As I sit in my chair stirring and trying to separate myself from the device I hold in my hand I see the grasp it has on my life and the inability I have to let it go. Thinking to myself over and over “Set it down, find something else to do”, maybe Pandora or something on Netflix, I could start a book, maybe I could study the word more…

My mind is filled with the “what can I do about this and how to change from wasting time when the basic function of my phone is necessity for communication” and after thinking of all the other things I need to get done I am still drawn to my phone like a bug to a bug zapper.

I decide a bit of music sounds great so I turn Pandora on the stereo, not a moment wasted as I grab my phone again only to see nothing new in the news feeds and no comments on my posts. What to do, what to do? So it’s off to the app store to look for a new game or app to fill my “free time” like someone addicted to drugs I begin searching for a something new, a new game, something to fill this place of the nothing that I dread.

Here I am supposed to be an example for our children and I lack the skills to separate from electronics, how can I be ok with this? I have become a sad example of what a father should be and one that is addicted to his phone none the less. I’m not saying I’m not a good father, only that I have become weak and allowed myself to be numb to things around me once again and my first response is to reach for my phone.

I have been trying to separate myself from electronics for a while now only to fail like yesterdays diet. I ask my girls to do something I cannot and get angry that they are resistant to my request. I tell them do their chores and homework before electronics and not sticking to my rules because of the lack of discipline I have for myself with electronics, how can I expect something of them that I am not willing to do.

After today’s meeting I get to my desk and open my email and there it is an article about being board. I myself have no use for being board, or do I? Maybe the downtime is needed to allow my mind to rest and reset, maybe it is needed to dedicate time to look inside and not be blinded by what is going on around me in the world.

I am planning on taking this to the next step, not sure what that is or what that will look like but I know it is needed to be the best husband and father I can be. Seeing and knowing a change is needed in order to allow the necessary growth that has begun to shape my life. This separation is needed to insure the growth of our family as a united family and not a family drawn to the drama and dysfunction that surrounds us in the world and to have common goals about life.

Today is a new day and the choice to reach for my phone has been made clear it is an addiction.

The time has come again to break the cycle of addictions in my life and I chose to begin with the separation of social media and time filling apps.

“Begin with your own inner peace. Then use that inner peace as a platform from which to approach the outer world with perspective, understanding, and patience”. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I have been hiding my inner peace by keeping my mind and body busy. I would like to find downtime, rest and time to use my mind to reach peace in my life. I will choose to spend time with my family, I will choose to look inside and to heal instead of hide and I will choose to be present as a husband and father. My family deserves what I can offer and I deserve what they have to offer me.

Please watch this heart wrenching video created by my talented friend Jerry Towery. This is an example of what we are faced with on a daily basis with our technology and today marks a new beginning for me.


One thought on “Unplugged

  1. Overcoming addictions is a daily struggle. Although yours is serious because it causes you problems, it could be drugs, alcohol, nicotine, or sex. Most people with ADD have addictions. After working with you for many years, I came to think you are exceedingly needy of attention and approval, which isn’t surprising given your childhood. These are part of your addiction. You will probably never be totally free of these, but, I’m confident you can loosen their grip on you. In the later years of my marriage, my ex was totally addicted to television (1980’s & 90’s) We lived in a tri-level with a tv on each level. He had to have each tv on the same channel so as he walked through the house, he didn’t miss anything! Trying to talk to him was like talking to a wall. He could never tear himself away from the tv to pay attention to me or the kids. It was very damaging to all of us. Acknowledging you have a problem and sincerely attempting to make it better is progress in itself. Kudos and hang in there. If one approach fails, try another.

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