Learning That It Is OK To Say No To The Phone In A Media Centered Culture

*PHOTO BY KYM CONRAD

*PHOTO BY KYM CONRAD

For the girl who has the mile long to-do list, 23 texts sitting in your inbox, and about 600 e-mails to read, it is ok to say no every now and then. By this, I mean that it is alright to say no to the phone and turn it off for a few hours. 

We live in a media centered culture. IPhones are practically glued to our hands. With that comes work on-the-go. If your job has to do with media, you could easily become consumed. The older I get, the more I realize how guilty I am at being consumed by devices.

When you engage in real life friendship, it is important be all there, which may mean throwing the phone aside for a while. 

Friend, I struggle with this often. I catch myself looking at my phone more than the person across from me at the table. The fact of the matter is that my inbox will be there after I am done eating breakfast, and so will yours.

It turns out these devices are ACTUALLY stressing us out. I am not saying that it is not just our busy lives and culture, but actually the devices themselves. According to Everyday Health, we all naturally feel responsible for answering each alert that pops up. Each of us go about creating more "work" for ourselves by becoming our own managers of our accounts. With each "ding", we feel that we MUST respond. 

How do we solve this? Throw the phone out the window forever? No, like I mentioned before, this is a part of our culture. It is not bad to post on social media (heck, odds are you came across this article by some sort of media). Rather, just think twice before taking time away from your lunch to answer a text message. Think twice before choosing an electronic conversation over a face to face one.

By all means, please share inspirational stories and personal experiences as you feel led. There is not anything wrong with using a platform like Instagram as an outlet for photography or writing. Just take a second to remember that you are responsible for turning off the notifications every now and then. Leave the phone behind and recharge as needed. When the constant checking of how many likes or followers you have becomes a regular thing, it may be time for a detox.

As much as this attachment to technology is the nature of our culture, it is more than possible to limit our use of media and look to actual human conversation. Having, real life, human interaction is what our hearts crave. So go, say yes to community, and no to the phone for a few hours. I am not suggesting that you never touch your phone again, but go out with your friends and avoid screens for the night, you are sure to feel less stressed and far more connected to those around you.