We live in a society that is addicted. We are addicted to information, we are addicted to getting our information and interaction fix through as many avenues as possible. I recently visited Jon Acuff’s website called “Stuff Christians Like” and his post on e-mealz (Dinner Unplugged) and how he has an addiction to technology.
Now I have to add a disclaimer here, I have witnessed myself doing the same thing at the dinner table, texting, tweeting, of facebook-ing while needing to be interacting with my family. Amber will curse to the day she dies the amount of technology contained in my left pants pocket. But it being Valentines day among everything else, it really hit me how much technology closes us off.
I have written before about the fact that I think we are in an increasingly interconnected world, but that many of us have increasingly become less connected to our fellow humans. We eschew picking up the phone for sending an email or a quick text, and I am the chief of sinners on this one. I think my addiction to technology probably stems for the idolizing of the iPhone or similar smartphone, with increasing connectedness comes increasing long work days and weeks that never end.
I heard a program a while back where it was seen acceptable in business to take 5 days to get back to someone, and now it is expected that a message will be returned in under 24 hours. I see it myself, when I send an email that I expect to hear back from I expect to do so within 24 hours. I often respond to emails within minutes, and this often takes me away from my family and other things I should be doing.
I wonder how different my life would look right now if I did not have a smart phone. Now I’m not naive enough to believe that I’ll be going back to a regular old phone. My Droid (or previously my Blackberry) has indeed saved me a few times and for that I’m thankful. How do we break the addiction? How do I train myself to only answer while at home if it is indeed a call on my phone? (After all I tell my students I’m available 24/7.)
How do we make sure that our daily addiction to technology and it’s strangle hold on our lives does not keep us from living? How do we return to human interaction and the truly meaningful relationships that are formed through this interaction. We need to return to our relationships and interactions with our fellow humans as an example of how we love our Lord. Maybe that is a new and worthy social experiment for us to try?