A little while ago I wrote about my Christmas gift to my wife, a deck of cards with nice tasks I would do for her throughout the year. This Sunday, she pulled a Joker on which I had written “Whatever You Want”. Turns out, what she wants is for me to be off Facebook, Twitter, and Online games for the week.
Depending on where you clicked to this post from, you know I’m cheating a little.
I am not one of those self-controlled, organized people who can regulate his email/Facebook/Twitter time to specific moments in the day. My wife is certainly not being unreasonable to be annoyed by my constant checking and refreshing of various electronic connections.
I have developed a compulsion of checking Facebook at an arguably unhealthy frequency.
I’ve only been on Twitter for a few months, but I’m already consumed with the idea that people I don’t know think I’m so dang clever.
I have three different email addresses so I tend to rotate between them, constantly checking to see if anyone has contacted me in the last five minutes.
This artificial connection has become such a reality to me, it’s as if I have a relationship with the means by which I connect as well as, and sometimes seemingly prior to, the relationship I have with the actual people I connect with.
Perhaps a Trial Separation for a week will do me good.
What it’s Good For:
Like any [spiritual] discipline should, going a week without [frequent] internet use is more about showing me myself than about building my character (as such). Actively resisting the internet every single moment I’m near a computer is driving home for me the extent to which I’ve allowed this relationship to develop.
It’s reminding me how much I rely on artificial relationship.
It’s reminding me how much I cloud my awareness so that I don’t face others (or even myself).
It’s forcing me to think about how I use my time.
It’s forcing me to think about how much I talk to my wife.
It’s forcing me to think about how much I talk to my son.
It’s forcing me to think about how much I talk to God.
What about you?
Do you think you have developed a relationship with artificial connection itself?
Do you think you could use a Trial Separation?
…if so, turn everything off, sit in silence, take a deep breath, talk to your loved ones face to face, go outside…
(but do it after you share this post with your Facebook and Twitter networks)