A few days ago I was having a conversation with one of my friends. He was opening up to me about a lot of stuff going on in his life. I respect nothing more than when someone is vulnerable with me about a pain or struggle in their life. While this was going on, I caught myself checking my email on my phone. I have been waiting to hear from medical schools the last few months. The habit of checking my email has been burnt into my mind. I realized what I was doing and slipped my phone in my back pocket. However, throughout the rest of my conversation, the phone in my pocket felt like an alarm that needed to be silenced. The only way to do that was to check it. CHECK IT. CHECK IT. CHECKKKKKKK IT!
I felt like Gollum in dire need of the ring.
This isn’t an “anti-technology” post. Just to be clear. There are so many great uses for technology. I would not be able to write this blog if it were not for technology.
Technology is not the problem. I am the problem.
Most of the time, when I check my phone it is to ESCAPE.
Escape from what?
Lots of things. When I am in a line I check my phone to escape talking to people. When I am bored I check my phone to escape the feeling of boredom. When I am alone, I check my phone to feel less lonely. Oh how much I use my silver rectangle as a crutch!
Now to make this about Jesus…..
Technology becomes a problem when we depend on it rather than on Christ.
Technology becomes a problem when we are so focused on the screen we don’t look into the eyes of our neighbor.
Technology becomes a problem when our reality becomes distorted.
This semester one of my professors made a great comparison to the Bible story of the Good Samaritan. He pointed out that we pass by hurting men and women on the road as we walk through campus.
Next time you walk around your college campus, high school hallway, or even the supermarket—what do you see? Well, for me I see everyone staring at the glowing rectangle in their hands.
My teacher posed the question….
“How many times have you passed by a hurting neighbor but you were so focused on your phone that you did not notice?”
There are certain moments in my life where I just want to cry. I wanted to cry because his statement held so much truth yet I know myself…and it is so.hard.to. stop.
Technology can create an addiction. In some ways it has for me. To say that it has not is lying.
Friends, it is time we start realizing the power that is behind technology. By understanding that it is a powerful tool that is reshaping society allows us to see both the good and the bad uses.
As I stated above, when one’s dependence is on anything earthly they will be unsatisfied. Today, I pray that instead of focusing on the three inch by three inch light we focus our eyes on the Light of the World. He is our dependence.
Don’t let the ring of technology turn you into a Gollum.
I promise you this…
The next time you are surrounded by the people you love: friends, family, or even strangers—put your phone away. Look them in the eyes. Listen with all your might.
The Gollum in you will be SILENCED.