Digital Detox

Posted by Naomi Vacaro on

Reconnecting with God in November
Grace McCready

WebMD defines a digital detox as “a period of time during which you intentionally reduce the amount of time you spend online on your devices.” WebMD also points out that the purpose of a digital detox is to improve one’s mental and/or physical health. But how can a digital detox affect one’s spiritual health? 
For Christians a “digital detox” can help us connect with God more deeply. Honestly, it’s difficult to hear His still, small voice when we’re not truly trying to hear it. When our eyes—and our thoughts—are fixated on our screens, how can we focus on the things God wants to teach us through His Word and prayer?
If you want to do a digital detox but aren’t sure how, here are a few ideas to help you get started:

Use an actual alarm clock instead of your phone.
I recently listened to a guest on a podcast offer this suggestion as a way to avoid getting sucked into social media first thing in the morning. It can make a big difference when the first thing you see in the morning isn’t your phone. When you use an alarm clock—instead of the alarm clock on your phone—you can avoid the temptation of scrolling for endless minutes (or hours) and instead dive right into your quiet time when you wake up.

Leave all your devices outside the room when you do your quiet time.
When I hear my phone ding—even if I’m listening to an interesting conversation or doing a stressful task at work—I immediately start to think about my phone and who texted or emailed. For that reason—and many more—having my phone with me while I have my quiet time isn’t a good idea. When you have your quiet time, ensure none of your devices (phones, tablets, smartwatches, etc.) are in the room, and put them on vibrate or silent so you can’t hear any notifications.

Go outside for your quiet time.
I’m thankful to live in an area where I experience the four seasons, including fall! As I write this post, the leaves are changing from green to yellow, orange, and red—plus, the temperature is starting to drop. Of course, I realize going outside for your quiet time might not be feasible, especially if you live in an area that’s really hot or cold. But if possible, get in the habit of going outside on temperate days so you can “escape” from your devices and enjoy the beauty (and tranquility!) of God’s creation.

In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, went to a secluded place, and prayed there. Simon and his companions searched for Him; they found Him, and said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” He said to them, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.” And He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out the demons.
(Mark 1:35-39 NASB1995)

Jesus’ example in this passage shows us how to balance our time alone with Him in a way that fuels us to fully engage in the work He’s given us in each season.  As we embrace the quiet—away from avoidable distractions like our devices—we can better embrace our calling to love Him and love others.

  Grace McCready enjoys spending time with her family, hanging out with friends, and watching her favorite TV shows. She is the author of Real Recovery: What Eating Disorder Recovery Actually Looks Like. She shares personal stories and Scripture to encourage young women on her blog, Tizzie's Tidbits of Truth.
Digital Detox Quiet Time Spiritual Health

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