Stories iphone_texting

Published on August 18th, 2014 | by Natalia Leslie

One Week Without My iPod Touch





Last week, I began feeling extreme conviction concerning the amount of time I was spending daily on my iPod touch. After lots of prayer, it was clear that technology had become an obvious obstacle in my life as a Christian.

And so, I decided to go on what I consider a “modern fast.” Giving up something that is important to me and difficult to surrender, but exchanging it for more time to spend serving Christ.

Currently, I am only one week into the social media hiatus, but I already feel so refocused on the aspects of my life that had lost their place on my list of priorities.

I honestly believe that phones and iPods are encouraging a selfish generation.

When you think about it, when we are on our devices, we can choose what we look at, who we talk to, and even what our life looks like through social networks. We can customize our music libraries, filter our emails, and give our numbers out to people who we want to text. The first day of handing off my iPod to my little sister, I was so much more aware of my surroundings and the needs of others.

Of course, I’ve had challenges, but these have quickly turned into extreme blessings.

The Super Bowl Party

I can be very shy and introverted at times. A few days ago, I was at a gathering with several people I had never even met, and I didn’t have my iPod in the way to avoid talking to them. I was forced out of my comfort zone because I couldn’t hide behind my small iPod and use empty excuses like, “I’m sorry, I just need to reply to this text.” However, I connected to people with more ease than I had originally expected and had a wonderful time.

The Long Car Ride

Last weekend, my family left for an hour long car ride to my grandparent’s house, and I realized that because I didn’t have my iPod with me, I wouldn’t have music to entertain myself on the way there.

But it also struck me that this wasn’t a bad thing!

What a precious opportunity to pour out the thoughts of my heart to my Savior! And the car ride that I had predicted would be so “boring” turned into a time of rich prayer… to think that I had been upset about this for a moment seems so ridiculous now.

The Lock-In

One of my worst habits is turning to my friends when things aren’t going my way or when someone has hurt my feelings, and in a “boo-hoo, woe is me” tone, I “vent” my problems to them.

I spent the night at a church lock-in this week, and there was a girl there who goes to another church in the area. She doesn’t have the best reputation — she’s been arrested more than once, she makes mean-spirited comments to people, and she seems to be more interested in the young men at the church events than the chance to draw closer to Christ.

There was a piano at the lock-in, and a couple of people asked me to play and sing for them. While I was singing, the girl turned to someone and said, “She’s not even good.”

To be honest, if this had happened when my iPod was accessible, I probably would have sent a rant to my best friend via text, telling her how terrible this girl was and how she had not only insulted me, but had also hurt some of my amazing friends throughout the night.

Instead, I felt inclined to pray. I prayed that God would give me the strength and humility to forgive this girl, and when I was done, I was also led to pray for the girl who had upset so many people from my youth group.

These changes in my life have been so positive. I’m extremely grateful for the time I’ve had to unplug from drama and gossip and being able to use that time to set my mind on things above.

If you haven’t considered giving up your phone, iPod, computer or any other electronic in the past, I would highly recommend praying about it. It can be hard in the beginning, but you will find that it is so rewarding!


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Photo courtesy of Jhaymesisvip and Flickr Creative Commons.












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About the Author

is a rebelutionary who desires to vividly show the love of Christ to everyone she meets. She is passionate about music, theatre, photography, and writing. She lives on a farm in Ohio with her parents and her four younger siblings — three biological and one adopted. She cannot live without music or chocolate.



  • What a great post, Natalia. Several years ago I cut some of my favorite sites out of my internet activity all together because of the unhealthy amount of time I had begun spending on them. It was difficult at first, but so very worth it. In fact, this post is making me consider taking a short break from Facebook just to refocus. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Natalia Leslie

      This is such a blessing for me to read. Thank you!! To God be the glory :)
      xoxo

  • Lily

    Thanks so much for sharing Natalia!

    • Natalia Leslie

      Of course! Thank you so much. As I said above, to God be all the glory! xoxo

  • Madison W

    Wow, this was convicting! I’ve been thinking recently about how much time I’ve been spending on electronics but haven’t done/changed anything. I’m definitely going to be considering which sites I need to take a break from for a time. :) Thanks for this, Natalia!

    • Natalia Leslie

      Aww that’s encouraging! Thank you. I definitely hope you’ll consider taking a break, at least from certain sites. You’ll find it’s so rewarding! :) xoxo

  • Caleb Norman

    An excellent idea! While electronic devices can be useful, it is a fine line to walk when our tool becomes an idol. Good article!

    • Natalia Leslie

      Thank you :) and I definitely agree that electronic devices have their place — my iPod was helpful when I was writing this post, and now God is using it to reach people! It all depends on how it’s used.

  • Brooke Graham

    Thank you for the post :) I am now seriously rethinking my priorities. God bless :)

    • Natalia Leslie

      Aww I can’t tell you how much it means to me that my post touched you! Thank you so much. God bless :) xoxo

  • Thanks so much for sharing, Natalia! It’s amazing what we discover when we look up from the world of social media. That’s so cool how it lead you to more prayer and to more unexpected conversions. Thank you so much for the challenging reminder to really see how much social media/ technology may be hindering our lives and to find the unique balance of good use and too much!

    • Natalia Leslie

      Thank you for the sweet comment! :) It was a really freeing experience. It’s not always realistic — for example, I couldn’t take breaks this summer because my job required checking emails and planning lessons for kids programs (which I found online), but I’m looking forward to taking another break soon!

