a quick word on technology

Cells phones and internet were just starting to be normal life when I was young, but by the time I become old enough to realize it, they were already popular. Before long, it seemed like everyone had a cell phone and then came smartphones.

When I spent a week alone at home this past summer, I found there seemed no reason that I couldn’t use my smartphone during dinner. I cooked a meal for myself, set a single place at the table, and sat down to eat. There was no conversation to keep my attention, so naturally I pulled my phone from my pocket. Any new emails? How about I read a few more pages from my latest Kindle book. It was fine, but it also felt wrong, and after a couple meals, I decided this wasn’t the way for things to work well.

Typically I say no phones during meals because it means being distracted from the people sitting beside us. That week I found that not using a smartphone during dinner isn’t just about interacting with the people–it’s more about living in the moment, devoting my full attention to whatever is happening in my life. I put down my smartphone, and enjoyed the taste of good food, the silence of a quiet house, and indulged in thinkingIt was quiet, beautiful, and real, and I enjoyed it all by myself.

smartphone pic

It took a long time to embrace this sort of private, intentional living, but it’s rewarding and energizing. There is beauty with seeing life through my own eyes not through the screen of a smartphone. There is depth and authenticity to having a conversation with friends, uninterrupted by the ding of a text message notification. There’s a pleasantness about enjoying a moment all alone and never saying a word about it to the rest of the world.

It’s exciting in a unique way to know I’m living in the moment, simply and intentionally loving the people around me. Sure, I may not remember the moment two weeks from now, but that’s okay (plus, that’s what journals are for). News is most fun when shared with friends personally, rather than updated for the world to see.

And yes, I’m saying this on my public blog because I’m not all down on technology. I’m thankful for the ability I now have to share thoughts in a bigger way and interact with people outside my home or city. I grow as a writer by the accountability that comes with publishing something for my readers weekly. But nothing’s better than letting the public, online world take a backseat to all the exciting things happening right in front of me in the lovely world God created.

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17 thoughts on “a quick word on technology

  1. This is great. Since I live by myself, I am almost always researching on my computer, or reading a book, while eating (I get a lot of studying done that way). Since I haven’t jumped onto the smartphone, though, maybe I only lose half a point? :P

    • Thanks for commenting, Daniel! Because you have so many interesting facts or quotes for every situation, and you probably learned some of them during meals, I figure we can say it’s okay. ;) Ha-ha!

  2. Wow. Really great point you make in this post! Recently been working on putting my technology in a drawer and forgetting it there, and this post inspires me to be more intentional in that pursuit. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I, too, have found a lot of freedom lately, the more time I’ve spent away from technology. It’s amazing how much else can get done when you just intentionally stay away and find other ways to spend your time. (Side note: One of the only reasons I’m on the computer anymore is because my tablet tells me you made a post and I want to come comment. =P)

    And it’s crazy how much more you *enjoy* life when you unplug. And when you just live and don’t feel obligated to share every detail of your life with all your friends. ;) My favorite line from your post was this one: “There’s a pleasantness about enjoying a moment all alone and never saying a word about it to the rest of the world.” So. True. I need to cultivate that skill. And also use those moments to rejoice in the goodness and grace of God in my life. Funny enough, I tend to do that less when I surround myself with technology. So that’s probably the biggest reason I need to step away more often.

    • That’s great that you’ve been able to move away from technology more lately! It sort of feels to me like technology can just drain me of the energy and enthusiasm that I could have about the life God gave me– a feeling I don’t at all enjoy but I find myself coming back to much more often than I’d like.

      Ha-ha, I sure appreciate you reading and commenting]- thanks!

  4. Wow, such a good post Amy! I do enjoy it so much when I put technology away for a while, I just don’t do it enough! Have an article I need to send you on this same topic. :)

  5. Having just been given my first “Smart-phone” I know how this is! I have made the rule for myself that I turn off the data/wi-fi except for specific times when I have the time. This is something that is a big problem with this generation that was not even thought of in the past generation! Technology has helped us so much, from making us be able to communicate to people world-wide, to allowing us to find out information in a short amount of time, yet all of that can become a bad thing when we let it get in the way.

    • Yes, exactly! That’s great that you made a plan for how to use your smartphone wisely! I’m really grateful for technology, but it’s take a good deal of intentionality to not get sucked into the mindset of society and abuse the blessing. Thanks for commenting! Oh, and enjoy your smartphone! :-)

      • You are welcome, Amy. I have found so many ways that a smart-phone helps with everyday jobs, I have a time tracker for working, a eBay and etsy app for selling, a email app… but yes, I have found that if I don’t set guidelines then it is so easy to waste time.
        But, yes I do enjoy the smartphone. :-)
        I hope all is well with you all there!

  6. Amy!! I’ve missed a lot of your posts I see, =/ but hopefully I’m back to see them all. ;)
    This is a big subject to touch on… seeing how much the world is so techno now. I am one who you can point a finger at for being on my smartphone too much.. So thanks for the thoughts on enjoying the moments, and not trying to capture them on a phone. :)

    • Sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to your comment! I know, technology is huge, and there’s no way one little post is going to have the answers about it. ;) I have a problem with being on my smartphone too much, also. But you’re most welcome for the thoughts- thank you for commenting!

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