It is a little bit sickening how much I depend on my phone. This was brought to my attention yesterday when i took my broken, unable to text phone to Verizon. The lady told me I had to wait a day before I could upgrade to a new one. You would have thought she punched me in the face by the way I responded. 24 hours without texting. It should not be that big of a deal.
So, I was left with no choice but to wait a day. And, yes, it was annoying. And, yes, texting can be very convenient. And, yes, I am thankful for technology.
But it was extremely refreshing not to be able to text. It has quickly become such a normal part of society. From the 8 year old I babysit I messaging off his iPad to my 87 year old grandmother sending "Love u" texts off her ancient flip phone, everyone is texting these days.
But when something happens and you suddenly can't, it causes you to stop and think. I had to actually make an effort if I wanted to communicate with someone. I left a handwritten note to tell my roommates what was going on. I prayed a lot more yesterday during my free moments. I was certainly a safer driver. I paid more attention in class. And when I needed to make plans with a friend, I called him and we chatted about our days rather than just a simple "Meet us at 630 tomorrow for the concert" text. In my break between classes, I engaged with the girls around me rather than asking my roommates what was for dinner. In a lot of ways, not be able to text made me way more connected. It made me be present.
After all, the name of this blog and a mantra that I try to incorporate into my daily life is "wherever you are, BE ALL THERE". I am not anti-texting or against technology at all, but I just think we need to take a step back and see if it is helping us or just giving us a screen to hide behind? I got the new iPhone today (!!) so I can text again. And yes, it is nice. My best friend is spending the year in china and I hadn't talked to her in three days which felt like forever. But she is in CHINA. Halfway across the world. It is incredible that we can communicate at all, but three days is not that long considering just a few years ago we would have had to wait weeks, maybe even months for a letter to arrive in order to communicate between American and China. So, that does not mean I need to ignore everyone around me to text her all the time just because we have the luxury of texting.
I think that I need to challenge myself to use technology to connect. Does that mean texting sometimes? Absolutely. Does that mean texting while I'm sitting at dinner with friends? Probably not. That is all I am saying...I am thankful for what technology gives us all, but we need to make sure we use it for just that. Connecting with others. And not as a way to avoid connecting with where we actually are.
That's my rant and I hope it at least makes you think.