I know that eating sugary desserts is not healthy. However, I often find my way to eating candy, ice cream and cookies. Why do I do this even though I know it’s not healthy? I tend to blame my husband. He likes to buy these treats and he brings them into the house. So, I blame him! Part of my problem, I now know, is what philosophers call a lack of agency. Our culture often promotes this idea that what happens in the world around us is not our fault. There is a mind-set that we are victims of manipulation and are not able to break the bonds that hold us back from achieving what we set out to accomplish.
Technology and media can have the same effect on us. Research has shown that overusing a smartphone and social media can cause anxiety, depression and other mental health issues but still many of us don’t cut back. Sometimes this can be addiction. According to Joshua Hochschild, co-author of Mind At Peace, “the first step in resisting and overcoming addiction is an honest self-awareness of our own agency, our ability to act.”
Part of this awareness is trusting God, who helps us to redirect our actions. So next time my husband brings home a bag of Nestle Crunch, I will offer a prayer to God and ask Him to redirect my actions for the good and head out the door for a walk instead. I will also seek God’s help with limiting my media use. In fact, walking instead of streaming a movie or a show – could be just the right way to stay healthy.