My title alludes to a new book that was just released this October. Although I haven’t read the book yet (it’s now on my mile-high list), I can tell from the title that I will like it. Another book in the same vein is called Digital Invasion by Dr. Archibald Hart, which is set to release June 2013. This book drew my attention a few mornings ago when I was up at 5 am rocking a restless Caleb. Moody Radio had Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk on during this hour, and the guest host was Dr. Hart, who is also a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary.
Although I had hoped to get another hour of sleep that morning, I soon became grateful that Caleb had awakened me. This half hour was riveting. Especially after witnessing the effects of technology day in and day out on my students AND my family, I was engrossed with his candid conclusions. If you have time, you can listen to both part 1 and part 2 online. He brought up many points that I’ve been inaudibly mulling over this past year: (1) We are losing our ability to appreciate quietness and meditation, (2) We cannot have real relationships anymore, (3) The constant speech and multitasking of technology is really making our brain lose content.
As if this wasn’t convicting enough, I tuned in to Breakpoint on my way to school at 6:45 a.m., and I heard a clip entitled the “Lonely Generation.” This broadcast highlights how our imaginations are being highjacked by intense use of technology. And, furthermore, our sense of self worth is becoming linked to our presence on social media sites, such as how many likes or comments we get on a post or tweet.
All these messages resonate with me. It’s baffling to think that within my lifetime I can witness two strikingly different worlds: one with my great grandparents where the extent of technology interruptions involved a viewing of the nightly news in their later years, and one where my son can slip on his Google glasses and live in an alternate world. I know that this post is mostly a bunch of ramblings, but I feel that one thing is clear. We should set some guidelines for ourselves to ensure that we are still the master of technology, and it is not the master of us. As for me, I think I just might borrow from the following list by Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd, co-author of The Digital Invasion. She calls these “My Digital Boundaries.”
- Do not check my Smartphone until after my morning devotions.
- End my digital day at 9:00 p.m.
- Don’t check my Smartphone when having lunch or dinner with a friend, or leave phone in car.
- Take a digital fast every Sunday.
- No digital gadgets at meal times.
- Limit checking emails or texts to once an hour.
- Try not to talk on phone to virtual people when real people are in front of me.
- Pray daily for God to help me become a good steward of my virtual life.
I can’t help but wonder how we could alter the direction of our world into a better place if we instuted like-minded boundaries. I know it sounds easier than it will be, but I’m hoping to redeem a little bit of my life back by trying these out.