Caught Scrolling

As a Christian, I’m always interested in being aware of habits that move me either closer to or further away from Jesus.  Both are important, for obvious reasons.  The habits that move me closer to Him are the ones to keep.  The habits that move me further away are the ones to stop.

There’s a habit that I’ve paid attention to for the past few months, and it’s the habit of scrolling. Whether on my phone or laptop, I’ll catch myself simply scrolling. It could be on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even the News App.

What am I looking for?  Perhaps the next funny picture?  The next controversial post? The next brilliant quote for me to read, then forget 3 seconds later? Breaking news that no one’s yet heard?

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For the most part, this is a neutral habit. For the most part.

There are two consequences of scrolling that I’ve noticed (so far) in my own life.

  • Scrolling shuts off my mind.  Social Media (and Media, in general) has an addictive nature.  I’m sure there have been studies about this.  For me, it’s proved true.  Certain functions of my brain shut off, and I’m left just mindlessly scrolling, with no real goal in mind.  Just by itself, this fact is scary and has potentially dangerous outcomes for other areas of life.
  • Scrolling wastes time.  I hate to admit this, but I’ve wasted hours staring at my phone. I trick myself into thinking I’ll miss out if I don’t scroll.  And so I keep scrolling.

Don’t hear me say that Social Media is bad.  In my opinion, it’s a tool to be used.  For example, I’m currently using it to raise awareness and funds for clean water projects in some of the most high-need areas of the world. (insert shameless plug here)

To go back to my opening, however, I’ve begun noticing that this habit has the potential to move me further from Jesus.  If left unchecked, scrolling can lead to lots of other detrimental things (comparison, envy, jealousy, etc).

Being aware of this is key.  And because of the awareness, I’ve begun putting boundaries on how often I’m on my phone.  I’m not perfect, but I’m already liking the results.

How do you use Social Media?  Do you have any boundaries on it?