Sunday, April 19, 2015

minimizing distractions

flickr: Hunter Langston
Morgan's smart phone broke this past week, and we were faced with a question: does he NEED a smart phone? We knew that yes, he does need a phone. As a doctor, it's rather an essential. But a smart phone with a data package that costs an extra $30/month plus all the time/distraction a smart phone adds? I wasn't going to ask him not to get a smart phone (that's a pretty big sacrifice to ask when he's had one as long as I've known him). But he admitted immediately that it was a luxury he doesn't need. It will save us money that can go into our debts every month. And possibly the biggest thing is that it will remove that distraction from our lives. I told him I think I may like the no-smart-phone version of him even better, and he agreed that HE may like himself better without the smart phone.

During Lent, we both gave up Facebook. As I looked toward the coming year (this was before minimalism, shopping fasts, etc) and what I wanted for my family, it was obvious to me what stood between me and my daily goals: the distraction of social media and all the time I waste there. So we decided to experiment with simply giving it up. And wow, it was incredibly freeing! I liked myself better. I got so much more done, I sat ignoring my children less. I had more focus. I was a better mother. When Easter came, I actually dreaded the option of getting back on and letting old habits into my life. I'm still trying to figure out what the balance should/can be. Maybe it needs to be a once a day thing... or maybe a once a week thing... or maybe I just need to accept it's a distraction not worth the gains... I don't know. We'll see. :)

With Morgan's smart-phone life being removed, I feel as though God has made our distractions smaller for us. Our children won't see our heads buried in the screen, or feel like they have to compete with technology for our attention. There will be the minor inconveniences of not being able to check the weather just before bed (I guess moms figured out how to dress their kids before smart phones, so I'll be ok), and we won't have constant GPS on trips (people used to look at maps; we can probably do that too!). But I think we're going to gain so much more than we lose! We have been forced to ask ourselves if the gains of technology are worth the cost on relationships and the time we aren't spending talking to our kids about truth and how to navigate life. I'm really excited about this! With less, we get to experience more. Yay for a broken phone!

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