Tag Archive: technology

As many of you know i am a big Pearls before Swine fan and own all the books and am constantly inviting [slash harrassing] PBS creator Stephan Pastis to include the world’s most famous stuffed dolphin in his strip.

Usually just for laughs, but every now and then, Pastis nails something on the so-serious-it-punches-you-in-the-gut side of things and so when he tackles a pet peeve of mine, you know it’s going to be good:


As much as i believe we need to UNLEARN and RELEARN a lot of the information, communication forms and habits in life, i have a strong feeling that living a good life is going to consist of a lot more of UNTECHNOLOGISING which is a huge challenge for parents [let’s be honest, a tv or tablet is an easy babysitting option for a few minutes slash hours] but also for the rest of us.

So much so that my wife and i came up with this challenge, which we have done twice, and have chosen to make a regular happening with meals at our home [be prepared!] and i would love to hear of more people giving it a try and reporting back on results.

It has inspired poetry from me like this one i wrote a few years ago called Celling Your Soul aka Sign on the dotted line

And from a Christ-followers perspective a piece on worship and cellphone use.

There is so much more to be said. i am a huge appreciator of technology and the internet and how it can connect us and give us space to engage with each other and rally support and share information, but there does need to be good usage of it and finding ways and spaces to creatively put down the gadget and switch off the machine are going to be life-to-the-full saving in the long run.

What are your thoughts when it comes to cellphone usage and community?

pearls phone 1

[For some less serious Pearls cartoon strips, click here]


remember a time when you ate a meal without feeling the need to share it with the world?

when phoning someone meant waiting til you got home and then doing the dial thing and having to wait til each number played out before doing the next one?

do you remember trying desperately to hold that unwieldy monster of a camera absolutely still so you could get that one perfect picture [or being completely lavish and taking two so you could choose later which one to print copies of] of that nature scene?

or when laughing out loud was something you actually did instead of something you typed our on a keyboard or phone?

i imagine many of you have watched this video clip:


and i’m not suggesting that we should return to a time when none of these things were available or saying that you should never engage in any of these things…

but i am encouraging you to not forget to actually live life every once in a while, instead of just reporting on it.

# if you’re a food photographing instagram junkie, then try eating an incredible meal out without taking a single picture of it just once in a while and letting your tastebuds hold the memory of what was a delectable feast

# leave your phone at home once in a while when you go out and just be out and uncontactable and by yourself or the people you are with

# experience a whole event without taking a single photo of it – rely on someone else’s pictures or better yet take a moment to store that scene and moment in your memory and revisit it from time to time… or take a journal and capture it in words and descriptive images

# have a coffee date with a good friend and TURN YOUR PHONE OFF and don’t look at it once the entire time you are spending with them – take a moment to consider the message this sends to them about how important they are to you at that specific time.

and more. technology is great and i would not want to head back completely to ‘simpler times but i do want to live and experience life, which sometimes can be enhanced by phone cameras and tablets and laptops and social medias… but can often also be distracted by those same things and so making regular time and commitments to unplug and mute and put down and just experience life and engage with people face to face and take in moments for what they are [as opposed to having a whole folder full of pictures of things we didn’t get to experience because we were too busy taking photos of them]

live life to the full. sometimes with the use of technology. but also many times without.

don’t forget to just be.

Unless You Cell Everything.

So this morning i was at a pastor’s breakfast and we were having a time of worship singing and some dude left the meeting to go and answer his cellphone and it brought back one of my favourite grinds to axe. I don’t know why i seemingly feel so proportionately huge on this issue where most other people in my experience don’t but for me it is one of the most offensive and rudest things…

On the me level it’s the whole vibe of you going out to have coffee with me at a restaurant and your phone rings and you answer it. Basically what you are saying to me (via your actions) is that even though you have set aside this time for a coffee time with me, actually ANYONE else in the world with a phone in their hands is more important than me. It could even be a wrong number. So in essence you are choosing a complete stranger who you don’t want to talk to, over me.

As i said, i find it incredibly rude and am surprised that most other people don’t seem to find it as offensive as i do. For example if you were in a movie for an hour and a half you would (hopefully) switch your phone off or on silent and leave it like that til the end. So the movie has your full attention. If you have a doctor’s or dentist appointment or a business meeting you won’t interrupt it to have a chat to me so why can’t you afford me the same courtesy. I want you to know that for the next hour i am choosing above anyone else in the world to spend time with and give my full attention to. We’ve lost that because we have openly welcomed the invasion and invasiveness of the mobile phone into our lives.

Then back to the breakfast, we also have a guy in our church who regularly leaves the worship time and maybe also the preach time to go take a business call. And then this guy leaving a worship session to go take a call. What is more important than communing with the Holy and Awesome Creator God and King Jesus for the twenty or so minutes we are going to sing some songs.

If you were in a one to one meeting with Nelson Mandela or Barack Obama or someone else you see as famous and respectable or the king of a country, you wouldn’t suddenly go ‘oh sorry i have a call, i’ll be back in a minute’ and so possibly it’s a question of not really understanding or knowing or believing that when we are engaged in a worship session it really is meant to be a face to face time of hanging with God. And surely He deserves complete focus and attention in that moment.

The cellphone has become an idol for many of us who worship it or its use or images or sounds that emanate from it and we need to really be more aware.

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