One recent morning, I left for work with my cell phone sitting on the dining room table. You’ll never guess what happened.
Nothing bothered or distracted me that morning. Focus emerged; and stillness of heart and soul.
Oh, I was still at work and dealing with things; visiting with coworkers and phone-callers; responding to email; working with the rest of the communications staff to get the next issue of The Message ready for printing. It’s just that my cell phone didn’t get in the way.
“I need to do this more often,” I found myself thinking. I was reminded of a time – decades ago – before cell phones became so enslaving. And make no mistake, friends; our smartphones do, indeed, enslave us.
The next time you’re out to dinner, look around that public dining room. I’m willing to wager that you’ll see most of your fellow diners checking their phones often, if not incessantly. You’ll see the same thing in a doctor’s waiting room. I remember when conversation with “fellow waiters” filled that time.
We are losing ourselves in a wireless world of very little that is truly meaningful and impactful.
This little episode caused me to remember an interview that made news across the world last January, when Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church told an interviewer for Russian TV that he believes the worldwide web is paving the way for the antichrist. "The Antichrist is the person who will be at the head of the worldwide web, controlling all of humankind," the BBC reported him saying.
What we all know with certainty is that it appears to be easier and easier for our private information to be compromised via the internet. It appears effortless for “online giants” to know our every virtual move. Google-search for a tire website, for example, and all your social media feeds suddenly start including tire ads.
Many, myself among them, find this a combination of annoying and unnerving. It certainly appears to support what the Russian Orthodox patriarch asserted. Somewhere, right now, some entity is gaining more information about you and me – and everyone we know – thanks to our dependence on our smartphones.
Here’s the point – we have chosen to become enslaved by our wireless phones and their technology. We don’t have to be. We can choose another path.
We can leave our phones at home – or with us but turned off – on a regular basis. We can choose to disconnect more from social media – and most all media, for that matter. I say it that way because books (print and digital) are media, and I suspect all of us could use more healthy doses of them.