Whew--is it still Lent? Don't worry, this is about to get fun! Let's go back over what we've learned so far.
#SmartFreedom Challenge Checklist:
No phone while driving.
No phone during meals.
No phone in the bathroom.
This week we will add Three Additional Practices (these are big challenges--don't freak out.):
No phone as an alarm for waking up in the morning (Review that post here!).
No phone one hour before bedtime.
No phone for one hour after you wake up.
Wait... whaaaaat? You're okay, keep reading.
P.S. Missed this week's theological reflection on our phones and temptation? Check it out here!
WEEK ONE CHALLENGE (two parts!): Turn phone off/silent/airplane mode, etc. 1 Hour before Bed.
This means you will actually give your brain a chance to shut down and get quiet without the incessant, mindless scrolling. By removing our phones from our hands an hour before bedtime, we may actually make our bedtime! How often do you say, "Just one more notification check... one more email sneak peak... one more slack message... one more swipe... one more cat video... one more episode..." and suddenly it's 1AM and you say "NEVER AGAIN!" or more likely "Siri, set a reminder for me to not do this again tomorrow."
If you're serious about #SmartFreedom, and you're willing to make it hurt for the next six weeks... remove that phone from your hand 1 Hour before Bed and don't pick it up again until you've been Out of Bed for 1 Hour. These two hours are critical to the way our days and nights go.
I want you to picture this right now (yes, many of you are reading this post while in bed... so you don't have to imagine too much.) Can you imagine the peace of no emails in bed? No checking and rechecking to see if your last text received a reply/requires another reply...and almost inevitably ends up beginning a new conversation? No "Are you still watching?" questions? No snaps. No grams. No likes. Just sleep. And in the AM, imagine what life would be like if you woke up, and it was YOUR morning for a few minutes. No noise from the outside world. Only noise from within your own household. You can wake up and begin the day. It's always going to be a better day when you've had an hour to wake up, drink some coffee, get your day going... before you find out about J.Lo's latest engagement or the latest fire you have to put out at work. No one needs that kind of stress while still in bed.
Our phones should not book end our lives. Let's replace them with Prayer--it doesn't even have to be eloquent prayer. First thing in the morning is rarely a time to be eloquent... Let's replace that time by expressing our gratitude to God, or laying in bed quietly just reviewing our day, thinking about all the joys and hopes and mercy that the new morning can bring... Let's declare FREEDOM from needing to be connected at those two very sacred times of day.
Okay, okay... let me guess. You're feeling convicted but overwhelmed. That's a pretty significant shift for most of us. Make your goal by the end of Week ONE to have this down--Two Hours of Freedom. If you need to start small tonight with 20 minutes, fine, but you can do this. It could change everything.
BONUS CHALLENGE/PRO TIP: Don't even bring your phone in your bedroom.