Mar 14, 2024 431 Jacinta Heley

Digital Detox

I lost my iPhone a year ago. At first, it felt like a limb was amputated. I had owned one for thirteen years, and it was like an extension of myself. In the beginning days, I used the “new iPhone” like a phone, but it soon became an alarm clock, a calculator, the news, weather, banking, and much more…and then…it was gone.

As I was forced into detox, I had many pressing problems. My shopping lists now needed to be written on paper. An alarm clock was purchased, and a calculator. I missed the daily ‘ping’ of messages and the scramble to open them (and the feeling of being wanted).

But I was sensing the peace of not having this little piece of metal dominating my life.

I hadn’t realized how demanding and controlling the device was until it was gone. The world didn’t stop. I just had to relearn new-old ways of interacting with the world, like talking to people face to face and making plans for events. I wasn’t in a hurry to replace it. In fact, its demise led to a welcome revolution in my life.

I started experimenting with minimal media in my life. No newspapers, magazines, radio, television, or phone. I kept an iPad for work emails, selected YouTube videos on the weekend, and a few independent news pages. It was an experiment but one that has left me feeling calm and peaceful, enabling me to use my time for prayer and Scripture.

I could now cling to God more easily, who is “the same, yesterday, and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). The First Commandment asks us to “love the Lord your God with all Your heart and mind and soul and love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31). I wonder how we can do that when our mind is on our phones for most of the day!

Do we truly love God with our minds? Romans 12:2 says: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

I challenge you to abstain from the media, even for a little while and even for a little bit. Feel that transforming difference in your life. Only when we give ourselves a break will we be able to love the Lord our God with renewed minds.


Jacinta Heley

Jacinta Heley is a Catholic wife, music teacher, and mother of three amazing children. She runs a small business providing musical services and attends a Life in the Spirit prayer group.

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