“No! That’s not how you do it!” yelled one of my children. “You’re not the boss of me. I can do it however I want!” responded another. I could tell that their rising pitches were going to quickly lead to meltdown and hair pulling. Not a great place for a knockdown, drag-out fight in the confines of our pop-up trailer. I’d like to say that they were arguing over how best to structure a game of pirates and booty, using the campground as the landscape for their imaginations, when in reality they were fighting over how to play a video game.
Ugh. Isn’t camping suppose to be a relaxing, calming balm to the hectic pace of our lives?
My fault, true. I brought my computer because I had to get a bit of, ahem, work done during vacation. And while my kids are one of the last few in America to own video game equipment, they never cease to find ways, because lo and behold, I evidently have built in video games on my computer.
I can definitely attest to the fact that electronics, whether cell phones, video games, computers, or television, lead to brain drain. Our brains literally are on a constant “high,” anticipating the next email, the next text, the next “You’ve just won $10,000! Click here!!!!!!”
Our brains, our bodies crave rest and downtime.
Unplug. Just let it go. That’s right. Sure, you’ve got work to do. Yeah, I understand that you’ve got deals in the making and a boss who expects you to please her every demand.
But you’re paying for it, and you know it.
Technology is not a bad thing, necessarily. It’s what you do with it that matters. And simply put—our time investment in all things technology-related is time away from what really matters: family, rest, fun and recreation, personal and spiritual growth.
Time is our most valuable asset, and we are not spending it wisely! We have become slaves to the ever-increasing demands of our society. And the irony of ironies is that we work on our time off. We always find things to do, simply because we cannot unplug and get away from it all.
We are weary, yet can’t find the strength to shout, “No more!” Instead, many Christians espouse, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Internet.” We want to serve our families. We want to serve our community. We want to serve our Lord. However, we don’t know how. Being plugged in has become habitual.
For those of you, who like me, desire to unplug so you can tune in (to life!), here are some guiding questions that will help you to shake off the shackles of technology so you can live the life God desires:
- How many hours a day do you spend on all things technology-related (computer, video games, Internet, cell phone/texting, television, etc.)? A week? A year?
- What are the best things in life for you (ex: family, God, spiritual growth, hobbies, etc.)?
- What kind of boundaries do you need to put in place to protect those best things listed above?
- What are the temporal and eternal consequences if you don’t put those boundaries in place?
- What will be your greatest challenge when it comes to unplugging?
- What plan must you create to rise to the challenge?
- What does a life of “more” look like, and how does unplugging fit into the framework?
So I sit here in my pop-up doing work while my husband is off in the woods with the kids. We’ve snatched the computer from them, so they can explore and discover.
I think it’s time I join them.