We don’t have a lack of education or knowledge problem. We have a caring problem. With a world full of instant and streaming information at your fingertips, the ability to access is nearly unlimited. We have unlimited text, calling, and data plans on our phones. We scroll through hundreds, maybe even thousands of web pages a day. The only limit to what we find is our imagination.
We’ve all seen videos like “Look Up” by Gary Turk. They make us think, but they don’t make us change our ways. While in principle the message is great, the truth is that relationships are tricky. Just because you are present with those around you, life is not always positive. The connection you get from not having devices distracting you can be equally good and bad. There are moments of overwhelming joy and hope and just as likely as many of pain and brokenness.
To be sure, people who use their devices in abundance are not necessarily worse at socializing, nor are they incapable of balancing a healthy control of when to and not to use their electronics. It is easy to blame the devices for our dysfunction. It is much harder to face the fact that nothing in life is quite what we would like it to be. Our technology gives us the illusion of control and customization that we lack a counterpart to in the rest of our lives.
And I would be remiss to breach this topic without the mention of the greater tragedy caused by our device addiction. The article “Driving while Texting Six Times More Dangerous than Driving while Drunk” gives the statistic that “Texting while driving a vehicle has now replaced drinking while driving as the leading cause of accidents and deaths of teenage drivers.” Teens are not the only ones who drive like drunkards whilst texting, adults are guilty too. Just think about how we demonize and ostracize drunk drivers, especially those who are in motor vehicle related deaths. I am nearly text free while driving now, but it would be a lie not to say it wasn’t because of a local law that coerces my behavior.
So what? We know what to do and people are free to make choices on what they do with their devices (to a point). It is not a lack of knowledge of what might happen or information on statistics of what has happened. Making laws on all things technology related would have our law books over-inflated. So we need another way to get people to care about this (and a host of other problems).
Awareness is not enough. We need to go beyond knowledge (and maybe even reason?) People are free to have crappy lives. But why would you? God gives us guidance in this issue in Deuteronomy 30:19 that reads: “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live” (ESV).
God loves us and wants a relationship with us through his son Jesus Christ. You are free to choose. Choose death and curse if you want. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15