Tragedy struck this holiday season. There was no death in the family, but I was overcome by grief and anguish: I cracked the screen of my tablet while visiting with a friend. In slow motion, I watched as my precious device fell off the hearth and landed face first on the hardwood floor.
Because there were children present, I didn’t say the first word that came to mind….I just smiled and said, “It’s all good. No harm done.” And then I looked down and saw that it was cracked.
I immediately felt my anxiety increase. Sure, it was still functional, but every time I looked down, I saw those hideous cracks. I tolerated it for about a month, then I noticed more cracks had started forming. It was getting worse, and it needed to be repaired.
Once I dropped it off, I sat with my phone, desperately waiting for my precious device to be fixed so that life could return to normal. All the things I would normally do to pass time were downloaded and contained on that device!
Finally, the call came, and I was out the door. Heart racing with excitement, I maneuvered through Portland traffic, which quickly exhausted my patience. Finally arriving at the store, I paid my money and feverishly walked out with my restored device.
I woke up the next morning feeling a little chagrined by my obsession with my precious tablet. I began asking myself, “Why am I so attached to this thing?” Apparently, with each app I click, I’m hoping to find something – something that will inspire me, something that will keep me entertained, something that will make me feel connected.
When do I feel the urge to retreat to technology? Ironically, when I’m around other people. You see, I’m seeking information instead of intimacy. Connection instead of conversation. If I’m being honest, technology is easier for me because it requires no real emotional investment. That means that I’m not taking healthy risks. I’m not being vulnerable. I’m not growing.
I’m not saying that technology is bad, but I am saying that as a society, we have become too dependent on our devices. We would do well to ask ourselves these questions:
- How would our relationships change if we spent more time talking to people face-to-face rather than texting and posting to social media?
- How would our stress level change if we turned off our phone in order to simply be present in the moment?
- What would happen if, instead of living vicariously through video streaming, we began to write our own adventures and live them out ourselves?
Connect with Ben Sadler at their ministry website – Chasing Ebenezer. There you can comment on his writing, subscribe to their blog, listen to the music he and Heidi are producing, and take advantage of their worship training sessions. Heidi and Ben Sadler are missionaries with a vision for reaching the Northwest for Christ through the ministry of Christian artists and by establishing healthy house churches. They would love the opportunity to tell you more about it.