A Life Stolen

Lately I’ve wished I didn’t own a tv or a computer or a cell phone.

I know, it’s counterintuitive that I’m writing this on my iPad. And yes, I’ve started using my Wii to exercise.

I could make a long list of electronics, but the list is not the point.

When did we reach the point that we can’t live without them?
What would you do if you had to live without them again?
Read more
Write more
Go outside more
Play music more
Be with people more

When did we get convinced that electronics help us have relationships?
To build a relationship, you used to have to talk to people
Relationships were based on having things in common
And spending time together
Now we use electronics to get dates
And plan dates
And then we can’t go on dates without them
Like a security blanket
Or a threesome

When did electronics become our lifeline?
We’ve been convinced that they make relationships better
They let you “poke” or “like” or retweet or @reply your “friends”
You try to hang out with these people in person
But it’s awkward
So you go home and IM or email or voice chat or Skype with them
And somehow that’s better?

Family used to be our life force
The reason you got up in the morning
The reason you came home at night
The ones you waited expectantly for
Now they’re the last object of your affection
Instead of the first and ultimate

TV used to bring families together
There used to be no such thing as 24-hour programming
Now there’s a lot of useless things
And inappropriate things on TV

There used to be a thing called pillow talk
Now there’s Internet chat rooms and web-surfing
Just as useless and inappropriate

People used to play boardgames
Now there’s gaming networks
They connect you with players all over the world
But what has that done to the family that lives in your house?

Have you ever counted up your investment in your electronics?
We invest our money
In the biggest and the brightest
We invest our emotions
In reality tv, in daytime dramas, nighttime dramas, SportsCenter, fantasy worlds
We invest our time
In “there’s nothing on” or “no new messages”

And what do you have to show for it?
A thinner wallet
An emotionally drained life
Or maybe an overreactive life
And no time to do the things that matter

Have you ever felt like your life is being stolen away?
A generation is being lied to
And having their life force and imagination stolen away
Right under their noses
And I’m afraid I’m a part of that generation
But I’m putting my foot down

A famous author and business guru once spoke of something profound
I think it was Seth Godin
He called it white space days
Days where you purposefully schedule to go off-line
You purposefully decide to do things on purpose
That stir your up your purpose and passions
With people who do the same

Days where you choose to go old school
Use pen and paper
Or markers or crayons or sidewalk chalk
Instead of a QWERTY keyboard
Use a piano or a guitar or a Fischer Price xylophone
Instead of iPods, iTunes, or mp3’s

What would happen if we chose to steal our life back?
Reignite our creativity
Our imagination
Our passion
Our joy in relationships
Real, face-to-face, hand-in-hand, nose-to-nose, and toe-to-toe relationships
Starting with the people we live with
The people we love most?

What kind of life would that be?

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One comment on “A Life Stolen

  1. Marie says:

    Well written and thought provoking!

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