Yesterday I shared that I have undergone a personal technology/social media audit in recognition that I need to model some healthier patterns of technology use. You may read about the basic premises I established for this audit here.
As for the specific strategies have adopted, along with some reasons for them, here is the list:
- On my cell phone I went through every app, made sure that I knew what it was and how I would use it, deleted unused apps, updated every app where I was not using the latest version, and re-categorized them into groups for ease of use.
- I created several “rules” for myself for cell phone use. There may be exceptions to each rule based on circumstances, but here are the guiding principles:
- When I awaken, do not use the phone until I have read my morning devotion, Bible reading. or Bible study (exceptions are to turn off the alarm if I have used my phone for that purpose and to acknowledge the reminder for taking any medication).
- When I go to be, screen usage (computer or cell phone) will not be used as the last event before going to sleep. Reading, listening to music, conversation, etc. will be done instead.
- Social media is typically to be used only twice a day for limited time periods, primarily Facebook and Twitter. I want to make sure that I do not feel like I have to read everything that I view. I want to continue to connect with people and ideas.
- Use Instagram sparingly. I find it has decreasing value for me, especially as it has recently become a whole lot more like TikTok in its publishing of personal videos.
- Not add any new social media services unless there is a clear and intentional value to using them.
- I have limited the number of games found on my phone, making sure that those that remain have some sort of thinking or strategic element to them.
- Other technology-related strategies I have adopted:
- Consume my news primarily through the Wall Street Journal, to which I have a subscription. I have found this service to be extremely balanced from a news perspective even as it is very right-leaning editorially.
- I have unfollowed virtually every news and editorial source from Twitter, using it primarily to followed education people and topics as well as baseball news and conversations.
- I have committed to better using Facebook to stay connected with people that I already know, hiding content that is continually negative and political. I don’t want to fully disconnect from people whom I might be able to support in the future, but I prefer not to be regularly impacted by political content or negativism.
- As some of you have already noticed, I have recommitted to regularly sharing my own thoughts and voice through this blog. I would like my voice to be available.
- I am giving myself permission to alter these strategies if I feel the need for adjustments so long as I am intentional about the reasons.
- I am committing to sharing, as much as possible, what I am for rather than what I am against. There may be times when it is necessary to speak boldly against something, but I would prefer being as positive and proactive as possible rather than negative when dealing with most people and topics. One area to which I commit to respect people as much as possible but not necessarily seek to be only positive is in the area of sports — something that greatly interests me but if far more trivial in the scheme of life.
My biggest challenge to all of this might be the psychology of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). That phenomena is real. I feel the pressure to be up-to-date and in-the-know. But no one of us can truly know everything and the pursuit of this can be overwhelming and, quite frankly, attack one’s peace of mind. It is my hope and prayer that through these strategies I can more fully embrace the blessings of technology in my life while honoring God by limiting the harmful temptations that go along with these tools.
How about you? Do you have strategies for embracing God’s gift of technology in a positive manner? If so, what are these strategies? Do you agree or disagree with my approach? Feel free to share a comment to this post to share your own ideas. I think we can only fully adapt well to the age in which God has placed us by hashing out ideas together. I invite you to be a part of this process.