I had this thought on Saturday, and it's stuck with me, so I needed to jot down my thoughts about it. I was going to coffee with a friend -- which really means I was going to a coffee shop where I got a giant cup of steaming green tea -- when a question came to my mind. Why do we feel the constant need to be on our phones?
I realize that this is a constant question that we're now all asking in the 21st century. Now that six-year-olds have iPhones (what the heck) and can operate them better than I can do just about anything, everyone is wondering why we somehow need to be engrossed in these bright little screens. I don't pretend to know all the reasons why, but my reason is this:
I want to be on my phone because I don't want to feel alone.
When I'm sitting at a stoplight in my little car, I reach for my phone to occupy time. When I have nothing to do, or I'm waiting in line, I pull out my cellphone (I'm a Pinterest addict, but that's the opposite of a problem, in my book). When everyone around me is quite obviously with somebody while I am not -- either with friends or a significant other -- where do I turn? Of all the nonsensical things, to my phone.
As if that had the power to dull the pain.
I know that Jesus is enough for me. He's forever near me -- I love the German word (Wort Deutsch!) Nähe: it means nearness. The Nähe of Christ is potent. I don't need anything to make me feel like I have a companion, for I DO have a companion, always. Plus, what's wrong with being by yourself? When I'm alone I can pray. I can write. I can relax. I can dream freely. Y'all, I can read (Just finished The Return of the King, and since the Tolkien obsession is real, I'll probably read the entire trilogy again soon). In a greater sense, aloneness is not to be resented. It's not that you aren't loved. You are so loved. But when you're alone, you can discover whether you're at peace with the person that you are.
Maybe that's the reason we're always on the phones: we're afraid to be alone with ourselves.
Don't be scared of that. God made the person that you are. Get to know that person (write something: it helps). Get to know your Maker. Put the phone down. Look up.
The sky is gorgeous.