Recently, I was walking down a city street when I saw a 60-something woman outside a coffee shop with her two grandchildren. The children were under age five, and chatting away with each other. What struck me about this little tableau was how 2014 it was. The grandmother was checking her smartphone.
How times have changed. From age six to sixty and beyond, everyone seems to have embraced technology, and with it arrives yet another layer of disconnection from the world around us.
But is this really anything new, or have we simply found modern ways to engage in the same activity humans have engaged in for decades, if not centuries.
Back when I was a child, parents and grandparents had a different way of disengaging from the present – it was called a newspaper. Who over the age of 50 doesn’t have a memory of the opened newspaper that acted like a wall between parents and children, and often even spouses. In other homes, the TV or radio was always on, which meant it was always available as a challenge to those who dared engage in the present. The answer to any question that came their way? “Not now, I’m busy.”
Our addictions to distraction are immense, and people use all kinds of excuses to explain it away. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we shouldn’t enjoy being entertained, or that we shouldn’t take the opportunity to be informed about world affairs. These are important and worthy pursuits. The mind does need to flex in creative and new ways. But when the truth is we don’t have a relationship with our grandchildren, or we find ourselves numbing out our brains, then we need to wonder once more about the currency of being plugged in.
The alternative of course is to plug in to something much bigger. Our devices can either use up our energy, or increase our energy. The information we ingest can help us to create something far larger. It can be a productive part of our day. The challenge is for us to be aware of which way the current is flowing. Are we getting re-charged, charged up, or is our battery actually being depleted?
Ernest Holmes says: “If we are really hooked up with the eternal, everlasting, and perfect Energy, then we should never become weary at all.”
All things are equal in the eyes of Spirit. There is no “good and bad” technology. There is only the One Source, and we get to choose when we are plugged in.
When we can be conscious of the difference between searching for something and escaping something, we increase our connection to Source. At that point we take the power back into our own hands and have the ability to choose action.
Even better – we increase the possibility of deepening our relationships with the very people we profess to love. We can only change the conversation if we take part in it – online and off.