Here’s a question to ask yourself. How convenient is your life? Here’s a bigger question. How has convenience made your life more difficult?
Yes you read that correctly, I’m asking you to figure out how has convenience made your life more difficult. I know you’re thinking “Eric convenience makes my life easier, not more difficult”.
Really? Are you sure about that?
Let me share some thoughts I’ve had recently and you tell me if you still think those “conveniences in life” are really making your life convenient.
I turned off twitter updates to my phone. I found that constant pinging to my phone was a distraction at work and elsewhere. Shortly there after i started to notice just how disconnected i was from my friends, even with twitter coming to my phone.
I stopped logging into Facebook multiple times a day to read my news feed. Shortly there after i started to notice my friends and family would refer to “stuff” in their life by asking why I hadn’t read it on their Facebook wall.
I stopped playing and participating in FourSquare (a social network & location game / service). I found myself asking my friends and myself what they did this past weekend only to be asked if i had stopped paying attention to their FourSquare check-ins.
I also notice from the three examples above that I got “in trouble” for not twittering enough, updating Facebook with status updates or relationship changes & photo uploads, and that I had given up on Foursquare and was still checked into my home for the past month. Meaning that my choice to unplug not only affected my view but others view into my world. Which is sad because i know what i put out on these networks and while the information is good it’s only a small sliver of my life. What was even more saddening was that i realized how much value i put on those small slivers rather than hearing about the larger pies in their lives.
Lets broaden this a bit now. What other aspects of your life have you given over to convenience only to give up more in the process?
For example, we build zoos and aquariums and people flock to these places to see wild animals in their natural habitat’s. Ok so there was some sarcasm there because we all know those rocks in the fish tank are made of plaster and an elephant doesn’t really play with a soccer ball on the Serengeti. Granted there are some people who will never travel under the water, to the beach, or even across the globe to a foreign country and experience these things.
But ask those who have and you’ll see they tell a different story. No matter what age they are or how often they have been their eyes light up and they are filled with joy from the experience. Talk to a kid after his first visit to the aquarium and he’s all full of wonder and wants more. Talk to that same kid after his 3rd or 5th visit and he’s complaining about how this changed, or these animals where sleeping, or this whole section was gone. Yes i was recently that kid complaining.
Think about the food we eat. Did you know the bread in our stores are all about as equally nutritious when compared to a homemade loaf? Take it up a notch and make your own flour for your homemade bread and you’ve now put store-bought bread into the same category as pop-tarts. Think about the pre-prepared meals we buy in the frozen food section. About the food we grab from the drive-ins.
Now before you go hitting the comment link to give me a verbal chewing on how I’m knocking advancements in society take a second to breathe and listen a bit more.
I’m not against convenience. I love the aquarium, my natures best whole wheat bread, twitter, Facebook, and more. I’m a geek and depend on a lot of these conveniences in order to even succeed at my job. I understand we don’t have time to mill and bake our own bread or that we don’t have the time or money to visit the Serengeti.
I get this and am guilty of all of it.
What i am against though is complacency. The idea that this is the best there is for me. The idea that the loaf of bread i buy from my local supermarket is the most nutritious bread i can have. The idea that the best way to keep up with friends is to follow them on twitter, or Facebook or foursquare or some other network. For a long time in my mind these were the best ways, till I learned that i was sacrificing real relationships with convenient ones.
God never makes things easy for us, and whenever something IS easy, I can pretty much promise that later on you’ll have a struggle because you took the easy road. I can point to many instances in my life of this, but won’t bore you with them because I’m sure you’ve got at least a dozen of your own examples. If you don’t have a dozen examples then you have had either a very hard life with no shortcuts or you’re lying to yourself.
A prayer I’ve had recently is for God to make things difficult for me, to challenge me to have more faith in Him then in the conveniences in my life. To give up those things which I lean on to make life easy or easier and instead invest that into Him so that I can achieve the desires He has for me.
Convenience is great but at what cost?