September 29, 2011

Spiritual Disciplines XIII: Unplug

Technology Can Build or Destroy Relationships

I have actually written extensively on this on my blog in Spiritually Severed (no pun intended). To some extent we have all become victims or willing slaves to technology. Many of my communications are more dehumanized as they are online. It is strange, I have never been more connected to people through technology but never more distant as electronic forms of communication have nearly eliminated the need for face-to-face communication. When we fail to make the personal connection and instead do it in an informal manner through cellular technology we begin to breakdown and destroy a basic need of humanity which is close relation and interaction, in some cases the visual communication of body language and for intimates the communication of a touch

People Yell At You Because They Care

I am occasionally told that I spend too much time on the computer or online. Mostly because of school work when it gets heavy in the beginning of semesters or in online summer classes. I have now also started using computers for creation of sermon manuscripts this also requires me to sink quite a few hours into computer use. If I am told I've spend too much time on the computer I usually shut it down. Their obvious concern (and mine) is that I am not investing enough time in my flesh and blood relationships. These are clearly paramount and I know this so when I am online or on the computer especially for work or school work I like to make the most efficient use of my time.

What's The Attraction of Being Plugged In?

One of my huge online usages is for publishing a blog that I started about 2 years ago called SoulJournaler. It now has a following of 1000 registered users with more joining every week and others following through Twitter and other networks. It is a place where I can reach people with the Gospel and teach people the things that I have learned. Also online there is a nearly endless source of knowledge and information if one knows where to look for it.

What's The Attraction of Being Unplugged?

The same things that bothers my wife about me being on the computer to much are the same thing that bothers me. I know for a fact that I need to spend as much time with my family and people I care about that I can. We only come through this world in the way that we do one time. Eventually if we stay plugged in to long its like we are plugged into a backwashing sewer. We end up getting nothing out of the Internet or time in our gadgets but waste or wasted time. We need to utilize the time to the best of our ability. It should not be spend constantly with our heads jammed up against a backlit TFT screen or hammering out keystrokes and tapping a thumb-pad. Our computers cannot tell us they love us and they cannot hug us, our kids and family members can.

Hidden Dangers of Being Plugged In

I learned the hard way that the biggest danger the Internet posed for me is the ease that a person can spend money. Nearly anything you can imagine can now be found on line for a cost and all it requires is a credit card number and time. Since I am married I have to answer to my wife if I spend too much money. This brings a strain to our relationship and it isn’t worth it. So it is a checks-and-balances system that works for me. It isn’t as if we have any to spend to begin with. If things are purchased they are usually purchased on credit and paid back within the month to avoid interest. Therein lays one of the dangers. Buy now pay later. A person still owes the money and if paid at a later date it is paid with interest. It is better to not even spend money, especially if money is spent that you do not have.

Unplug from the box and plug into your life while you still have it. You'll be glad you did.

You don't get this time back.

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