Monday, January 14, 2013

Almost Amish
Chapter 2 - Technology
Technology serves as a tool and not master
I was in a predicament one day as I had lost my cell phone. (I'm sure we've all been there.) Funny thing is that it had been lost for a few days before I realized it was missing. I called around and figured out where it had "gone-a-missin' ", loaded up my crew and arrived at our destination. As I ran in to pick it up, the lady behind the counter said something that stuck with me. I thanked her and she said, "Glad you found it. These things are our life line."
Our life line.
I was taken back.
I didn't have the heart to tell her that it had been a few days since I realized I was missing it. It wasn't my life line! But, I know these fancy little contraptions are for some people. I guess I'm just weird, but funny thing is that I'm okay with that. I've come to accept it rather.
The whole point of Sleeth's technology chapter today is that technology can be a wonderful thing, but when it becomes our "life line" to where we can't live without it, it can be trouble. Technology can be a great tool, but too much of something is never good.
Have you ever been chatting with someone or visiting and their nose is stuck in the phone a large majority of the time and you're thinking, "Hey! Are you even listening to me?"
Sleeth made a list of things she loved about technology and they are the following:
1. I can work anytime, anywhere.
2. I can check e-mail anytime.
3. People get back to me immediately.
4. I can access entertainment anytime.
5. I can stay informed all the time.
6. I can get in touch with almost anyone, anytime.
7. I can buy almost anything, anytime.
8. I can multitask.
9. There's always something to do.
10. I never feel alone.
The funny thing is that she made a list of the things she hated about technology and it was THE SAME LIST.
If I'm being honest, there were many things I took away from this book, but one thing that stood out the most and it was in this chapter. She quotes, "Many of us plan expensive vacations to seek these very qualities and 'get away from it all'. For the Amish, it's a way of life."
That really stuck. Why wouldn't we want it the other way around? Because we're fed these things by modern media.

There's an order to things in life:
Graduate high school. Go to college. Go into debt from college bills (most students, anyway). Get an apartment. Get a dog, perhaps. Date. Seriously Date. Get the career. Continue paying off college loans. Work 8-5 everyday to pay for apartment, loans, nice work attire, etc. Get married (not too early because we want to "enjoy life" first). Have a baby. Buy the bigger house because you'll need the space with a family enlarging. Buy the new car. Continue paying off college loans. Put kids into a nice, private school and pay loads of money while doing it. Pay money for after school activities because every kid needs to be well-rounded, right? Wake up one morning to find that you've acquired an insane amount of debt. It will take forever to pay off and you assume that you'll just always live a life of debt, praying that you can save enough in your 401K plan for retirement.
There are very few people who "wake up" early enough to make the changes to get out of the "American debt rut" and if they do wake up, it takes them awhile to get out of the debt and make changes to their life, that is, if they're willing to actually do it.
(Ahem, not trying to describe some of what we've gone through personally as a family. Not not at all...Sense sarcasm here!) As we've chosen John 15 to be our family verse, this has been a big part of our pruning. Breaking away from all of the THINGS that society says we need and getting rid of that which hinders us from growing closer to Christ.
Point being, we get sucked in to so much of what our culture says is "normal" that we don't think for ourselves. By the time some of us wake up and think for ourselves, sometimes it's too late or we give up and don't want to be "doers".
A few more things that I took from this chapter on technology...
1. "One of the costs of being linked in is our privacy."
2. " should serve as tool, not rule as a master. By establishing boundaries and living within them, the Amish are able to preserve a traditional way of life centered on God, family, and neighbors rather than be at the mercy of technology 'i-gods.' "
3. "We Twitter while we drive, talk while we text, and surf until we fall asleep-but even while in bed, we stay plugged in, available 24/7. People tell me they could not live without their cell phones or the Internet or e-mail-and they mean it. Yet in many ways, these technologies lead us to more disconnected-rather than connected-lives."
4. "It's a billion-person experiment, and the initial reports are not promising: physicians, psychologists, and educators are sounding alarms about potential negative outcomes of a digitally addicted generation. But my greatest concern is not physical, emotional, or social - it's spiritual. How can we hear the VOICE OF GOD if we are multitasking nonstop?"
(*my thoughts: I've recently been reading a book entitled Lead Me Holy Spirit by Stormie Omartian and one of the problems with us today in listening to the Holy Spirit's voice is that we're just too busy. That spoke volumes to me. We don't even give Him the chance to get through to us.)
5. "The average American spends just 9 minutes per day in religious and spiritual activities. This disparity between how much time we spend with technology and how much time we spend with God says much about our priorities."
6. "When Jesus returns, do I want him to find me asleep-wasting hours on You Tube or playing Spider Solitaire? No. I'd rather have him find me sharing a meal. Listening to a friend. Planting a tree."
7. ""...the Amish are very intentional about visiting neighbors and developing strong community ties. Such face-to-face relationships can be weakened by hyperconnectivity to the virtual world."
The whole purpose of this blog is to share the pruning that God is doing in our family's personal life and how it is changing the way we think, minister and live our lives because we know that" faith without works is dead". If this blog every becomes something that takes away from time with God to where IT is a "god" or I can't hear the Holy Spirit because I'm too busy working on a blog post, I'll stop.  
"Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."  Romans 12:2


Rachel E. said...

Number 5 hits hard. Nine minutes a day on religious and spiritual activities.

People find it hard to believe I don't live and breath my cell phone. In fact, my husband seems to be one of them. We live in an area my cell doesn't work. I also don't really have much luck with it anywhere else. I despise it. So, when people try to contact me, they immediately want to use the cell. I tell them I use my home phone. My cell doesn't work. They don't understand that I don't text.

My husband wants me to find out what is wrong with my cell I really don't want to because it won't make a difference.

Well, I guess I need to go call the cell phone company. :)

Abigail said...

I love this post. I am so old fashioned when it comes to interacting with people and using computers. Yes, I am able to fix the computer and all that stuff (thanks to the techies in my life), but I don't enjoy being wrapped up in electronics. In fact, I only just got texting on my phone a year ago and only because I didn't really have an option. Interacting with people in person or in voice over a phone is priceless and something I hope to instill in my children.