Disconnect from devices; engage family, friends

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, September 27, 2023

By Bonnie Brown

At a doctor’s appointment last week I noticed that it was so silent even though the room was nearly at capacity with patients. It dawned on me that every head was bowed. The two receptionists were quiet with their heads bowed.  

Taken aback, I tried to determine if I had walked in as a prayer was in progress.  I realized that no prayer was in place.  Every head was bowed because they were looking at their cell phones.

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When did we become so engaged with electronics that we are unable to unplug for more than a few minutes?  I also am guilty of looking at my phone or computer checking for what?  I don’t get exciting or important emails or phone calls.  I seem to have been programmed to expect something of significance to come rolling into my space on this device.  

Do I have a digital addiction?  According to what I’ve read, I don’t think so.  Do I have an on-line shopping addiction?  My husband probably thinks so.  But in my defense, many times on-line shopping is more efficient, takes less time, offers the benefit of product reviews, and often saves money.  I miss the days of strolling in the mall,  able to see the new styles, try on a garment, and just enjoy retail therapy.  

It was an enjoyable experience – until it wasn’t when Covid interrupted. 

 There has been a generational shift to dependence on technology.  Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 23 to 38 in 2019) is considered a Millennial, and anyone born from 1997 and 2012 is considered part of the Gen Z generation.  Both generations cut their teeth on emerging modern technologies and ways to communicate.  

As a Baby Boomer, I am typical in that I don’t rush out and buy the latest device.  I grew up thinking my transistor radio was “the bomb” (really cool).  My transistor radio allowed me to cut the cord to listen to my music.  I no longer had to hear the fabulous music of the 60’s from the radio that was plugged in at our house.  I could take it outside and not only did that make me happy, but my mother was pleased too since she didn’t have to listen to my music.  

Technology has given us many positive things, such as quick access to information, entertainment, and easy communication. I used to tell these college students to be inquisitive because answers and information are literally at their fingertips.  

Technology has provided a lot of entertainment and simplified many tasks – banking, shopping, communications.  

My wish is that we can all make the time to disconnect from our devices and engage with our family and friends.  And actually take a moment for prayer to offer thanks for all the blessings in our lives.  

Write to Bonnie Brown at bspbrown@outlook.com