If you are an Instagram-stalking, Snapchat-storying, Twitter-tweeting, email-checking zombie-robot who reflexively embraces their cellular and technological devices – say I.

If you are a servant to your phone – say I.

Photo by Cesar Quintero
Photo by Cesar Quintero

Modern technology is the tool that defines our millennial civilization and ultimately our identity. Technology and social media have deep implications on the opportunities we encounter and the way in which we use our time, energy, and freedom. For it is in the vast network of virtual interaction, the time that has not yet come is already altered, and necessity is no longer the only mother of invention. Limitlessness has transcended our generation so deeply, humans are off to the enigmatic territory of Mars.

Technology is timely. But it also wastes time.

It is in the grand expanse of technologies boundlessness, that we humans have become enslaved to the bleeping, buzzing, vibrating devices in our pockets and hands.

We are ravaged with an insatiable thirst for digital connection, for the world that changes while we are away. When you choose to be strategic in the utilization of your technology – you will be the master – and your iPhone, your servant. Your life no longer depends on the piece of buzzing metal that is undoubtedly under five feet away from you at this (or any) given moment.

Do not sloppily submit to your lust for social media love. Let us type, Tweet, and Facebook more intentionally – as tools rather than pacifiers. We can utilize technology as a means of enriching our lives by communicating with a freedom that has only emerged through millennial modern media. How might you utilize the friend and foe that sleeps next to your bed, awakens you, is the last thing you touch or see before you slumber as a means of adding value to your life?

Don’t let your cellphone hold you hostage.

Photo by Baby Qb
Photo by Baby Qb

Turn off automatic notifications for emails. According to Australia News, the average number of business-related emails sent and received is set to soar from 121 each day now to at least 140 each day in 2018. Don’t allow emails to automatically come to your phone and alert you of their highly anticipated arrival. Rather than submitting to the ding and cling of every email that rolls in, begin your days with an uncluttered mind in which you read the New York Times (gasp, newspapers still exist!), or play with your kids. Valenti International shows that poor work-life balance leads 20 percent of fathers to miss their child’s first steps because of work. Your phone should not invade your life, you should invade your phone and the content within upon your select choosing. According to the Daily Mail, more time is spent checking emails in the morning than eating breakfast, that of which coincides with lifestyles of excessive technology and poor sleep patterns. Are the happenings of Instagram and the hashtags of Twitter worth the compromising of your health? No.

Turn off push notifications for social media. What your great Aunt Joan had for lunch can wait. Don’t let unnecessary happenings of a virtual world consume the time of your days. With push notifications we are compelled to check and chat on our phones at the mercy of their ringing and dinging. According to Mobile Statistics, the average person spends 90 minutes a day on their phone. Though 90 minutes seems miniscule, it amounts to 23 full days a year, and 3.9 years glued to a fluorescent phone screen. In fact, Daily Mail addresses that the average person spends eight hours and 41 minutes on electronic devices a night – that of which is 20 more minutes than the average night’s sleep. Suddenly, we are typing and stalking and tweeting more than we are resting in the most human, natural state of existence – slumber? Silence your social media, for your notifications can wait. There is always more time to waste time, but not enough time to enjoy time.

Photo by Nathan Fertig
Photo by Nathan Fertig

Turn that ringer off. From time to time, we as humans encounter personal, precious time in which should not be interrupted. It is important to reserve periods of time for your friends, your spouse, your family, your children, your driving. According to research by the Pew Research Center, 67 percent of cell phone users check their phone for messages or alerts, even when they are unprovoked by their phone ringing. We are so habitually hungry to belong to something, like a Facebook group, we force our virtual presence. Research by Daily Mail has proven most mobile device users check their phone every 6.5 minutes.

Modern technology is just time consuming but not time-altering. We can live without media. Aristotle didn’t tweet his theological thoughts of the day and Jesus certainly didn’t post His holy words as a Facebook status. People really did find entertainment, joy, and adventure in the natural world, the company of other humans, and the sanctity of alone time.

Escaping technology promotes creation over consumption. It inspires solitude, self-awareness, and for once – stillness. Life, at its very best, is awaiting your embrace as you silence echoing vibrations, pinging pop-ups, and the white noise of life in the millennial generation. You are more than your social networking profiles.

Let intense intentionality arise. For if you are more intentional with technology, you will be the master – and your iPhone – your servant.

Photo by Jordan McQueen
Photo by Jordan McQueen

The emergence of smartphones have exacerbated our lust for amusement and gratification as 82 percent of Americans believe cell phones are addicting, according to the National Safety Council. In a study conducted by Elite Daily, scientists found that our brain is surged with dopamine upon the vibration or ringing of our phone. Fear your love – fear your dependence on technology, for you may be enslaved to your devices. Your freedom comes at great costs.

The key to a harmoniously human lifestyle, surrounded by taunting technology, is to practice, pause, and pace.

Can something that exists at the mercy of our creation and our use – say, a cell phone, be the tool that defines the way in which we live our lives?

For it is with intentional usage of technology, life is not as blandly chaotic, purposelessly busy, and endlessly exhausting. For with the thoughtful manipulation of our obsession with modern media, we can create careers, opportunities, relationships, and adventure that could not be found in a paper-book or rotary phone.

Intentionality is the moher of progress. Progress is the child of success. Success is the seed of self-improvement. Reclaim your freedom, your sense of self, and clarity of mind. You are not your iPhone. Read a book, write a letter. Sometimes the things we can physically feel allow us to feel the most.

How will you use your phone today?

For if you are no longer a servant, a worshiper – say I.

Photo by Joshua Earle
Photo by Joshua Earle

 

Cover photo by Rodrigo