Over the past five years, the rise of the smartphone has been incredible. They have changed the way we live, the way we work, the way we communicate, and—with the recently released iPhone 5—the way we pay for things. We have been enamoured by the features of these gadgets and the innovative ways to perform new tasks on a small device. So have they really made us smart, or are we really just dumb for failing to see the big picture?
Technology has changed the world for the better in many ways. We are now able to do more things in less time. But what if those “more things” have exceeded the benefits of time saved. What if we have sacrificed real relationships for unreal “connection”? What if we have virtualised so much of our lives that it is nearly impossible to alight from this twenty-four, seven crazy-train.
Putting aside the morality of the content, technology addiction is an unmeasured and emerging issue. Like Pavlov’s dog, we salivate every time our device beeps, rings, vibrates, or cries for our attention. Waking at night to check Facebook, living on email, and never having any real life connections is a sad indictment on life today.
I am not suggesting that we become Amish, but I believe we need to develop self-control and maintain boundaries when it comes to our use of technology. Man was not created to be a machine or measure value by electronic links. We were created for relationship. Adam and Eve’s relationship with God was one of communion that occurred by daily walking in the garden. It involved face to face discussion and quality (quantity) time. It did not involve sound bites. By knowing less information they knew more.
I believe we need to restore deep and meaningful relationships. This requires a deliberate effort on our part to set technology-free times. It often means getting out of the house or the office and into nature. There is something therapeutic and conversational about gathering around a fire or just being outdoors. I would say that is truly smart.