There is no doubt that with all of the advances of technology and applications available to us, we are more connected than ever. The Internet, social media, the strong presence of smart phones, and being constantly connected is changing the way our brains are wired. I'm interested in studying the psychological research on how our connectors and receptors are being impacted by the constant mass connectedness.
When I was growing up, in the days of my youth, our moments belonged to us.
We were present for them. Occasionally we would capture them on film, have them developed, and collect special memories in albums that were only ours. It was a "thing" to have close friends and families take a tour through your family photo albums when they came over for a visit. Looking back at the photos would bring laughter, tears, and always made for great conversation starters. Either way, we still owned them. They rested in our houses, tucked away into bound books, hidden on shelves and in the crannies of our homes.
Other than that, our lives were sacred. Our moments belonged to us. We were able to be fully present, fully focused on LIVING.
If we wanted to see someplace new, we got in the car or hopped on a plane and traveled there.
Now we just search for the corresponding hashtag and view the world through someone else's filtered lens.
As we traveled, we were left only with a good book or the conversation of the person next to us or the sight from the window or our own thoughts only to occupy our minds.
Now we zip through our travels with our eyes glued to glowing screens.
If we saw a beautiful landscape or breathtaking view, we just reveled in the moment and soaked it all in.
Now we are nagged by the constant temptation to snap, gram, and tweet it.
When we were with loved ones, we didn't have little illuminated devices in our hands. We looked into their eyes and had real conversation and laughed full heartedly.
Now we exchange quick glances, before darting our eyes back to the digital world at our fingertips.
We used to seek to entertain ourselves and one another at gatherings and parties with nothing but our developing senses of humor and well thought out stories. All we had was each other and the present moment, it seemed.
This morning, as I was sitting on the floor, slowly sipping my warm, strong, black coffee, beginning to read Pricilla Shirer's "God is Able", and feeding my little one a cookies & cream pop tart, as he carefully lined up his collection of Die-Cast vehicles and small cars.... I was burdened by the temptation to capture the moment. How easy it would be to pick up my phone, open one of my favorite photo sharing apps, and put this quiet moment on blast for the world to see. A glimpse into a quiet, enjoyable moment for anyone who was scrolling through their feed and might care to see it.
They could see the gentle and restorative light of morning, shining in through tall windows in our living room. They could see the "easy way out" and far from gourmet breakfast my toddler was getting all over his mouth and chin. They could see the glisten of super soft, shiny blonde waves that piled up atop his head. They could see the "booboo" of his skinned knee, as over and over my lips met it to make it "all better". They could see the steam arising from my coffee, and the bright red cover of the book I'm "currently reading".
But then it occurred to me... This moment should be mine. Simply living it should feel like ENOUGH.
Why am I burdened with desire to make nearly every moment of my daily life available to the world? It's like if I don't post it SOMEWHERE- snap a pic, or write it down, it didn't even happen.
I've lost the ability to tuck moments away into my heart.
I don't think that everyone struggles with teetering this balance, but I'm absolutely certain that SOMEONE else does.
I'm torn between keeping up with the ways of this modern world and clinging steadfast to the convictions of my heart.
My heart says that I want to take back the sacredness of my moments. I want to reclaim my experiences to be mine. I want to send them up to God in the form of prayers and gratitude, instead of streamlining them out to the digital nations.
The problem is, my brain is already wired this way. It's become instinctive, intuitive, innate. Without even a thought, I share my every aspect of life with the world. I'm overstimulated.
As I venture into this next season of life, I'm praying for revelation about this. I'm praying for a renewed mind. I'm praying for the connectors and receptors in my brain to remember my heart before they move in the way that they've been trained in recent years. I'm praying for the freedom to simply LIVE my life without regard for how this might look on my social media pages. I want to free my mind of the litter that consumes it. I want to reclaim the ability to keep my memories harbored in the corners of my heart.