I remember the day like it was yesterday, the excitement and anxiety. I was plagued with anticipation, my hands were sweaty, and my heart was racing. What would this day be like? What would transpire on the days that followed? I had questions, I had reservations, but I was going all-in. However, this particular day became the worst one of them all.
Technology and Addiction
On June 29, 2007, the first iPhone was released; this was the day my life was forever changed. It was, indeed, my very worst day.
The invention of the iPhone brought with it much excitement and anticipation. It also brought the ability to rip a person's heart out by exposing what was in one's heart.
The iPhone is a fantastic invention, but no one took into consideration the potential for addiction and the ways it could connect people from around the world, and reconnect relationships that had been severed. These connections and re-connections could be both excellent and damaging.
All sorts of connections happened through the use of apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tinder, Snapchat, etc. With this powerful device called an iPhone, and now third-party apps to connect people, it aroused the good and evil in many people.
Social media apps could lead to the rekindling of fantasies and relationships from years ago. Plus, with the invention of the iPhone, we now have a way to communicate with anyone from anywhere. The power and accessibility in this private and compact device have the unique power to fuel our wildest fantasies.
Yes, technology is fascinating. Yes, we are able to connect with our friends and family around the world. But, also, it stirs up the brain of an individual such as mine with ADD/ADHD and an addictive personality, sending me down a journey I never expected.
The World at My Fingertips
That warm summer day when I got my first iPhone I remember the sensation of playing my iTunes music through this amazingly small device and connected earbuds. I was excited to text and call my family and friends and let them know about this awesome new invention. My excitement quickly dwindled as I realized I might be heading down a road I wasn't prepared for. As I stared at this small device, I was dumbfounded by internet access, which led me to a world I never knew.
I immediately realized that I didn't have to go to the ditch and get the magazine that my friend left there. No, I said under my breath, heart racing and palms sweaty, all I have to do is type a word, it is all at my fingertips.
For me, the iPhone was a game-changer. With my addictive personality, I could look up anything, chat with anyone, and the best...or worst part? It was all held in the privacy of a tiny little device that fits snugly in the pocket of my skinny jeans.
That day in 2007 marked my life forever.
The Darkness of Technology
I look back on that day and all the days that followed and realize how much pain I experienced due to this simple but powerful piece of technology. To be clear, it's not the device's problem, it wasn't Google or Safari, it wasn't even the social media apps; those were merely instruments which revealed to me and countless others, the potential for darkness, which rests in my soul.
It was those apps that so clearly proved my lack of self-control. Those apps also helped me find help via therapy, counseling, and coaching to help me get a better grip on my life.
The invention of the iPhone, mixed with my own addiction, impacted my relationships, for good and evil. I've lost relationships and hurt people because of my own misuse of technology. I've experienced a tremendous amount of shame because of my own foolish choices. My self-confidence has suffered as a result. Since that day in 2007, I have started asking for help and begun developing boundaries that help me use my phone as intended.
I wish I had known how simple curiosity could so quickly turn dark. But I had no idea that such a small device had the power to change my whole world. Maybe you think it's ridiculous that my very worst day coincided with the release of the first iPhone, but it's my truth. Exposing technology's potential to feed our addictions and harm those we care about is one more step in my healing process.
My Greatest Strength
Since June 29, 2007, I've also found my greatest strength: perseverance. Countless times, I've woken up with a fire burning inside me, telling myself, I'm going to get through this, I'm going to be a "better me" one day. It is that grit that has gotten me through life's highs and lows.
Perseverance is what pushed me to confess my struggles to counselors, mentors, family, and friends, and ask them for help. Do those conversations hurt? Sure. But the drive to be my best pushes me to embrace vulnerability as I continue to trust God to mold and shape me in a way that glorifies Him.
I've been 4,603 days since the Apple logo first appeared on my phone's screen. Since then, here's what I've learned: healing comes when we expose the darkness to the light. Whoever you are, whatever you've been through, let what's going on inside of you come out. Find someone to share your story. And rest in the fact that God loves you, exactly as you are.
Share Your Story
Do you have a story of surviving your very worst day? Share it here!
After surviving childhood sexual abuse - and eventually - a suicide attempt, here’s what I’ve learned: the acknowledgement of our wounds leads to the most authentic version of healing. Because we live in a polarized either/or culture, it’s easy to believe that admitting dark truths will invalidate our greatest hopes, but it’s not true. Deep sadness and intense healing can coincide - one doesn’t invalidate the other.
If you'd like to share the story of how you're healing from the most unthinkable experience of your life, I'd love to share it here on my site.
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