Friday, May 9, 2014

Disconnect to Connect

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NAS)

Disconnect to Connect
“Social media is great ... but there are times when social media can get in the way of the real world,” said the voiceover narrator. “That's why we develop the social media guard. It takes the social out of the media and puts it back into your life.” 

A cone collar similar to Elizabethan collar or E-collar was next shown onscreen. With the guard worn around the necks, men and women were prevented from reading or viewing their electronic devices. Compelled to redirect their attention to the people around them, they made eye contact.

That was a video created by Coca-Cola for humor. In a sense, a cone collar guard might be a good way to help solve the problem of social media addiction and get people back to social interaction in the real world. However, for practical reasons, we wouldn’t wear such a guard just to disconnect to connect, unplug, and detox to avoid addiction or obsession. What we need is a solution that helps us break free from our dependency and regain control.

Too often, we have been guilty of spending too much time staying digitally connected, listening, reading, viewing, writing or updating  our various social network accounts. We woo people to like, follow, and join our social media pages, blogs and sites, and to add us as friends. We post videos, pictures and text to attract attention and to draw the crowd.

Spending time online is nothing wrong, but spending too much of our time online is. If we are neglecting or missing out the more important things in life because of time spent online, we need help. Whether we are using a computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone or another device to connect to the Internet, we need to stamp down addiction or obsession. A good practice and alternative solution to the collar guard is to regularly take time off to eschew digital activity and use that time for more meaningful social interaction with our loved ones, friends and others.

Are we finding ourselves hooked for extended hours online? Are we oblivious to our surroundings at times when connected to the digital world? Do we feel restless without our smartphone or digital device in hand? If our answer to these questions is affirmative, it means it is time for us to go on a digital detox.

The Bible warns us not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds, so we might prove what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable, and perfect (Romans 12:2). We may say we have the right to do anything, but we need to know not all things are beneficial (1 Corinthians 10:23). Rather than give in to the desires of the eyes or of the flesh or to boastful pride of life, let us  submit ourselves to God, resist the devil and he will flee from us (1 John 2:16; James 4:7).

Dear Lord, forgive us for sometimes succumbing to the allures of this world in our desire to be known or to feel wanted. Help us make time to go on a detox regularly, so we might learn restrain and not become hooked, addicted or obsessed. We know by our own will and effort, we cannot overcome our boastful pride or the desires of the eyes or flesh, so we submit ourselves to You. Grant us Your strength that we might be overcomers and not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds that we might prove Your will is good, acceptable and perfect.

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