I live like a captive too often.
Lately, I’ve felt imprisoned to my devices. The notifications bell on my computer rings. A red circle with a “2” or “7” pops up on my iPhone. I wonder what they say. Maybe it’s an important message that will change my life, will pay off all my debts, will make me feel better, make me feel loved.
Usually, it’s a spam email from Staples. Sometimes it’s telling me that Sarah is waiting for my next move on “Words with Friends.” I hit a point this weekend where I said, Does it really matter? The techno-anxiety was eating me up. Last night I turned off my cell phone, waking up this morning alarm-less just so that my notifications wouldn’t be the first thing I thought about.
As a follower of Jesus, I’m warned not to let any system, any way of thinking, take me captive that will pale in comparison to the love I know in God.
Now, before I’m ready to throw out all my devices, this morning I missed a call from my roommate saying, “S.O.S.! I need toilet paper.” This afternoon I received a lovely Facebook message from someone apologizing for something she said that may have offended me, and affirming me as a member of her team. I’m glad that I got the second message, and sorry that I missed the first. The moments where we can reach out to each other and build each other up through technology–these are love. These are Jesus in action.
How do I let my iPhone be an aid to love rather than a hindrance to it? How do I restore the healthy balance between boundaries and openness, a strong back and a soft heart in the technological wilderness?