Alerts. Beeps. Instant information.
Thoughts light up like the 4th of July. Researchers have likened the effect of social media on our minds to feelings we usually associate with eating and sex. The folks at Harvard discovered that the release of good-feeling chemicals in the brain are especially potent when we share personal facts about ourselves with others.
It's been over a year now that I fasted internet, TV, and social media. Honestly, it was initially miserable. I spent the first two days believing I was alone on an island. Disconnected. Some islands have tiki bars and steel drum music, but not mine. There was no convincing myself that a daytime margarita was a responsible option, so I settled for housework and quality time with the kids.
What gratification it was to sit down to a home cooked meal in the "Two Brothers" restaurant! (They served hotdog and pea soup).
When the pleasure response that technology provides is taken away, we feel the effect! People report agitation, depressed mood, and anxiety. Digital interaction can be an addiction. If there are symptoms when it's taken away, it means that we've come to rely on it to meet a need. It means that our bodies have morphed to accommodate the excitement, that we'll desire the good feelings we associate with the habit.
How would our lives look different if:
Your answers to these questions may look different than mine, but I'm certain that I'd be laughing more, I'd be less self-conscious, and those who care about me the most would have full access to my life in real-time. There's nothing more comforting and fulfilling than receiving somebody's full and undivided attention!
So I wonder, if God stepped out of our lives, would we feel the withdrawal?
Lovingly and occasionally off the grid,
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think He’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do His best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way He works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how He works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.
Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." (Matthew 6:30-34, Msg.)
Photo Credit: Changyu Hu
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Earns Crossfit participation trophies. Disaster cook. Enthusiastic wife. #Boymom. Clutches her faith, not her pearls.