“We want to complexify our lives. We don’t have to, we want to. We wanted to be harried and hassled and busy. Unconsciously, we want the very things we complain about. For if we had leisure, we would look at ourselves and listen to our hearts and see the great gaping hole in our hearts and be terrified, because that hole is so big that nothing but God can fill it.” – Peter Kreeft, Author
TECHNOLOGY IS AMAZING.
I am a huge fan of innovation. Technology has changed my life, and has made it vastly better in unimaginable ways. I am a huge fan of the Silicon Valley where we live, and the inspiring creativity all around us. The purpose of this article is to examine our tendencies & habits toward devices, for better, and at times, for worse. The goal is to experience the amazing benefits of technology with wise, healthy boundaries.
1 | RECOGNIZE TECHNOLOGY’S REACH.
“The digital revolution, for all its benefits, is also an accomplice to our experience of being hassled, frazzled, and crazy busy.” – Kevin DeYoung, Author
We live in a culture-defining era where we approach work, technology, and community in paradigm-shifting ways. We collaborate and converse like never before. We meet new people, socialize & share personal experiences online in ways previously unimagined. We access & consume information with great ease, because the entire world is at our fingertips.
We are deeply immersed in the benefits of technology, and yet, do we consider the depth of its reach into our lives? What is the cost of neglecting personal interaction with those around us because we’re always busy on our devices? What is the toll of email pings, text messages, and social media updates constantly interrupting or precluding quality time together with those we love? How can we navigate the new-found expectation to be always connected to work? How can we work with concentration and focus when push notifications interrupt us every few minutes? And these are only the superficial costs.
Consider the deeper realities. What will be the result when a child is accidentally exposed to inappropriate content online? How is a teen’s self esteem destroyed by perfectly filtered images on social media? What can a spouse do when their lover is consumed by an addiction to porn that’s just a swipe away? How can an adult respond with something other than apathy to every global crisis on their news feed? The first step to approaching technology with wisdom is to observe the ever-present reality of technology and the reach that it has in your life, both for better and for worse.
2 | SET HEALTHY BOUNDARIES.
One of the best books I read in 2017 was Andy Crouch’s Tech-Wise Family. Crouch describes a healthy approach to technology where we “put technology in its proper place” and although none of our tech-use patterns are exactly alike, we can all take steps to ensure that we have a healthy grasp on our usage habits.
Crouch lists Tech-Wise Commitments that we can make to set healthy boundaries. He writes, “We wake up before our devices do, and they ‘go to bed’ before we do.” Crouch advocates “putting your devices to bed” in a location other than your bedside table, so that the first moments and last moments of your day are devoted to things more important than mindless scrolling. Crouch also writes, “We use screens for a purpose, and we use them together, rather than using them aimlessly and alone.” When it comes to the role technology is allowed to have in your life, define the purpose, set limits, and have accountability. Share passwords with your spouse, set protective safeguards for your children, and don’t be lured by inappropriate content.
- The Tech-Wise Family, Andy Crouch
- Crazy Busy, Kevin DeYoung
- 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You, Tony Reinke
What about you? What has your experience been with technology & healthy boundaries? How do you navigate the total-access-tech-saturated-world we live in? We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts with Eden via your favorite social media: Eden on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.
Authored By Kayla Atondo. Kayla serves as the Communications Director at Eden.
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