Saturday, April 05, 2014

What On Earth are We Missing?*

Last night I ran out to Walmart to pick up some coffee and milk for the morning.  We had been watching an old 60s movie with lots of driving in it.  As I drove home in the dark, I noticed in the vehicles coming toward me the unnatural glow of cell phones reflected into downturned faces.

(Thankfully, all these people were passengers. Although driving while texting is terribly, tragically common around here.  You show me a person driving down the highway twenty miles under the speed limit, and I'll show you a person texting while driving... or maybe a farmer from the north part of the county who lives at a slower pace than we suburban- and urban-ites, and perhaps we could learn something from him...  But that is a post for another day.)

Anyway, passengers with cell phones.

(I remember the first time we took a road trip with devices.  It was such a lonely experience for the driver, namely, me.  No one to visit or sing with.  I finally rebelled.  No one is happy when Mama ain't happy.  The family was surprised, but they humored me.  The next trip, my husband read aloud from The Count of Monte Cristo as we crossed California, Arizona, New Mexico.  That was much better.)

Evidently I have many blog posts to write on this and related topics.

But back to driving with cell phones.  I noticed on the 60s movie that drivers and passengers dressed nicely, sat up straight, and paid attention to one another.  Probably the driver of one of the cars wished that his backseat passenger-- a backseat driver, really-- had some kind of device to take her mind off criticizing him!  It was a movie and obviously not reality, but it got me thinking.  What else has changed that we don't even notice now?  How much are we missing because of our devices?  (Ironically, people check for updates because they are afraid of missing something in the virtual world.)

There have always been three worlds-- the physical, the mental, the spiritual.  Now we have a fourth-- the virtual world.  It increasingly disrupts activity in the physical world, sometimes with immediate and horrible results.  Is the virtual world part of the physical, mental or spiritual?  Or is it its own place?  And what are we missing by engaging in it?  What desires are we feeding by entering it?

(Yes, I see the irony of writing this in a blog post.)

I'm not sure where I am going with this, but I will go ahead and publish now.  I hope to continue thinking out loud on this topic later.

*Title taken from this book by Philip Yancey

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