Wednesday, March 21, 2007

emails and cell phones and IMs, oh my!

i am a very large user and abuser of technology. i love the convenience that comes with being reached anywhere, being able to reach anyone all the time, being able to just shoot off a message to convey a thought or idea. i use email, cell phones, and IMs each and every day.

with all of the convenience and availability comes a cost however. i am becoming increasingly aware of the fact that these good things, like anything else in life, can become abused and overused. i have often been proud to call myself a "man of moderation". i like to keep things balanced and not too extreme. if i am not careful, the very good things in life can become bad things just due to excess use and misuse.

one problem with the constant use of the technologies mentioned here is the "always on" mentality. as i become more aware that God calls us to live in rhythms that he has set forth (i.e. work six days, rest one) i realize that i am never really "off". i always have my computer and/or cell phone in very close proximity -- likely on my lap. this is not God's design.

one other issue that is very dangerous is the lack of full human interaction. we are told by experts that somewhere around 90-95% of our communication is non-verbal. if this is the case, we have the propensity to be misunderstood by our electronic messages. there are absolutely huge benefits to being able to communicate electronically, however, there are certain situations that may not be appropriate. i am convinced that God designed us to connect at deeper levels than we do. part of the reason that we do not is we are relying on 5-10% of our communication process that he has given us --- using electronic methods to communicate rather than face to face.

so, don't be concerned if you try to reach me sometime (likely a Sunday) and i don't answer my cell phone and don't respond to your email. also, if you hear me say "let's get together over coffee", you'll understand that i am trying to work with God's help to apply what he is laying on my heart.


Anonymous said...

well said J man - i think Kebra and I are going to keep chippin away @ the texting thing with Russell T. Bed time, devotions and prayer with Dad are now competing with friends who text on a regular basis until 11 at night. sure was good to sit with you yesterday . . . face to face!

Anonymous said...

you are so right. relationships dwindle or lack the 'nutrients' needed as a result of our 'techno instant communication'. Another way to look at it may even be heartless... maybe even souless in some instances. our God is a communicator of the heart and to recognize to listen and to speak with intention at the heart is what keeps us real to each other and real with ourselves. love is a matter of the heart and God is love so to be like God... we must... (create your own rabbit trail here.) I'm too good at this. :) I'm ALL heart! - just dont steal lines from "Jerry McGuire"

Nate Long said...

I love to see the biblical concept of Sabbath spreading! Now we just need to get our Sabbaths on the same day. Otherwise I'm not going to be responding on Saturday and your not going to be responding on Sunday, and we will have Sabbath collision domains!

Anonymous said...

You've taken a turn in the bend, or should I say, a step back in time. I have often told you growing up, words are powerful, choose them wisely. But words spoken to the people we love, who know us and read us take on a deeper leval of communication while looking into their eyes or recognizing a familiar movement or gesture. You can't text that. Nor can you sense that through a machine. A touch, a smile, a raising of an eyebrow, bring words to life. Sometimes, that may be all we have. It is so worth putting down the wonderful world of technology and picking up a loved ones hand. I'm so proud of your growth.