As an Xennial, I remember my elementary school days when floppy discs and Oregon Trail were the pinnacle of technology. Fast forward to junior high school, and my generation was the first to be introduced to the world wide web via dial-up internet. Then in college, social media began to dominate. My introduction to the social media streets was Black Planet. (Real ones know.) In the words of the incomparable Erykah Badu, I am an “analog girl in a digital world”, and I’ve got the attendant distractions that come along with that.
I confess that I am increasingly prone to distraction in the age of social media—especially via apps on my phone. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is thank God for another day, and then I reach for my phone and hit play on Get in The Word with Truth’s Table, so I can listen to the Bible as I get ready for my morning workout. Sounds good, right? Well, while that’s playing, I’m also scrolling Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to see what I missed while I was sleeping.
Each platform has various means of distraction to lure me in. Facebook memories telegraph the sometimes traumatic or triumphant past. Both pull me away from the present, transporting me to a past I’d rather forget whether because of the death of a loved one or because of a life I once lived that is now wholly unrecognizable. Twitter is for tussles and breaking news. Instagram is the valley of comparison where reels and pictures catapult me out of the present and into a future I’ve yet to experience. These are my confessions.
I’m convinced that living during this present time has made it very difficult for us to live in the moment. According to an article in Psychology Today, “The Distraction Problem”, distraction is natural for human beings. However, what’s become an area of concern as of late is the deviation from the norm and the way that our distractable natures are being hijacked by modern technology. The article cites Jim Lang author of Distracted: Why Students Can’t Focus and What You Can Do About It. Lang says, “our distractions have gotten much better at distracting us: Social media platforms invest millions of dollars in figuring out how to grab and sustain our attention for longer. That is the problem.”
As I’ve been thinking about what it means to live in the moment, I’m beginning to understand just how important it is for me to express gratitude for where I am in life, and for what I have in the here and now. There’s an old saying the seasoned saints say at church that goes something like, “I’m not yet where I want to be, but thank God I’m not where I was.”
Gratitude helps to ground me in the present, while giving me hope for the future to come. It also helps to calm my anxiety because the reality is that there is very little we can control in life. (Trust me, I’ve tried and failed.) Jesus said,
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
Luke 12: 25-26
Entrusting my life—my past and future life—in God’s hands is my lifehack for staying in the present. I’m not always great at this, but God’s grace is a gift that keeps on giving—especially when distractions threaten to overtake me.
What are some lifehacks that help you live in the moment?Leave a Comment
Put your phone in another room and keep your inspirational materials close to your bed.
Ekemini Uwan says
That’s a great plan, Petty! Thank you for reading and sharing.
Renee lukis says
Such a thought provoking message I’m easily distracted and sometimes worrying about things then I stop and think about how far in this life God has brought me in this life growing more into his Word as I’m in the autumn of my life and being grateful
Ekemini Uwan says
Me too, Renee! Looking back at God’s faithfulness over the years, reassures me of His love and care for me in the present. Thank you for sharing.
Cheryl Baptiste says
Ekemini I love your message. Very thought provoking. I can be distracted by my thoughts and other things, then I have to remember where I was years ago and just how far God has brought me and saved me from destruction. This is another great reminder. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
Ekemini Uwan says
You’re so welcome, sis! I’m grateful for God’s grace and deliverance.