From a reader…
I’m appealing to you since you’re technologically adept and understand how easy it is to get attached to electronics.
When I got my first iPhone back in 2009, I wasn’t attached to it. I used to lose it because I never had it on me. Nine years later, here I am unable to put it down. I get sucked in to YouTube, Facebook videos, Googling random and useless things, or get sucked into playing Candy Crush for hours. I can’t even go to the washroom without it. Now I’m so attached/addicted to it that I can’t seem to put it down. I waste so much time every day that it’s starting to have a negative effect on my spiritual/prayer life and I’m scared I’ll wind up in Hell because of its deteriorating effect its causing, but I’m not scared enough that it’s sufficient to simply break my attachment/addiction by giving it up.
Do you have any practical advice in overcoming this?
First, consider that some people become addicted more easily than others. Hence, they can substitute one addiction with another. If you are like that, then you also need professional help.
You might try leaving your phone at home when you run errands, leaving it turned off for certain periods of the day. Delete the apps that you are using too much. Cutting an app out of your phone is easier than cutting an eye out of your head or chopping your texting hand off.
Some people live as if their phones were another limb.
In Matthew 5 the Lord Himself says, in the context of his instruction about marriage and adultery:
if thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell. And if thy right hand scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell.
Next, as I have often written, saying “No” to yourself will result in suffering. You have to be willing to stay up on this cross that you have been offered.
You have to have some other planned activities, too. Reading is good! Physical work can help. Have a plan.
Of course, along with your own efforts on the human level, you should also ask the angels and saints for help. I would say in particular your Guardian Angel. I’ve been told by exorcists that demons are really good at working in and through electronics.
Also… GO TO CONFESSION.
Staying close to the sacraments is important for all of us, but especially those with serious, ongoing problems.
As with anything endeavor in life, we must begin with Mass and go back to Mass. Bring your problem to the Lord at His altar. Put your issues into that chalice as it is being prepared. When you’ve had a good day, go back to thank the Lord in some time before the Blessed Sacrament.