The headline is true: I really do have a love-hate relationship with cell phones and technology. On the one hand, I like being able to be connected when I'm not at home (which is almost all the time). On the other hand, I hate the way people allow cell phones to run their lives.
My biggest pet peeve at this point in time is texting. Texting can be a great tool if it's used in the right context, but it can be very dangerous if it's not. The problem with texting is that it demands attention. And we all have a hard time not looking at a text message when that little noise happens or when the phone vibrates. What then? We have to respond… immediately. It doesn't matter where we are or what we're doing. It's now kosher to text while talking to someone, it's kosher to text while in the middle of a meeting, it's kosher to use your phone wherever and whenever you please as long as your plane isn't in the air. In the last meeting I had with adults, there were people answering phones and texting in the middle of the meeting, which I consider to be wasting my time if they're not going to be focused on the discussion. At the last gathering I had with a small group of students, one of the teenagers was texting during our conversations.
This unhealthy phenomenon of being unable to focus on one thing at a time without being interrupted is going to have lasting repercussions in many areas of our lives, not the least of which is our relationship with the Lord. When do we have peace and quiet? If God often speaks through a still small voice, how can that voice be heard through the constant disruptions of technology? I don't know the answer, but I do know this: technology won't control my life. When the phone rings, I don't always answer it… in fact, sometimes I leave the ringer off all day. When I get a text message, I don't have the need to reply or even read it the second it comes to my phone. I want to be connected with people, but it won't be at the cost of real, live relationships or at the cost of my relationship with my Heavenly Father.