E-mail and texting are wonderful tools of modern technology. Literally, in a matter of seconds you can communicate with someone anywhere in the world and in short order receive a reply. There are so many times that you need to get in touch with someone to ask a question or to give and receive information. These tools work especially well if you don’t have time to get into a lengthy telephone conversation or your need to transmit critical information in times of an emergency.
As wonderful as this modern technology is there is also a downside. Trying to e-mail or text someone while you are driving is not very smart, it is dangerous and life threatening. Yet, it happens every day and the number of serious accidents and even deaths are on the increase because of it. Many are so addicted to e-mail or texting that even though they may be in a family gathering or attending a social event, they rob themselves of fellowship and communication with those around them because they can’t put down their smartphone or iPad. Whole families sit at home in silence with each member of the family engaged with their iPad or telephone playing games or communicating with someone else and totally disengaged with each other.
I see Mothers who have children in the car backing out of their driveway holding a telephone and engaged in conversation. I see neighbors walking around our neighborhood with the phone glued to their ears. I see men riding in their trucks talking on the phone in heavy traffic. Recent TV documentaries have focused on neglectful parents spending time on their devices and ignoring conversation and interaction with their children who are crying out for attention. Children are not learning social skills, the art of good, thought provoking conversation and exchange of ideas. The downside list of our modern devices is long and disturbing.
I don’t know what the answer to the modern dilemma of technology is. Our devices are here to stay and they will only increase with time. Even my writing about it may be an exercise in futility. But it seems to me that each one of us who use this technology should take time to stop and evaluate the good and the bad that it presents. We can consciously take precautions not to jeopardize our lives and the lives of others by using our phone or iPad while driving. We can limit the time we spend with them daily. We can put them down when we are in the company of family and friends and enter into real live dialogue. We might even find it enjoyable and enlightening. We may find that real, live conversation meets our deepest longing for being loved, valued, cared for and giving us a sense of belonging. Think about it. Each of us has to decide which is more important – devices or people? Philippians 2:4 says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.” (ESV)
In His Love,