I’m an observer. I’m usually very aware of what’s going on around me, whether it’s the goings on of nature, human interaction, or the physical surroundings themselves. I just notice things; it’s the way I’m wired. Actually, I think it’s the way we were all originally wired. It’s why we have five senses, so we have many different ways to experience our own life and life as it happens around us.
But then, along came technology. Along came lap tops and tablets and smart phones. Along came social media.
Don’t get me wrong. I love all my devices, and social media is amazing. I have incredible connections and crazy, “only God”- type things that have happened (and are happening) through its seemingly endless reach. But it’s distracting. If anything’s going to take my take my eye off the ball, it’s the phone in my hand and the media app on its screen. It can easily settle us into a virtual existence, when its very best quality should be facilitating real life interaction.
Because we’re living real life…or we’re supposed to be
I saw a post last night, on this very topic, addressing young moms with their faces toward their phones while their kids were twirling and dancing and crossing the monkey bars, crying “Mommy! Watch me! Watch me!” We’ve seen it a million times. You can’t go anywhere…ANYWHERE…without seeing someone in the familiar posture of head slightly down and one hand holding the phone while the other is swiping the screen or furiously typing in text. I’m right there in the mix and you know what?
We’re missing things, folks.
That post made me remember a time when, as a little girl with very long hair, I walked outside on a pleasant spring evening after having that hair washed and combed out. The hair washing and combing was no small feat, as the only detangler available wasn’t from a bottle, but the patient hand of my mother and a fine-toothed comb. I hated it, and was always so happy when it was over. My dad was sitting out there under a huge cedar tree that grew in our front yard, his face trained on the media of the day…a newspaper. When he saw me coming, he set the paper aside and chatted with me, listening to whatever came out of my chatty little mouth, completely engaged. Engaged enough that he happened to spy a blob of white goo departing a bird that was flying overhead. My head, to be exact. My just-cleaned, freshly combed head. In an act of valor I’ll never forget, he deftly grabbed the newspaper and placed it above my head just in time, sparing me from another go-round with shampoo and the comb.
I’m thankful that all happened before the advent of current technology, or I doubt I would’ve been as lucky. Maybe today is a good day to put it all down and open our eyes a little…maybe engage more with the world, and those around us…maybe take notice a little more of loved ones, or they could end up with bird poop on their heads and they won’t like it. I promise.
“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things…” Psalm 119:18 ESV
All of us need to take this to heart and revisit our priorites! Melinda, even today he would put his phone down and his eyes on you, no bird poop! 🙂
Yes Mom, I think he would. 🙂
Agreed, Melinda. We need balance and self-control when it comes to all the amazing technology available to us, don’t we? Blessings to you!
Our area was out of cell service, telephone land line service and internet service for about 45 minutes last week. Oh, the Facebook posts that generated. I saw one woman post that she was terrifed and all she wanted was to get home to her children. Immediately I knew she was younger than me…much younger. She has never lived in a world without mobile devices. I, and you too, I bet, remember the day when all we had were land lines and if you needed to call someone on the road you drove until you found a PAY PHONE.
I am as guilty as anyone at having too much screen time and not enough face time. Great post, Melinda.
Thanks lady…and of course I remember. I think of those days all the time, how I was tethered to the wall by the cord of the kitchen wall phone when I wanted to make a call. When I would go ALL DAY completely unreachable, and how the thought of that, now, sounds both terrifying and blissful. 🙂