You need to check on something really quick. It’s an automatic reflex now. Your hand dives into your pocket and whips out that phone. Press the home button, quickly find what you were searching for and the journey goes from checking your e-mail to spending countless...hours...of hypnosis. Those delicate eyes help you snap out of it if it wasn’t for the fact that they had gotten tired.
You were supposed to be checking your e-mail and then go about your day doing all the things that are on your “to-do” list for that day. You were so pumped about how productive your day was going to be. “How did I get here?” I’ll tell you what happened. “The Scroll” happened. It’s almost like a spell that anyone immediately finds himself or herself in, once that finger moves away from the original plan of checking on that one really important task.
You might see a red dot notifying you that someone has commented on the picture you posted (which took you some time to frame the perfect shot, edit it, and find the greatest caption you could think of). Of course you would like to see any comments and “likes” that were left for your masterpiece. I’m just going to see who commented. Man, I have to reply to them. Type, type, emoji, emoji, heart, heart. Oh, what’s that? Someone just got into a relationship? With who? Let me check out their profile. We have mutual friends? Wow, they like memes, too! That’s a good meme. Let me send it to someone who would love it.
And so, the scrolling begins, my friend. I have experienced “the scroll” myself. It’s scary, it’s dreadful but so addicting. I promised myself I would check on one thing only but that one minute becomes one too many hours... It’s a blessing and a curse to have technology. You have the power to go anywhere you want to with just a tap on that attractive and sometimes broken screen.
It’s great that I get to video chat with family that lives on the other side of the world. It’s amazing that I get to send them voice messages and pictures and let Mom know I’m eating well. Dad can also see pictures of how great I am at taking care of my car. It feels great to tell the whole world all the episodes of one’s life. (a hint of sarcasm but) Where I go, what I’m eating, who I’m with, how I’m feeling, all these topics seem to interest the world and I want to let others know that my life is as great as theirs.
Here is where I see the curse unraveling. We waste our time trying to show others how we are living life. When it comes to publishing our work, we want to show the best of the best. When it comes to publishing our life work, we also want to show the perfect life that we are living. Except, life is not always like that. Filters are used to cover the dullness of the colors that are actually there. There are always options to make something look better.
However, we forget to appreciate how things really are. We forget to just succumb into reality and taste it as it is. That is why many may feel a sense of depression or even anger when we see how others are living the fancy and colorful life that we try to conjure up. Again and again, though, we still feel empty.
I think we can all agree that if we choose to, we can waste our time scrolling through senseless things. We can also agree that if we choose to, we can fulfill our time with things that uplift one another. The curse of having media at our fingertips can be turned into a blessing. Instead of sharing snapshots of our filtered life, you and I could share snapshots of sermons or messages that have changed our lives.
Instead of posting something that will cause conflict among the Christian family, post that which will bring our minds to something higher. Instead of talking about how someone is practicing the wrong lifestyle, check yourself first and ask how much you have given for the sake of the gospel. Once we start using media as a tool to bring wonderful words of life to others, we lose the desire for self-fulfillment. You know how we spend hours under “the scroll” spell? We can choose to spend hours reading from “The Scroll” that speaks about Him who fills our lives with true colors.
Written By Teresa Alberto
High school teacher at a private school located in Michigan
Droolees LLC Education Blog Contributor