When do you say “Enough”?
You see it every time you walk into restaurants, stores, malls, and especially coffee shops. The common, filthy glow of smartphones, tablets and laptops, laid on laps and tables, or held in hands as the user is engrossed in the Twitter, Facebook or Words With Friends notifications that never seem to stop, or trying to beat the new high score of their friends on Temple Run. But when do we say enough?
I just recently laid my phone aside for four months. What! Yes, four whole months. Why you ask? Because it was time to say, enough. Places that used to be centers of life activity, the sharing of thoughts and ideas with real people with real words, have become places where it is easier and that encourage, the indulgence in the virtual reality of media. Everybody has to be connected…but why? Because so many have a mindset that has been slowly and quietly drilled into us that without some way of knowing what’s going on in the world, we’re all but dead. Many spend so much time in this virtual reality, that they basically, and sometimes unwittingly, make it the only world they know, and in the end, though they would never admit it, they are slaves to it. I mean why would you ever want to walk ten seconds down the hall to ask a co-worker something, if you can just simply text him. Right? No.
Understand that I am not trying to say no one should ever use these mediums of communication, but we need to be so careful about what we use them for. Our parents were never sitting and waiting for a ding to go off and a text message to pop up on the screen (what’s a text message?). Less than twenty years ago a phone was just that. A device for calling and actually speaking to the person on the other end. Today it’s so much more. We use it to call, text, instant message, watch movies, listen to music, browse the web and ultimately check out of reality and into our personal, self-focused world, where there’s no one around us to divert our attention from what we want to do.
In this way multitudes often live a double life. They act and speak a certain way in person, but are completely different online. “Staying connected” is simply a nice sounding way of saying “captivated.”
I believe there is a point when we should say, enough is enough. I don’t believe everyone should throw away their phones and media devices, given that they are tools, but we should all step back and look at the big picture. These tools can be used for good, or evil. They can either make us more productive with a right understanding of how to use them, or they can make our sin more effective if we let it rule us.
In closing I don’t know if putting your media away for a time will help everyone, or fix the saturation problem that we have, but then again, how much time are we willing to waste before we acknowledge and realize that God made us to interact as humans, not social media robots, and He placed us in a physical reality, His creation, to enjoy it and bring his name glory and honor?