These 10 diagnostic questions are taken from this excellent article by Alistair Roberts. I would strongly encourage you to read the entire article. But if your attention span has been severely damaged by technology, social media, TV and the internet then just read these 10 questions:)
- Is my smartphone making it difficult for me to give the activities and persons in my life the full and undivided attention and self-presence that they require and deserve?
- Do I habitually use my smartphone as an easy escape and distraction from the difficult task of wrestling through the experience of lack of stimulation and boredom to the rewarding reality of true engagement?
- Is my smartphone use squeezing out my inner life, encroaching upon time that would otherwise be given to private contemplation, reflection, and meditation? Do I use it as a way to distract myself from unsettling truths and realities that can slowly come into focus in moments of silence and solitude?
- Am I using hyper-connectedness to substitute a self unthinkingly immersed in a shallow and amniotic communal consciousness and its emotions, for the difficult task of developing my own judgment, character, disciplines, resolve, and identity?
- Are my uses of my smartphone arresting and hampering my processes of deliberation and reflection, encouraging reactive judgments and premature decisions?
- Is my use of my smartphone mediating my relationship with and understanding of myself in unhealthy ways?
- Is my smartphone a tool that I use, or has it fettered my attention and time to other persons and activities that are wasteful and overly demanding of them?
- Are my uses of my smartphone preventing me from developing and maintaining healthy patterns and routines in my life, disrupting my sleeping patterns, interrupting my concentration upon my work, habituating me to the fragmentation of my time and attention?
- Is my smartphone usage consuming time that I used to or could potentially devote to worthier activities? Do I use my smartphone to ‘kill time’ that I could otherwise fill with prayer, reading, writing, edifying conversation, face-to-face interactions, etc.? (I put this question in bold because I found it particularly convicting).
- Are my uses of my smartphone conducive to the faithfulness and freedom of others? Am I using my smartphone in ways that create unhealthy demands and pressures upon them?
So what do you think after prayerfully thinking through these questions?