Wait… What am I doing?

Almost all of us do it. As soon as we have quiet moment when no one is talking to us, asking us a question, directing us where to go… we reach into our pocket and pull out our phone.

As soon as school is done and you are safely back home (or on a bus or riding in the car), the phone comes out.

Scroll, tap, scroll, scroll, scroll, tap, scroll, lots of taps, scroll, etc. Next thing we know, it’s been 15 minutes, 30 minutes or… gulp… one hour?!? I need to get a handle on this.

All this scrolling and tapping we are doing… it’s not moving our needle in any productive, helpful manner. Yes, it’s entertaining at times. Yes, it can help you stay connected with your crew.

But, let’s be honest. How much of all that scrolling is habit vs. helpful? How much is to ‘fill the time’ rather than make your time full? As Cal Newport talks about, we can get into an unhelpful pattern of numbing ourselves with our scrolling if we aren’t careful.

So, how do we get out of this pattern? Two things come to mind.

Intent

Why are you using your phone? Is it helpful in you becoming a better person? A better actress on stage? A better student or sibling or child or parent or spouse or human?

It may! Please don’t think I’m saying this marvel of tech is always a bad thing. I’ve learned a lot reading from others or texting with friends or finding new ideas. I’m sure you have, too.

And, I’ve also found myself deep in some ‘rabbit hole’, following links or just wasting time scrolling that do not make me better in any way that is important. In fact, it most likely makes me worse as a spouse, parent, camp director, etc.

Curiosity

It’s a big world out there with a lot of different ideas, viewpoints, places, etc. When we practice our innate curiosity, we’ll find new avenues to explore, new arguments to pay attention to and new people from which we can learn.

When we scroll away our time, we short circuit this most natural of human gifts. Figuring out how things work got us to this glorious (yes, I believe that is the correct word) stage in humanity. And, it’s curiosity that will get us to the next great breakthroughs and triumphs.

Be Intentional. Be Curious.

I’m not telling you to drop the phone. (Unless you are at camp. Tech is just not a thing for us for those few fantastic weeks at camp.) But I am suggesting that you be more intentional with how you use it. Is it making you better? Is it helping you relax or is it revving you up? Is it helping you explore and find new ideas and thoughts or is it keeping you stuck in the same spot?

I don’t have the answers for you. Only you can find those. But I do know these are important questions. Why don’t you take some time this weekend to explore them? Have a great weekend!

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