Starting today, Monday, October 19th, I am selecting Mondays as the day that I choose not to idolize my smartphone. I’m going to put it in a drawer and be dumb. No more googling how long butterflies live, when the next Star Wars movie is being released, or how old C.S. Lewis was when he died.
No more texting when stopped at a traffic light. I’ll have to take my chances on the highway of life rather than use google maps. Perhaps I’ll pull out the old Thomas Guide and map out trips before leaving the house? Yes, that might be a good thing.
No more checking emails when standing in line at Target, at least on Mondays. Perhaps I’ll start up a conversation while waiting my turn? Or maybe I can just take a deep breath and watch people—probably looking down, staring at their smartphones.
No more playing Word Warp during commercials, or mastering Mastermind before falling asleep. Heck, maybe I’ll give up TV on Mondays as well, since I won’t be able to play games during the commercials. And I’ll have to read the Bible on Mondays rather than listening to it on an App, but I’ll have more time for that since I won’t be doing the TV thing, right?
I grew up in the seventies and eighties. I got this. I lived (and survived) before answering machines, VCR’s, Books on tape, microwaves, Kindles, DVD’s, CD’s, Cassettes, and personal computers. If someone called and you weren’t home, they came over and knocked on your door, or waited a while and called back. We didn’t need VCR’s or DVR’s because we didn’t watch that much TV anyway, we played outside.
My generation was not usually interested in useless bits of information, because it was not worth the time and energy to go look it up in the encyclopedia. But if some bit of information was deemed important, we would ask a sibling, a parent, teacher, or consult a book. We interacted with other humans.
Tim Challies, a well known Christian blogger has an interesting perspective on how technology can become an idol. “This iPhone – it gives me such joy, it makes my heart long for it. But yet it can very easily take the place of God in my life,” he explained, according to World publication. He goes on to add that, “Along the way news really does become entertainment for many of us. We want tons of news, we want quick news, but we don’t really want to ponder it and to take all that knowledge and put it through a biblical lens so it becomes wisdom.”
Wish me luck in giving up my idol. I’m starting slow, only one day a week. Who knows, maybe I’ll go back to a flip phone soon. But hopefully, if nothing else, Dumb Monday will give me one day of reprieve. One day to remind me how things used to be…slower, quieter, less trivial. And maybe I’ll become just a little bit wiser.
Check out this artist’s work: Photographer Removes Phones From His Images To Show How Addicted We’ve Become.