, in saying all of this, I’m going to be taking breaks from social media and my phone routinely as much as possible. I am going to intentionally seek periods of rest from it all.
My brain needs a break.
And I’ve decided the one question I’m going to ask myself when I get off balance is: “Am I in a thriving relationship with God or my phone?”
I pray if you feel overstimulated, entertained, (yet not fulfilled), I challenge you to ask yourself the same question. And ask your Heavenly Father, (the Doc) to show you what it is you are seeking from that walking computer.
If He gives you a diagnosis and a challenge that says your brain and soul need a rest, I pray you will take it.