Technology Idols

The report I receive on my cell phone of the time I spent on it the previous week is always a surprise to me. Now, in my defense, I often go to sleep to my Insight Timer. That adds up. But likely Facebook is the culprit. (Notice how cleverly I made Facebook the Villain. I would have you believe I am merely a victim of Facebook!) 

For years, Terry and I did not have cable television because it was not available to us or the cost was prohibitive to put the line in. We were able to finally get cable about a year and a half before we moved from Tennessee. Now we have established it in our home in Montana.  The availability of television shows and movies is still a novelty to us. We often end our evenings watching multiple shows or a movie. We do read, but often that is accomplished on our Kindles.  

I read an article today written by an embarrassed parent who confessed to hiding in the bathroom to scroll through Facebook so his child would not see him spending so much time on his phone. He compared his phone to an idol. Indeed, there is some truth to such an admission. The amount of money spent on the purchase of phones and the monthly charges can be astounding. They have become a high priority for which we sometimes choose to pay dearly.  

Lest I sound totally jaded, I will say that I appreciate my phone, the convenience and safety of having one. Years ago, when Terry and I still had our private practice, we were “beeped” by our answering service, while we were out on a Sunday drive in the country. There were still pay phones at that time. We stopped at one, where a person was using it and clearly had no intention of ending the conversation. We drove for a little way to the next one we could find and encountered the same situation. The next week we purchased our first cell phone, one of the early ones, a monstrosity in comparison to today’s models. I quickly adapted to having a cell phone. Once on a cruise when I was without my phone or computer, I felt somewhat anxious. In the middle of beautiful surroundings, I allowed my focus to be marred by the lack of access to technology. 

I say all this as a reminder, to myself and to any who would recognize themselves as sharing this dilemma, that we easily become attached to our electronics in a way that distances us from more important matters. There is a world full of wonder. There are relationships needing tending. The father hiding in the bathroom recognized he was missing time with his son. What might you be missing? 

May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter.Shalom, Kate 

Hope’s Café Bonus: Might I suggest a technology “diet”? I have stopped automatically turning on the tv in the mornings to take in the quiet. I am considering spending a day a week when I do not open Facebook. What might work for you?  

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