Redeeming Rest: Digital Sabbath
Are you addicted to your smartphone? If you said no, then go and take the test here.
According to a recent mashable article, “Staying connected has become a national obsession, the study found. Nearly 60% of respondents said they don’t go an hour without checking their phones. The younger you are, the stronger that obsession is — 63% of women and 73% of men who make up the millennial generation (ages 18 to 34) said they couldn’t go an hour without checking their phones.” My guess is that if you take the, are you addicted to your smart phone test, you will be alarmed at how often you use it. How can you live differently? How can you take a rest from your phone.
Here are a few ways you could take a digital sabbath:
Turn your phone off. Pretty simple, but if you turn your phone off for the whole day this is taking a digital sabbath from your phone. I have heard of people putting baskets at the doors of their house, and when you arrive home, you place your smartphone in the basket. I think this is a great idea. I am going to try this with my family. I could see this being useful for teenagers.
Unplug on holidays. Last year I was able to go to Maui for 21 days. Yes, three weeks! It was a huge blessing, and while I was away I decided to take a digital rest. I didn’t turn on my phone, or facebook. I only checked my email once! (to make sure that things were going ok) This holiday was a time of rest, and I wanted to come back energized. During this holiday I read 11 books, and it was the best holiday to date! Every holiday from now on will have me unplugging.
Digital free retreats. This is one thing that I really suck at. Every year, I try to take four 24 hour retreats in order to seek God for the next few months. I need to do this, but I need to plan this at the beginning of the year or it won’t happen. In the past this hasn’t happened. The idea is to unplug, and seek God.
Accountability. It is funny how often we can try to set up a plan only to break it. We need someone in our life to hold us accountable to change. If you are addicted to your phone, I would recommend having someone who will ask you if you are really taking a digital sabbath? My wife holds me accountable on this. All she has to do is walk into the room and ask, “what are you doing?”. Right then and there, I know that I am busted. You need people in your life who push you, and will walk beside you…I sure do!
Start small. Don’t unplug from everything at once. Start small and work your way up. Step one for you could be to turn your phone off on your Sabbath day. It could be to not go on facebook. Don’t feel like you have to conquer the digital world in one week. This is going to take time.
What do you think about taking a digital sabbath?