We’re used to saying “when can I reach you?” But the ubiquity of technology has made the inverse just as relevant. When can’t I reach you?
Is there a time in your day/week when I can’t reach you? A time that you’ve set aside exclusively for other priorities? There is nothing about our culture that will encourage you to do so. In fact, the marketers still assume we’re just sitting around wishing we had some way to be even more connected (if that’s even possible).
I’m not just talking about time with God. I’m talking about other times as well. Time to think. Time to work. Time to rest. Time to focus on a particular relationship.
Let me propose a simple test to help you discern whether you may be too connected. For one week, do not answer any piece of communication any sooner than the following guidelines:
- Phone/text – 8 hours.
- All other (including facebook, email, etc.) – 48 hours.
If this exercise makes you panic, or if when you try it, your friends start asking what happened to you, you may need to consider the possibility that you are too connected.
We all need times when the phone is turned off, the email is shut down, and we’re logged off of facebook. Perhaps we could use some of those times to reflect on the fact that, for many of us,1 not one single form of communication we’re attached to was commonly available 20 years ago.
Grace to you.
1 I am of course excluding those who still, for some odd reason, use landlines. [insert tongue in cheek]