Sometimes you need to take a break from technology
Thursday, May 15, 2014 10:43 am
“As long as the general population is passive, apathetic, diverted to consumerism or hatred of the vulnerable, then the powerful can do as they please, and those who survive will be left to contemplate the outcome.” — Noam Chomsky
As part of a recent family getaway, I was ordered “offline” while out of the country!
No smart phones allowed at our son’s “destination” wedding, I was told - meaning no email, Facebook, Twitter, or Linked In. No Instagram or Instagrunt. Access to lots of pints, for sure, but not to Pinterest.
Books were permitted, thankfully, enabling me to encounter the ever-perceptive Chomsky’s insight as noted above.
Sure enough, the sun rose every morning on schedule despite the fact that North America, the self-anointed centre of the universe, was far away. I didn’t even know there’d been an early May snowstorm in Alberta until I returned. So sorry to have missed that. Among the many reflections that occupied my thinking while on my social-media sabbatical was how easy it is in what we call “normal life” to become swamped by the trivial. That led to some meaningful thought on what it means to live in a culture where so much of our time and energy is consumed by that which is comparatively and ultimately inconsequential.
One of the things that gets we preacher-types in hot water very quickly these days, of course, is any attempt to define for the masses what pursuit or priority qualifies as consequential or inconsequential. So, in the interests of living another day, let me simply articulate several personal opinons I derived from my ocean-side musings while on social-media holiday.
I will endeavour to live my life with a greater aversion to the insidious lure of social media to be encumbered by a virtual placard about my neck that declares: “Do not disturb! I’m too busy with my stuff!”
I will better engage the necessity of realizing that preoccupation with “my stuff” is at the core of much that is ignoble and ugly in an increasingly narcissistic culture. It is not “all about me.”
I will commit to spending more of my mental energy each day via the perspective of considering how much importance the people of South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine or the West Bank would attach to my “problem.” And I will persevere in asking all people – regardless of race, handicap, sexual orientation, political or religious preference – “hey, what’s up!?” and truly mean it, no strings attached.
Tim is pastor of Faith Community Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org