“Sometimes I’m so connected I’m disconnected.” - Dale Jenkins, confessions of a Christian. Nearly ten years ago I first heard the news report coming from Silicone Valley that men were divorcing their spouses so they would have more time to spend with their computers. I found it hard to believe but as technology has promised more and more - we “friend” folks via FaceBook, “follow” or are “followed” through Twitter, “link” through linked in, we "hey through "HeyTel", and expect instant connections through the ever present cell phone with texting. But like all things of human origin technology does not deliver all it promises.
What it has often done is diminish our focus and divide our attention! Obviously I do not believe all technology is bad, after all you’re reading this via a webspace!
Yet what we often have is ourselves not living in the moment because we are living online, in the clouds or virtually. We don’t connect with the person sitting across from us because our chains of thoughts are interrupted by those not there but wanting immediate attention. In a meeting, over dinner, hanging out with friends - our cell phone vibrates and we jump to see who it is, a text beeps in and we stop everything to give the quick immediate response, an email dings it’s presence and as they continue talking we read or review it’s contents. A million little things clog our memories for attention while we should be giving attention to our spouse, our children, our brothers and sisters, our friends - or even our Lord!
So I wrote this Tuesday determined to not answer my phone or text ever again during supper. My wife, my friends, my family are more important and the other person can wait. So at supper Melanie and I were reviewing our day when my cell phone rung. I knew my commitment, though I’d not shared it with Melanie yet. It was an elder - I couldn’t not answer it...right? BUT what did we do before cell phones. When we got home there would be a message flashing on the answering machine. Before that the person would keep calling. Before that...well, what’d we do before that? Waited till we saw them again?
I don’t know how many times in the last ten years I’ve seen someone’s feelings hurt over a perceived tone of an email, someone over share on FB, and how many affairs have I heard that came cause two old flames reconnected over FB? How much time is wasted on these tools initially designed to connect us but that often separate us?
I have found I’m a little addicted to technology and have been trying to disconnect so I can reconnect lately. I find myself checking email, answering texts, calls....constantly. MIssing the moment because I want to be connected and thereby not connecting clearly with the person right beside or across from me. Technology can wait! Proactively disconnect as much as you proactively connect.
Give them you, unwired!!!