“They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.” Luke 24:42-44
When Jesus wanted to convince his disciples that he was back from the dead, fully embodied, fully alive, he looked them in the eye and ate food.
In a small way Jesus teaches us about human connection: show up, engage, and be all in. However more and more we struggle to be fully present with people around us, and our phones are partly to blame. It’s ironic; phones were meant for connection.
Answer these questions honestly:
- Do you find yourself struggling to look away from your computer when someone in the room begins speaking with you?
- When having a conversation with Friend 1, do you take calls or texts from Friend 2?
- Have you gone out to a restaurant with friends for a special celebration only to find half the gang chatting or texting with people not around the table?
- Have you been in a meeting, heard your phone beep, and it kills you not to look?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions you might be a victim of ‘half-tasking’, the tendency to give half your attention to one thing, and half to your Android. We defend our behavior by saying we are ‘multi-tasking’, but we can’t. When you take 100% of your attention and split it between your phone and people, people usually lose out.
Missionary Jim Elliot once gave advice in an era before digital technology. He implored: “Wherever you are, be all there.” When we’re “all there” we will turn from our laptop and give two-eye attention to our friend and ignore the text that would interrupt a good conversation.
Digital phones have made easy connecting with friends far away, but at what price for the folks with whom you are eating fish?
Dear God, I am so distracted from friends and family while checking my phone. Help me put it away and becoming fully engaged with them. Amen.
During a meal whether out or at home, put all the phones on a distant counter until the meal is over.
Read Shirley Archer's Digital Distractions: Is technology supporting or threatening our well-being? Archer provides describes digital distraction in our lives and promotes exercise as one method to counter it.