We’ve all done it. We pick up our phone to do something, forget what we were doing, and end up scrolling Facebook for 5 minutes (or 30). Or we’re in a slow-moving line at Target and start scrolling Instagram to pass the time. Or we’re supposed to be writing an email, and we wander over to who-knows-what site and start scrolling to procrastinate.
Scrolling is sinister. It sneaks up on us, a few minutes here and a few minutes here. It causes us to not know just how much free time we have, since it drips away bit by bit as we grab our smartphones and veg.
Now I’m not against social media. Far from it! It can be a great way to connect. But let’s admit that often when we’re scrolling, it’s not to connect with people, but rather to soothe anxiety, remedy boredom, or procrastinate on a task that we’d rather not do.
Here’s a challenge for us this week, especially if we feel the familiar, “I want to connect with immigrants in my community, but how do I find the time??” rising up in our minds as we go into another crazy-busy school year.
I’m calling it the “Speak Don’t Scroll” Challenge. This week, when you feel the urge to scroll for five random minutes during the day, try calling someone instead (preferably an international) instead.
Even if you replace scrolling with speaking once per day, that means this week you will have called five people!
Don’t groan. I’m right there with you–speaking is much harder than scrolling! And I’m a person who honestly hates the phone. It makes me feel awkward and stilted even when talking with someone from my own culture.
BUT. A five minute phone call — start it by saying, “I only have five minutes but I was thinking of you and wanted to see how you are!” — has an incredible return on investment. It is a “small touch” (we’ll talk more about those tomorrow) that is well worth the effort it takes in terms of solidifying friendships.
So, who’s with me? Comment below to state your intention to “Speak Don’t Scroll” this week! And check back in to share your progress. We’re in this together!