The glory of God is man fully alive.
-Irenaeus, 2nd century church father
Fully Alive or Virtual Reality?
Think of a time in your life when you felt fully alive. Think about where you were, who you were with, what you were doing. Chances are, you were doing something very real that did not involve your computer, phone or television. Maybe you were alone in nature or with the people you love most.
A recent event that comes to my mind is when I was on a walk with my wife, our 3 young children, and our dog. We came across a beaver playing in a creek. We walked onto a footbridge and the beaver continued to put on a lengthy show for us. He acted like we weren’t even there, often coming within 10 or 15 feet from us, slapping his tail on the water as he dove under and resurfaced nearby.
This event is a prime example of experiencing The Unplugged Life. I felt fully alive! I was fully aware of God’s creation and fully connected to my family as we shared this experience together.
If you haven’t thought of a specific experience yet, I challenge you to take a minute and really think of a specific event. This is important. Close your eyes if you need to. What experience came to mind? Were you doing something real?
In contrast, much of my work involves sitting in front of the computer. I can’t recall a time I felt fully alive while using technology. Think about how you feel after spending an extended period of time on your computer or phone, maybe surfing social media. If you are like me, you long to do something REAL.
Use it or Lose it
Living a virtual-centric life can be damaging to our minds, bodies, and relationships. For example, psychophysiologist Thomas Mulholland found that watching T.V. is “neurologically analogous to staring at a blank wall.” The old saying, “use it or lose it” comes to mind. The more time we spend in front of the T.V. or computer, the less time we spend moving our body and getting exercise – again, “use it or lose it.” Relationships can suffer as well. Have you ever observed a mom who was engrossed in her phone while her children longed for her attention? Have you ever been that mom? Ouch! Our kids long to connect to us and should be way more important than anything that is on our phones.
The Unplugged Life
Our culture has become so saturated with technology that many people are fascinated by the concept of living totally “off the grid.” I have considered this myself. Realistically, this is not an option for most people. However, we can draw a line in the sand and create technology-free zones. The zones can be an actual area, like the dinner table or the family room. The zone can also be a specific time of day. For example, no technology after 7:00 pm or no technology on Saturdays. Pick one area of your life to designate as a technology-free zone or time period and give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised at the real experiences you encounter!
This blog is devoted to helping you experience The Unplugged Life. Maybe you never go totally off the grid, but you can create meaningful time with family and friends that you may have otherwise missed out on. I am excited to be on this journey of living an unplugged life in a digital world! Want to join me? Now… get off the computer and go do something REAL!
To Real Life!