Sep 8, 2011

iPhone. iPad. iTouch.

i’m a fan. i’m addicted.

Recently I was struck by the fact that the lower case “i” in these devices has less to do with the personal pronoun and more to do with the body part, “eye”.

I can’t keep my eyes off my phone. It’s typically either in my hand, next to me, in my purse, by my bed…no more than 5 feet away at any time.

If I realize that it’s not in my immediate vicinity a small amount of anxiety begins to build in the pit of my stomach. Where did I leave it? On the table at the restaurant? On the kitchen counter? On the rear bumper of my car? (yes, all 3 of those have happened!).

I even hate to admit that I look forward to red lights because they provide an opportunity to check my iPhone…it’s a sickness. I know. {How long was I just looking at my phone before I heard my son pleading for me to look at his latest Lego creation?}

My eyes are constantly directed toward my iPhone.

What draws me in? What seduces me? What is that driving feeling that I must check email, then Facebook, then Twitter, then Google Reader, then my blog stats, then back to email again?

This past Sunday it all came together.

One of our outreach ministers, Brian Newby, spoke on the passage from 2 Kings 6. The servant of Elisha is terrified when he awakens to discover their town is surrounded by the king of Aram’s army. However, Elisha has full confidence that God will protect him from the king’s army. He tells the servant, “Do not be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” (2 Kings 6:16). Elisha prayed that the Lord would open the servant’s eyes so he could see the Lord’s army of horses and chariots of fire that surrounded the king’s army.

What you see affects how you act.

Elisha was calm and confident because his eyes where fixed on the Lord’s army. The servant was terrified because he could only see the enemy.  Elisha’s eyes were focused on God.

“Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8

photo credit: daniel valle

Where are my eyes directed? On my indirect idol…the iPhone. My real idol is the significance, success, connection, relationship I am seeking. Anything that my energy, time & resources are directed toward that is NOT God, is my idol.

Now that I’m aware of my addiction. My idol.  What do I do? What changes can I make? I most likely won’t get rid of my iPhone (although if I leave it on a bumper again it may get rid of me!). I do need to set boundaries. Here are some ideas:

  • Checking it no more than 1x per hour
  • Spending less than 5 minutes at a time checking my phone
  • Keeping my phone in my purse while driving…and my purse out of reach
  • Once a week take a media sabbath (24 hours of ceasing).
  • During my quiet time in the morning keep the phone in another room

Some of you may completely identify with my struggle. Others of you may think I am completely psycho to be this addicted to a device. If you think I’m psycho, perhaps evaluate your own life. Where are your eyes directed?

  • Are your eyes directed toward God or the approval of others?
  • Are your eyes directed toward God or self-pity?
  • Are your eyes directed toward God or your kids?
  • Are your eyes directed toward God or your job?
  • Are your eyes directed toward God or politics & debating?

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face and the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.”

Linking up with Somegirlswebsite “Thought Provoking Thursdays”


  1. Kathryn

    So good. I have been praying about this, but continue to fail. I even tried a whole week of putting mynphone away while I was driving and then went eight back into my sickness. Your post motivated me to continue to pray about this, work Towards my goal again, and put God back where he needs to be…first. Thanks for this reminder and ideas on how to work this idol out of it’s position.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      It’s a constant struggle isn’t it? it’s a daily choice and just like other temptations in our lives it’s going to be a continual battle and continual dependence on the Holy Spirit for self-control! thanks for being vunerable and sharing you struggle as well!

  2. Erin

    Oh the conviction! “how long… before i heard my son pleading for me to look…” GUILTY! Erin D gave some great advice last night in Bible study – we need to spend less time knowing how to parent and more time just knowing our kids. The same is true for the Lord – spend less time learning how to be a Christian, and more time knowing the Lord. Then the Spirit is free to change, grow, and empower us.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      way to go Erin D! love that! more time just gettting to know our kids…easier to do when i’m not consumed with technology! and like you said the same is true for our relationship with God. thanks Erin!

  3. Carrie Westbrook Smith

    This is a huge struggle for me. I didn’t even want to read your post because I knew what it would say….. I’m definitely going to work on this. Especially, “Once a week take a media sabbath (24 hours of ceasing).”

    • Heather MacFadyen

      believe me Carrie, I didn’t want to write it! putting my struggle out there meant that I would have to be held accountable…so if you see me on my phone when you drive by just text me to get off the phone! ha!

  4. Christy@pipandsqueak

    I am right there with you Heather. I relate to all of it. I so often wonder what am I avoiding by being so connected to media. And what am I missing? When you said a 24 hour sabbath from media my first thought was “no way, I can’t do that”. That right there indicates that it is exactly what I should do.


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