It was an innocent enough picture, but it really shook me up.
There I was, iPad in hand, next to my then three year old son who was focused on playing with an iPod. Both of us with heads down; disengaged from each other and everyone else.
As I saw that photo I was crushed. “Dear God, no,” I prayed. I refuse to be a disengaged husband, father, friend, and disciple.
Once I saw that photo I vowed to change. No more will I be with people and have my nose in an electronic device—unless it’s for the sake of conversation or the meeting itself.
I fail at this at times. And sometimes it hits me how stupid it is that I’m playing some silly game, reading some pointless article, checking some insignificant news, or wasting away while I have life all around me.
This isn’t life no matter what Apple tries to tell you. This is not it, this is not what matters:
I believe that iPad’s and iPod’s can be helpful tools. They can help us actually serve people better. But if, as you see in this video, it directs our attention away from one another, they are deadly.
I often wonder if an iPad would be used by Caravaggio if he painted a modern day Narcissus. There we would be looking into a glass, seeing ourselves and everything that interests us, customized to our own liking.
I don’t want to be Narcissus. I want to look up and engage with people. Problem is, more often than not their heads are buried as well. I pray that we grow tired of looking at ourselves and keeping tabs on our own little worlds. And we actually start to look up again.
Maybe you are reading this right now on an electronic device. I want to encourage you to put down the iPad and vow not to spend your life staring into an electronic looking glass.
I’d also encourage you to read this article by Justin Taylor (and the one he links to in that article).