I have a confession to make: I don’t use social media. I don’t tweet, post, snap, like, or live-stream. Cutting ties with social media was a choice I prayerfully made a few years ago in an effort to battle distraction, temptation, and time-wasting. However, I was still distracted because my smartphone was right at my fingertips, ready to offer me streaming TV shows, news articles, games, google searches, sports scores, YouTube, and a host of apps every time I opened my home screen.
I had to ask myself some serious questions. What is the purpose of my smartphone? How can I use my phone so that it serves me (and I don’t become enslaved to it)? How can I redeem my smartphone? The following list is the result of these questions. These results have helped me. They’re not meant to be hard and fast rules. They are simply intended as suggestions for you to consider.
CARING FOR OTHERS
- Start a group text or email with the ladies in your community group.
You can share prayer requests and encouragements or just the little moments of your daily lives. This is a great way to facilitate fellowship, grow your friendships, and care for one another.
- Keep track of special events and important dates in other people’s lives in your calendar.
Did someone tell you about a trip they have coming up? An interview? Their baby’s due date? Capture it in your personal calendar so that you can keep them in prayer and follow up with them to see how it went.
- Use reminders to follow up with a friend.
When someone shares a burden with you or asks for prayer, open your phone right away and set a reminder. Find a time when you don’t think you will be busy or distracted and create an alert that will bring that friend back to mind.
- Pray through your social media feed.
Although I currently don’t use social media, many of you do! News feeds can evoke many feelings: happiness, anger, jealousy, nostalgia, and self- righteousness, to name a few. Rather than becoming bogged down in these emotions, try to pray through them. Pray for the friend you haven’t seen in a while, the issue that troubles you, a blessing for the person posting the thing you don’t like, or for yourself to be humble, loving, and content.
- Set an alarm to have your quiet time.
Can you identify a specific time each day that you could stop and have a quiet time? Maybe you’re busy, but you have a consistent open time slot several days each week. Create a recurring alarm in that slot that will prompt you to pause and spend time with the Lord.
- Use a timer when you need to focus.
One motivating way I use timers is for my quiet time. I’m home with my children most days during the week and can get caught up taking care of their needs and busying myself around the house. I set a timer for a reasonable amount of time and stop what I’m doing to focus on the Word and prayer. Other ideas include setting a timer to work on a chore you don’t like, taking breaks from using your smartphone, do homework, or limit your TV time.
- Use reminders to list a few important goals each day.
The act of writing your goals or necessary tasks for each day can take those tasks off your mind, ease your stress, and make you more productive.
- Enjoy your personal photos and videos.
When you open your home screen, go to your own photos instead of the stream of photos and images from social media. Organize photos from a vacation to serve your family. Create a photo gift for someone. Share photos in a text to reinforce and strengthen memories with your friends.
- Change up your wallpaper.
FREE Scripture wallpaper is available for free on the internet, and all it takes is a quick Google or Pinterest search to find it. If you don’t know where to start, ask me or ask a friend. It’s not hard to find and it’s even easier to use.
Distractions are plentiful when you open your smartphone, but I hope this helps you find ways to redeem your time and use your phone in helpful and holy ways.