Ronald Rolheiser writes in The Restless Heart, “No person has ever walked our earth and been free from the pains of loneliness. Rich and poor, wise and ignorant, faith-filled and agnostic, healthy and unhealthy have all alike had to face and struggle with its potentially paralyzing grip. It has granted no immunities. To be human is to be lonely.”
He goes on to write, “Under the surface, though, we are not easily fooled by our own facade of strength. We hurt, and we live in pain, in loneliness, damned loneliness. Unfortunately, too, the cost of our self-deception is high. We pay a heavy price for not admitting our loneliness, facing it squarely, and grappling with it honestly. Loneliness, as we shall see, is most dangerous when it is not recognized, accepted, and worked through creatively. It is then that it wreaks havoc with our lives. Conversely, too, we shall see that it is a tremendously creative and humanizing force when it is recognized and addressed correctly.”
How do we run from our loneliness? In our media saturated and hyper-connected culture, how can technology mask our feelings of loneliness?
Last night we concluded our series of seminars on technology and the faith with a session titled “Protecting Your Family Online.” I believe that the church needs to be actively informing families about the benefits and dangers of technology. Technology can enhance family connections but it can also destroy them.
Here are some resources for parents on how to set healthy boundaries with the internet and protect your children:
Great Overview of Internet Safety[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/user/CommonSenseMedia#p/a/FE4141CAE38B0AE4/1/H0xh9uTEMg0%5D
Recent studies from the Barna Group show that technology is having a profound impact on family life. David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, writes, “Technology is shaping family interactions in unprecedented ways, but we seem to lack a strategic commitment to the stewardship of technology. The Christian community needs a better, more holistic understanding of how to manage existing and coming technological advances. Parents, tweens and teens need more coaching and input in order to face the countless choices they make regarding how technology affects their attention, interests, talents and resources.” Read the rest of this entry
People in the workplace talk at length about work/life balance, but I believe the real issue now is tech/life balance. I recently went to AT&T to get a free phone and over 90% of my available choices were smart phones. The sales person was dumbfounded that I wanted a “dumb phone,” as I call it, that won’t connect to the internet. People now have the power of a personal computer in their cell phone that they can access the internet, apps and their email. Boredom is a thing of the past when you can play Angry Birds while you are waiting for an oil change. There are definitely benefits to having all this power in your cell phone, but it becomes an issue when we don’t have tech/life balance with our families. Read the rest of this entry