The Joy of Being Out-of-Touch

Have you ever taken a vacation from the phone, the internet, TV, DVDS, VCRs, a newspaper, and the computer, all at once? Can you get through a day without a cell phone, text messaging, instant messages and chats on-line?

I’d like to take a moment of your time to share something that is on my mind – being intentionally out-of-touch for a period of time. Perhaps I should say out-of-reach? Or unplugged?

Just last week I was thinking about how little time I have to myself – not having to deal with other people’s needs, wants or issues. Just when I think I’ll have a day entirely to myself, or a few days to continue writing work on a book that is in process, something comes to my attention through a phone call, message, or text; an email; or a message on Facebook, to remind me of a project to which I have committed myself, which then totally consumes my time, thoughts, or energy for the rest of the day.

My husband and I talked recently about how much more “de-stressing”, fun-socializing, and creative time we used to have, before we began to use all the modern communication conveniences: cell phones, computers, emails, internet, Facebook, Twitter, Hootsweet, WordPress, Google, MSN, Yahoo, Linked-in, and all the other “keep-in-touch” media (I’m sure there must be others that I have forgotten, or don’t know about.) We are trying to make the best use of all these conveniences in order to “save time”, but we are left with the impression that there are now less than 24 hours in a day, and at least 2 less days in the week.

No wonder we are so busy, with so relatively little to show for all the time and effort it takes to stay connected. No wonder we often don’t even know our next-door neighbor or the family who lives across the street, or the person in the apartment next door.

I have long resisted having my own cell phone. David has had one for years. He said that I need one for emergencies or for convenience. The possible emergency scenario I can envision, but I ask you, “What’s so convenient about being able to be reached in my car when I’m in a white-knuckle traffic situation; or at the grocery store, the dentist office, the hairdresser’s, sunning on the deck; or in the midst of dinner preparation, enjoying a meal in a restaurant, or in the ladies room at Walmart?”

I like being out-of-touch. I have some time to think, to plan, to create, to commune with God. Away from telemarketers, political opinion polls, solicitation for contributions to any number of worthy and not so worthy causes, fund raisers, scams, sales opportunities, trips I’ve won for a weekend away for two (when I didn’t enter a contest), etc.

I love my friends, but sometimes I like not hearing from them for a while. Sometimes I get tired just reading/hearing of their flat-out busy schedules – how much they have accomplished in a day and how little time they have for simple pleasures – like a glass of iced tea on the patio, or a walk in the woods where they can’t hear the phone ring (unless they take the cell phone with them).

You want to know why we have so many overweight children and adults? It’s because we sit in front of too many screens – TV, computer, movie, Ipod, X-box, video game, cell phone, etc. We are not getting outdoor exercise, nor involved in any kind of physical activity indoors.

Look, I know that all the modern social networking technologies are to enable us to be connected with the world – many of them are helpful and can be used for good purposes. But with all the negativity in the world today, I think we owe it to ourselves to un-plug with the “world” and have time for real, face-to-face connections with flesh-and-blood people.

You can tell more about how a person is really doing in a 30-minute personal encounter over a cup of coffee at your kitchen table, or with an iced vanilla latte at Starbucks, than in spending 2 hours with your 1,000 Facebook “friends”, many of whom you have never and will never meet in person. Face to face keeps us honest; you can be whoever you want to be in internet chat rooms, but in person it’s harder to act a part – spirit senses spirit in personal encounters, a lot easier than on social media.

You may also rediscover the time you say you don’t have, for connecting with God, enjoying the displays of His Creation – which can send your soul soaring into the universe – taking you out of your worrisome world and into a temporary freedom from want and need, into a place of peace and personal restoration.

Why not try it this week? Un-plug and enjoy being out-of touch.  Or as Bob says in the movie “What About Bob” – “I’m taking a vacation from my problems.” And those of everyone else.

©2012, Marcy Alves

About Marcy

I love my Father-God. Together we are walking through a season of my life where I am standing with him against cancer. He is my strength and trust. As one of his daughters, my passion is to share his love with others in practical, everyday illustrations and insights.

Posted on June 21, 2012, in Christian Growth, Follow Me, My Journey, Reflections and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Right on, Marcy. We must be more minimalist regarding all the communication conveniences, as you state.

    Also, that’s a good movie! (And a good point.) I think maybe sometimes the Lord feels He must strap us to a sailboat mast to get us disconnected: “I’m sailing! I’m sailing!” (“Is this some radical new therapy?”)

    • Thanks for your comments. I don’t always get out quick responses because of being “unplugged”. Appreciate your readership. As to the movie, What About Bob?, we watch it at least once a year and love to watch it with someone who has never seen it. Thanks for the allusion to the mast strapping part – good analogy.

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