How it all began in 2015…
I was so addicted to being on my phone all the time. Like any addiction, I was in bondage. In between, I had to cheat and lie, especially when I needed money for a subscription as I was always eager to reply and send messages to people, it was horrible. The phone in question was mostly in my hands. I held it so much, sometimes for so long at a ‘browsing session’ that my wrists began to ache, my vision sometimes blurred and I couldn’t get enough rest because my phone accompanied me to bed. When I woke up in the morning, the first thing I would reach out for would be my phone. I made it a duty to check for and respond to notifications which took hours – time that would have been invested in a meaningful conversation with Jesus as my parents had taught me.
I remember a scenario where my mom had to chase me all the way into the bathroom just so I could take a bath since I had been on my ‘small but mighty’ phone all day long. I had just entered the bathroom, yet I couldn’t wait to leave quickly because I was trying to catch up with what I deemed “important” like Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat and the likes, YouTube to watch movies, blogs to read, and “interesting websites” with news (or should I say hot gist). At that point, I was so unstable because there was just so much on my mind. You would think that if I didn’t hurry up, I would miss a flight. But to be honest, I was just trying to finish up quickly in order to go back to my phone.
Despite my age at the time, I had unlimited access to the internet and data because I could afford it either by hook or crook. I really didn’t care about how the money came, I just needed my weekly subscription. I knew a lot about people from my social media handles before I got to see them in person- their families, house residence, who’s dating who, who broke up with who and who’s their new target. I didn’t give out much of my personal data, but you needed to have people like me on your list to have a successful social media platform career. It felt like I was eventually achieving my dreams.
But, in the midst of all this facade, something was missing. There was a vacuum in my life that needed to be filled up.
After a while, I began to grow discontent and started to get worried about what my life was becoming. It dawned on me that I needed to put an end to my addiction, but I didn’t know how to, so I continued to live life this same way for a very long time.
How my deliverance eventually came
One day, I came across an illustration where a man was compared to a dog in chains because he was still pressing his phone while it was charging. I don’t know but I got very offended because I knew the picture was referring to me. “Why would somebody come up with an illustration as annoying as this?” I thought to myself. I saved it and moved on but with time, it kept coming to mind, accompanied by these thoughts, “You will never be free of social media. You are in bondage just like the person in that illustration.”
I felt bound, very empty, hopeless, helpless, clueless, because of that illustration. I had times where I cried, begging God to help me limit my excessive use of social media. Coupled with my hopelessness, I used to have a lot of issues with my parents because I felt they shouldn’t send me on errands or ask me to do things when I was with my phone and of course, they didn’t take it lightly with me at all.
Just so I won’t be a nuisance, I read up things on how to curb addictions and tried to do them but it wasn’t really working for me. Most times, I fell back to square one. Help wasn’t coming like I expected and even though I felt I needed freedom, “so be it” was the response to my thoughts concerning the matter.
In my third year, (I still remember it was on Valentine’s Day), I met two sisters who spoke to me about God and they said a whole lot of things that made me envious about their relationship with God. I was challenged and wanted to be like them so I asked if I could go with them to church because I was blessed and everything in me went “that is the place for you!”
So I started attending church meetings consistently at God’s Lighthouse. I started understanding why God took me through the path He took me through and connecting the dots, I became a different person! I began to study my Bible in the morning and enjoy listening to the words of God. I had developed a love for God, and one of the things Pastor Ita emphasized to us as young believers was to spend time with the words of God and feed on it as much as we could in order to grow properly.
At this point, I was either in church, at school or in my hostel (confirming if the things I was hearing were true from the Bible because I was really excited about the new things I was learning.) In between, I would still come online once in a while but with time, I realized that I had started to cut down on the time I spent online.
It took some time, but I made it! God helped me overcome my crazy addiction. I eventually deactivated all my accounts around September in 2018 after Pastor Ita spoke about letting go of social media since it was a major source of distraction. This singular act led to my total deliverance in this aspect. While social media can be an amazing evangelism tool in the hands of those who have developed immense self control with the internet, it can also be, and has also been a major tool the enemy has used to keep many in bondage because of its time consuming nature and the quality of what people are being fed – which is mostly carnal.
Today (2020), I have a smartphone that is filled with ‘apps’ in my hands, yet I do not try to keep up with social media trends anymore. I am not even striving to reactivate those accounts nor do I intend to sign up for new ones. I have also been able to save up money for other things that are really important. Who would have thought that I could have so much freedom? Well, it has been God all the way and I am really grateful to Him. I thank God for the teachings and counsel that redirected and reformed my life tremendously. May God’s name be praised!