Are you addicted to your smartphone? Are you willing to admit it? According to recent statistics, the average adult spends almost three hours a day on their cell phone (the equivalent of a 20 hr/week part-time job). T. J. Burdick realized he had a problem when he was using his cell phone while his wife was in active labor with their third child. He soon began to notice that everywhere he went he saw people with their heads buried in their phones.
Burdick is quick to admit that technology in itself is not bad. It is the over-attachment to it that causes problems. In Detached: Put Your Phone in Its Place, he offers a three week retreat to help smartphone addicts regain a right relationship with technology. He also offers additional resources at detachedlife.com.
In the course of these twenty-one days, Burdick invites readers to take an honest look at their smartphone usage. While he acknowledges that in our modern world, we can’t put it away entirely, he encourages us to use our phones productively, rather than use them to literally waste time and feed our particular vices.
The devil seeks to keep us from God and a phone is a “Pandora’s box of limitless temptations.” Our phones are often keeping us from what we are meant to be. Burdick suggests ways to keep our priorities in order, putting God (the source of all true happiness) at the top of our lists. We need to be mindful of how we spend our time. We need to pay attention to the triggers that encourage us to pick up our phones. We need to replace tech time with higher pursuits. We can even learn to embrace those moments of boredom that occur in our lives as a gift, rather than as an opportunity to mindlessly scroll through social media.
Detached is an important book in our modern, tech-driven world. Burdick has much sound advice to offer. If you feel like your phone is taking up too much of your life (or if others are telling you that you spend too much time on your phone), I encourage you to pick up a copy of this book and get yourself on the path to a more balanced, God-centered life.
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Copyright 2018 Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur
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