The following quote from a book I'm reading (and really enjoying!), Introverts in the Church: Finding our place in an extroverted culture, really highlighted a point I make often with clients I counsel. He says it much better than I can.
There were three people in the rows in front of us who had their cell phones open during the entire movie. They were text messaging and surfing the Internet and otherwise annoying people. As I aw those cell phone screens open during the movie, I observed that the people using them were not fully committed to being anywhere during those two hours. They were physically sitting in the theater, even sitting with others who accompanied them, but their minds and hearts were scattered all over the place. They were not fully present, in terms of their attention, to the visual and auditory experience in front of them, they were not fully present to their friends and family that they were sitting next to, and they were not geographically present to the people they were text messaging. They had a hand and foot in several different places that were disconnected, leaving them as some sort of radical amputees. They were everywhere and they were nowhere. Aside from how piercingly bright a cell phone screen can be in a dark movie theater and how bizarre it is to text message during an intense and complex spy movie, I got to thinking about how handheld technology affects our sense of personal identity. So many people walk through their lives as ghosts, not fully present to anything, gliding through places and around people but not really seeing or experiencing or being seen or experienced.
We discuss the idea of vulnerability, of being known and knowing another deeply. This can be such a scary thing to do, to allow, to pursue, but is so deeply needed and desired. It's what we were made for: deep relationship. Our culture continues to find newer and faster ways of keeping us distracted and occupied and away from real, deep relationship. Do you allow yourself to be seen, experienced, known? Or do you drift through life like "some sort of radical amputee", never really being fully present anywhere?