My wife and I were away recently for a week off and had no connection to wifi or the internet. We traveled with a group of 10 others and enjoyed meals, walks, sunshine, games, recreation, sharing and laughter, all without any of us tied to our phones or laptops. It was pure joy.
Now we’re “back to reality” and frankly “back to bondage” once again. I’m realizing afresh how liberating it was to not be tied to email, social media, or any form of internet-based work or personal connection. The moment we were within reach of our networks or wifi, our eyes were drawn away from being fully present with one another and focused once again toward the screens before us on our cell phones and/or laptops. It was incredible how fast it happened.
And, it’s really an unfortunate reality today. We’ve become so addicted to staying connected, even when that contact is minimal or filled more with curiosity and comparison than with love and concern. When I got back on Facebook, I realized once again how much I didn’t miss it. As the emails poured into my inbox I recognized my sadness at just how many there were and the life-draining task of clearing the backlog.
If my reality includes ongoing and repetitive response to email, texts, social media, and internet, I’m now convinced more than ever that I will need more frequent breaks. How? I so enjoyed a week without all of it, I’m considering how best to be removed from it more often in the days to come. It’s probably not feasible to give it up completely, so I must decide for myself much more disciplined limits to acquire. I already take a similar break each Sabbath day (from sun down on Saturday to sun down on Sunday), but that’s simply not enough. I need additional “electronics-free” zones that regularly set me free from the constant barrage of email and social media. I need to be released from within myself of manic busyness, popularity contests, and comparisons…and stay focused instead on pursuing a vibrant life with God that’s filled with freedom, joy, peace, and Jesus! How about you?
Do you enjoy the constant state of connectedness that’s available to you each and every moment of the day? Are you more and more engaged in social media in order to stay up or ahead of the game of life? Or are you too tiring of the 24/7 nature of life that the internet, social media, texts, and email lead you to occupy and preoccupy every waking moment of the day? Imagine a life that keeps all of this in better balance and held in proper prospective…you might even notice more, engage more, appreciate more, and ultimately live more abundantly.
Try it and see for yourself! And, whatever you decide, make sure it’s written into your personal rule of life!