In working with literally hundreds of individuals and families over the past several years I’ve seen this evolution first hand.
I must admit that my initial hesitance to purchase my first smart phone back in 2010 was due to the fact that I saw this dilemma quickly evolving.
After seven years, sadly as much as I try, it seems a daily effort to monitor my “screen time”. I don’t play games, or involve myself with a lot of social media. My time on my device is spent mostly on development, administration, organization, training, etc., you know all the “justifiable” things. Ha, ha! Right? NOT!
The growing evidence of psychological and emotional damage this imbalance is having on human kind should grab our attention and demand change.
The privilege of having my children close and the growing amount of time I now get to spend around my grandchildren, I find myself guilty of exactly what this article reveals.
Just a glimpse here, a tap there, oh and that email I have to reply to, or that research I have to do that just popped into my head, mostly because I’m trying to keep up with my brain, which is forever inquisitive and growing more and more addicted to my immediate access to the world of information I can dig up within seconds.
All the while I’m missing the moments I will never get to celebrate again. The search I had to perform, the text I had to return will most likely be waiting for me later on after my wife, my children and my grandchildren have went to school, work or to bed.
But the sweet voices calling to me to spend time with them, share their day with me, or just sit across the room and enjoy each other’s company will be lost by the endless trail of taps, clicks, posts and senseless videos.
As I get older and realize I’ve thrown aside those who matter most I will look at a pile of now antiquated devices that clutter a box in my office and wonder why I didn’t discipline myself to use the technology God gave me as a gift to help me work more efficiently in order to have the time to love more effectively.
Someday soon I will long for them to call out to me again, to sit next to me, to share their day, their joys and their fears. To talk about the wonder of God’s creation and the blessing of relationship.
Regardless of whether you feel your life is in the mundane routine of day to day stuff, or just maybe your stepping into a new season, there’s no better time to reconnect with those who matter most.
You will never regret the pictures you didn’t post on social media or the candies you couldn’t crush. You won’t care how many “Likes” or “Shares” you accumulated on your video posts or written rants. What you will regret is the loneliness you will live with when you see the wedges of disconnection that your decisions have driven between you and the ones you love.
I’m not a technology nazi. I thank God for this blessing that He gave us. I am though begging Him to help me discipline myself in its proper use. To remind myself that I am the master, it is not. To help me schedule my time wisely and block out times to utilize my digital assistants so as not to allow those who are with me to feel devalued and less than the most important priority in my life.
At what point did the person, game or latest trending post on social media become more important than the one breathing the same oxygen you are breathing while you are sitting together in the same room?
My invitation is for you to join me in shutting off your alarms, putting down your device, holding onto your loved ones and celebrating your chance to live life with them by God’s grace.
I sincerely apologize to my beautiful wife, Belinda, to my daughter, Laurén, my son and daughter in law, Robert and Lori, to my grandchildren and any others who have been led to feel less than your greatest worth because of an interruption from my device that could have more than likely waited. These are the faces worthy of my time. These are the faces God has placed before me to influence first, and value most.
I love you and thank the Lord for the undeserved privilege of being in your lives.
God bless you,
Ps. Yes I’m writing this on my device, yes my family is asleep, and yes I’m going to shut it down and crawl in bed with my wife now. ????