  • Sharon Valenzona Tracy

    Wow Nattie that was great and it sure hit home with this old lady, I hope you continue to write I can’t wait to read your book when you write one, I cant believe I have known you almost all of your life and your this grown up seems like yesterday that Jennifer was babysitting you, keep up the great writing. Jen’s aunt Sharon

    • Natalia Leslie

      Aww thanks! You’re so sweet :) I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it. xoxo

  • JessicaLetchford

    This is a really interesting post, Natalia! What stands out is how it presented you with the harder, but also right, choice to make. It didn’t just make you more aware of your surroundings and live in the real world (although I want that to be true for me), but left you with opportunities to live out your faith (which really, is what ‘living in the real world’ is all about). Thanks for sharing!

    • Natalia Leslie

      Thank you so much! That really means a lot to me. xoxo

  • kelly grow

    Very cool post! I have a parent-imposed ban on Facebook due to hacking (since I don’t have my own computer/phone), but I’ve decided that I’ll restrict myself even when I am able to use it freely. Too absorbing!

    • Natalia Leslie

      Thank you! Haha my parents were so surprised when I willingly took a break from my iPod. You’ll find that if you do it, it will encourage lots of people to do the same :) xoxo

  • Heidi

    Thank you for sharing. This is now going to be in the back of my mind every time I pick up the iPad, my mom’s phone, or sit down to the computer. :) I really need to keep track of how much time I spend on electronics…and if I am actually doing anything useful while I am on them…anything furthering my walk with Christ, and, potentially, anybody else’s. Cos if it isn’t furthering – it’s undermining.

    Thank you so much. :) God bless.

  • Trent Blake

    About a year ago, I went on a one day “word fast” – no talking for 24 hours. The reason being, I needed to learn to think before I speak. Well, I was only able to do it for 12 hours (9 of which was sleeping) because of school. But nevertheless, I learned a powerful lesson: think before you speak. I still struggle with talking a little too much, but I’m working on it.
    So, I can relate a little with your reasoning for this iPod fast. God bless, Natalia,
    – Trent

    • mimeforJESUS

      Wow! Did you warn your family you would be uncommunicative, or did you just stop talking one morning? (Do you go to a “real” school, or are you homeschooled?)

      • I’m homeschooled and, yes, I did warn my family first. :)

  • alex and bretts nephew

    i like iPods

  • Madison Gilling

    Wow, Natalia! I will definately do this!
    One problem I had was that I was spending too much time on games, and when I turned notifications off, it was very rare for me to play anything because the temptation was removed. I found this very helpful.
    Thankyou again!! 😉

  • Abby M.

    I am going to try this with my computer. I have to use my computer for school, but I will take a break from social free time on the computer. I love reading too, but sometimes I don’t read the best books. Books that will expand my vocabulary, learning, or faith. I’m going to try and read less “easy” books and start reading more difficult books. Any suggestions?

    • Trent Blake

      Hey Abby,
      I think you might benifit from a book called “Holy Discontent” by Bill Hybels. It changed me for the better. Also, if you haven’t already, I would recommend “Do Hard Things” by Alex and Brett Harris. I love this book, because it doesn’t let you off the hook and makes you think, “What have I been missing all this time?”.
      God bless, Abby,
      – Trent

      • Abby M.

        Hey Trent,
        Thanks, I will look for those books. I had heard of Do Hard Things before I started reading their blog, but I didn’t have a copy. I’ll look for one that I can buy. Again, thanks a lot!
        God bless you too!
        Abby

        • Trent Blake

          If you can’t find them to buy, perhaps the library has them. Who knows. :)

          • Abby M.

            Okay, thanks. =)
            God bless!

    • Rachel Ferguson

      If you still want to search for harder things to read, some of the greatest words I’ve read were in C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy. The first book is called Out of the Silent Planet. 😀 There’s so much insight to human nature and the reality of our world in there, and really helps you think about our Christian struggle from a eternal perspective.

      • Abby M.

        Hey Rachel,
        Okay, thanks! I am always in search of new books to read. Have a great week and God bless!

        Abby

  • Riley C.

    What a wonderful thing to do! So many teens these days don’t realize how much time they spend on their phones.

  • Jess jesse

    wow thats quite a sacrifice!! its kind of lame but sometimes it seems like my ipod is my best friend… a lot of times in situtations that are diffcult i like to go skate down sidewalks for long periods of time and turn the music up really loud. it just seems like a kind of therapy, but it is hard to not get really hooked on it for a single place to find relief… quite the challange though i will think about doing that…

  • Hope Dan

    Someones got the right idea. I don’t have a phone or such because my parents believe the people in front of us are more important than the ones not there. I’ve felt hurt several times while trying to hold a conversation with someone and most of their attentions on the phone and responding to someone not even there. So the fact that you decided to “fast” means a lot. People tend to miss out on a lot because their too focused on their device. I think people can learn a lot from this.

  • Stephen Emrich

    Kinda weird that in the picture it is an iPhone 3GS not an iPod touch. 😉

  • Kaitlin

    I feel so convicted I spend way to much time on my phone! I think i’ll try a “modern fast”.

  • Lianne McKeown

    That is a real eye opener, because I’m the same way. it’s great that God gave you the opportunity to use your modern fast to such an advantage.

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