Thursday, July 18, 2013

unplugging: the temptation to walk away

1 comment:

Sometimes I let myself think about a world where we don't have any screens in our house. No movies, no Wii, no Facebook. It's usually when I get to the no Facebook part that I break out in hives. The fact is, I created this monster. I introduced them to technology to give myself some space, and now it runs all of us. If we're indoors, then we're looking at screens. All of us. And we are usually indoors. "Well," I rationalize, "this is the way we communicate with the outside world. Just like the housewives of the 40's, hanging out on party lines, right?" "And besides," I tell myself, "my kids are learning how to be Steve Jobs, so..." The fact is, even if both of those things are potentially true, we are consuming for the vast majority of our screen time, and producing very little. 

I miss the pre-social-network days a little bit. I was more lonely, I'm sure, because I don't talk on the phone and few people in my season of life get to do a lot of hanging out with pals, but I know I was more connected to my kids. 

I read these articles, these people who unplugged for a year or months, and I am straight up jealous. I try to imagine what it would be like to do an outing with my kids or a group of friends and not Instagram it, to see a movie and not tell anyone what I thought about it. I wonder what it would be like to not feel the not unpleasant, but nagging obligation, to update my status and let my friends know where I am and what I'm doing. I try to think about how I'd pass my time, and if I'd feel isolated and go nuts. What if I just lived my life by myself, by myself with the people that are with me, I think. It sounds horrifying, lonely and so tempting. It also seems impossible. I live hundreds or thousands of miles away from my family and my lifelong friends, wouldn't I miss knowing the minute details of their lives? Right now I still feel connected to lots of people, because I know those details. What would it be like to lose that connection? "Well," you say, "you could always call them." That's a nice idea, but I've lived with myself my whole life and I know, I'm not going to call them. We'll just slip away from each other. I can't lie to myself about that, it would make a difference.

And the practical things, like mapping restaurants and running businesses and answering emails, how would that fit into an unplugged life? What if my kids are budding app developers and computer gurus of the future, won't they need computers for that? If you came here for answers, I apologize. I've only got questions, and your answers won't work for us. It's a case-by-case thing. 

So I try to make compromises, schedules, just less media, instead of none. Still, the reality that we could almost walk away from it all is there, in the back of my mind. I'm trying to think of a way to dial it way, way back, to turn our attention to art and music and books, and to only use technology for producing, for loving Jesus and people, for using our gifts and talents. I don't know yet how that's going to work, I'm just saying it's in the ol' mind percolator. Stay tuned. 

1 comment:

  1. You will figure it out! I know that I really enjoy my grandbabies so much more screenless.... they seem to enjoy playing "sorry" or crazy 8 when Super Mario isn't an option. You are a wonderful mom and your children will be well rounded people people AND video game creators. They can be both!


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