We are now reaping the results of a more fragmented approach to life. Technology is wonderful—I love technology. But like everything else in a fallen world, it has its dark side if we are not careful. When we leave things on all the time, especially with notifications, we’ve set ourselves up to be constantly interrupted. In extreme cases, most notably teens and college students, we aren’t even getting a good night’s sleep anymore.
When I went to Honduras I made the deliberate decision not to take any electronics along. I went completely unplugged. And you know what? It was rather refreshing. If there was really a need to connect to someone back home, there were ways I could have done that. I could have gone to an Internet café. I could have asked a friend with a phone.
When I returned to California, I happily got all my technology back. Again, it’s not a bad thing in and of itself. But if you can’t go for a week in life unplugged—even on vacation or overseas—you might need to start thinking about addiction issues. What would happen to you if you decided to put away all your electronics for a week? Taking an electronic fast periodically isn’t a bad discipline to engage in. It can help you gauge your level of dependence.
If a week feels too long to start with, try it next time you go on an overnight spiritual retreat. Just leave it all behind so you don’t even have the temptation. You could also try an electronic fast just in the mornings. Don’t turn on your phone or check email until noon. That way you have the morning hours to spend on your most important priorities without interruption.