Friday, November 7, 2008
Have you ever noticed how isolated we can make ourselves? Some of us seem to take Timothy Leary seriously when he said, “Turn on, Tune in, Drop out.”
But at what cost?
It’s easy to fool ourselves into thinking that we’re successfully multi-tasking when really, all we’re doing is ignoring those around us. We sit in our cubicles or in our home offices with our iPods turned up, watching You Tube while making frequent Alt+Tab switches over to our favorite social media sites.
While we’re enjoying our isolation, our podcasts, our funny or educational videos, thinking we’re the paragon of efficiency, those around us who need our attention can suffer.
Have you ever considered how frustrating it is for a child, a spouse or co-worker to compete with all of the electronic distractions that fill our day?
Most of us have experienced trying to have a telephone or face-to-face conversation with someone glued to their favorite television show or movie. Despite our best attempts to engage them in conversation, we hear little more than an occasional “ummm hmmm”.
Sometimes, you and I can be even less aware of those around us. We don’t even notice them trying to talk to us.
Are we putting our loved ones and others who need us to be actively engaged in their lives through that kind of frustration?
Is there an alternative?
Now, understand, I’m not saying that the gadgetry that makes our lives easier, more organized and fun are evil. Far from it. I believe technology is a wonderfully amazing thing. I’m amazed I can sit on a train in Utah home and listen to a lecture from a college professor in New York. We’ve never met each other and likely never will. But because of the invention of computers, the Internet and my MP3 player, I can benefit from this stranger’s expertise.
Technology is not an enemy. Like fire, it can be used for both good and evil. With fire, we can either warm ourselves, or burn down a neighborhood. It’s our choice.
So, here’s my challenge:
This weekend, unplug. Go off the grid. Make yourself wholly available to those who have been clamoring for your attention.
While it’s easy to see you’re there physically, make yourself emotionally, mentally, spiritually and completely available.
Who knows? You might just discover that you like spending some old-fashioned low tech time together.
Thanks for reading and taking the challenge today. I appreciate you!
You can email me, but I’m going to try and take my own advice, and just spend time with my family.
Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!