The past few mornings I’ve done something that I haven’t done in too long:
Not checked my phone as soon as I wake up.
My usual routine is to wake up without an alarm, save for Sunday’s because I have church in the morning. I don’t do volunteering until midday, so the time I wake up isn’t a concern to me. But the moment I wake up I reach for my phone on my desk, check the time, then go through social media.
Social media is the thing I love to hate, yet I don’t delete it and it’s the first thing I check in the morning. How sad is that! I don’t quite understand it myself, although I know that I dislike this habit I’ve picked up.
The past few mornings I’ve turned my phone off and put it away before I go to bed, and then when I wake up I don’t turn it on until a couple of hours later.
The difference it’s made is kind of disturbing.
What I used to do at night is this: journal and pray before bed, clean my teeth, go on my phone, then sleep. The things I journaled and prayed about would get a bit lost in the screen time, meaning the last thing I was thinking about before bed was whatever I saw on social media. Not cool.
The past few nights, I’ve checked my phone, turned it off, cleaned my teeth, journaled and prayed, then sleep. It’s so nice! I forgot what this life was like! I go to sleep easier because I haven’t been staring at a screen, and I go to sleep kind of praying or just thinking about Jesus. I fall asleep quicker and go to bed earlier, so I wake up feeling fresher.
In the morning, I wake up and write down my dreams, read the Bible and a chapter of a Christian book (the current being by Stasi Eldredge), eat breakfast (mmm, omelette), do some small things and then turn on my phone or laptop.
It’s one of those things that everyone kind of knows, right? Spend less time on your phone etc.; but it’s so easy to fall into the habit of just checking it without thought or going to it when you’re bored or have free time.
With technology and social media, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having it or enjoying it. But it can wait. There’s this sense of “I need to know what’s happening right now”; but it can wait. Nothing on social media is that life changing that you need to know as soon as possible. A new video, a new picture; it’ll still be there in twenty minutes, in two hours. It’ll still be there tomorrow.
If I post something on Instagram, I don’t expect everyone to see it within ten minutes. If someone comments on it the next day I don’t think “why haven’t they commented sooner!”
I think it’ll be easy to keep up not checking my phone first and last thing when I start working, because I’ll need to wake up and be out the door at a certain time, and because I’ll be setting an alarm I’ll need to go to bed earlier. It was easy to fall into the bad habit when I didn’t have anything to do in the morning; I had so much time it didn’t matter if I ‘wasted’ some of it.
Additionally, so much of what I do is on my laptop. The thing I spend the most time on is writing, which means I’m already looking at a screen for a long time throughout the day. I don’t want my eyes to feel grainy and strained; by limiting my screen time my eyes have thanked me.
I’m late to the party in talking about social media, but I’m early to everything else so I think you can forgive me.