I enjoy technology--for the most part. Actually, a more correct statement would be that I enjoy technology when it works as intended. Technology and I have a love-hate relationship. Technology definitely makes life easier, but I have begun to see the tendency it has to complicate things as well. In spite of all this, I have to admit that I may be a technology junkie--and I don't even have a crackberry. It seems I can't be anywhere without making use of some sort of technology. And heaven forbid I am somewhere without it, I usually feel pretty disoriented. Lately I have discovered it is pretty difficult to disconnect. This presents a huge problem. But it is making me re-evaluate things and hopefully make some changes.
Most of us, I fear, have become far too dependent upon technology. Can you remember the phone number of some of your closest friends--without looking at your cell phone? If the Internet goes down for an extended period of time, do you become less productive? Does the television need to be on while you are preparing meals? While you make your commute to work, how much of that time is the radio infiltrating your ears? Do you actually interact with the people in front of you, or are you preoccupied with the mobile web? Can you make use of a map if your GPS were to stop working for some reason? I hope the picture is becoming clear by now.
Technology can be a great tool; but that means it can be a great hindrance as well. If I am honest with you, I have to admit that technology has had the tendency to be a hindrance for me. When it comes to friends and family, I have used technology as an excuse to disconnect. Phone calls, text messages and emails have become an acceptable replacement for face time. I can make shallow connections with numerous people, all at the same time, without leaving the comfort of my own home. If I'm avoiding someone, caller ID allows me to screen all of their calls (yes, I have done this once or twice...or more). When it comes to text messaging, if I told you I never received it, you would likely accept that as a reasonable excuse since technology doesn't always work as intended. You might think it was still floating around somewhere in cyberspace.
When I am actually in the presence of other human beings, technology has a tendency to distract me. I can be sitting across the room from someone half-heartedly engaging while I am busy texting someone. It seems I can't even get away from technology when I go out to eat--everywhere I look there is a TV mounted to the wall with at least one show I don't mind watching. When it comes to spiritual disciplines, sadly I have embraced technology as a legitimate distraction. For example, when I decide to sit down and spend some quiet time with God, numerous technological devices are at my fingertips. The remote control lays there beckoning me to pick it up. While my cell phone is on vibrate, it makes just as much noise and is just as distracting as if it were to ring. When it comes to every avenue of life, I am finding it more essential that I be intentional and disconnect from technology. Only when I disconnect will I be able to truly connect!
Bottom line is that I can make excuses and blame technology for so many things. Reality is that the only thing I can blame is not a thing at all, but a person. And that person is me! Technology is a neutral medium that can be used for both good and bad. What I do with it and how I make use of it is totally up to me!
(Of course, the irony is that I typed this on a computer and posted it on both my blog and facebook for all the world to see. And we all know, everyone in the world is dying to read my latest blog update.)