.::What is Technology Doing to Our Souls?: Tech Sabbath

I have been fortunate to present a body of work I have called, “What is Technology Doing to Our Souls?” to all sorts of parents around the nation this past year and a half.  It has been a rich and rewarding experience to partner with parents and help them navigate through this vast sea of choices, boundaries, and wisdom that is required to know what is the best course for my son or daughter?  Over the next few posts, I want to share a few of those nuggets that we talk about during these events to give you a taste of what this is about.   If you think you’d like to have me speak to your church, school, parents, teens, elders, scout troop, coffee clutch, ladies class, mime troupe, etc.  I’d love to partner with you.  E-mail me for more info:  walter.surdacki@lipscomb.edu

TECH SABBATH

If there is one thing that I would say to parents regarding technology and your family, it would be, “Do you practice any kind of tech Sabbath?”  Here is what I mean,  “Do you have a time each day when you aren’t accessible via cell phone, text message, e-mail, etc.?”  I believe that if we find ourselves constantly connected 24 hours a day 7 days a week, we run the risk of developing a God-complex that fools us into thinking that the world can’t run without us.  Do you intentionally power down these devices so that the temptation to check your e-mail is gone.  Do you power off so that you won’t get distracted by the buzz of a text message while trying to have dinner together as a family?

How about looking at this not as a form of denial, but as a chance at freedom?  What if you had an hour each day where you didn’t have to worry about these things?  What if in that hour you were able to be fully present with your son or daughter?  What if EVERYONE in your family powered down so that when you were together, you were really TOGETHER!  Can you imagine that kind of freedom?

CONFESSION:  I know that when I am with my kids and I feel that buzz of a text message in my pocket, I instantly become 50% LESS available to them mentally.  In my mind I am wondering, “Who texted me?  What do they need?  I am important!” and I am instantly transported mentally away from my daughters and to a nether region of text-a-topia where the world is allegedly more interesting.

But that is a lie.  A false story that I have bought into.

So do this today…don’t start with an hour…just try 15 minutes or 30 minutes and ease into this discipline.  Because that is what it is…a discipline.  We have immersed ourselves into technology so much that it is going to take initiative, discipline, courage, willpower, and wisdom just to find the power button on those shiny little devices that hold so much power over us.

Baby steps . . . one at a time . . . you can do this . . .

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3 Responses to “.::What is Technology Doing to Our Souls?: Tech Sabbath”

  1. Thank you for this, Dr. Surdacki.

    I admire your desire–nay, insistence–on being present, on being free. Thank you for urging me towards freedom as well. One of the things I remember most from your Disciplines class is the documentary (60 Minutes? Dateline? I don’t remember.) about the woman who had, like, eight cell phones. An expert they interviewed said something that you alluded to here: when the red bubble pops up, or our phone beeps, it’s like, “We exist! We are important!” This remains challenging to me today.

  2. […] Facebook out with the bathwater, but we may want to help teens keep some sort of daily and weekly Tech Sabbaths.  Yes, the 106 minutes that a teen spend on Facebook should be concerning to parents, teachers, […]

  3. Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It
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