Monday, June 4, 2012

Faster and Greater Capacity

My partner is reading this (horrendous) book on technology. I am not a fan, largely because it is convicting in how much time I spend “connected” rather than with those in front of me. But, that is a different story for a different day. Recently, the following gem from said book was shared with me – as technology is advertised, it is always with the promise to be faster and have greater capacity than what we are currently using.

Interesting. We all live in a world where going faster and doing more is expected. As consumers we demand it. But, what if, I don’t want to go faster? What if I am already working at capacity? What does my life (aside from my smart phone) look like if I am constantly trying to do more, hold more, be more? I graduated from college in 1994. We were right on the cusp of email and the internet. (insert Al Gore quip here!) I made my way through 21 years of my life with a paper calendar and a phone that plugged into a wall. Students will often guffaw at this reality. But, it is true. We met together to solve problems. Those meetings were set up by phone calls. We didn’t move as fast – the capacity to find a quick answer by using Google or searching a website didn’t exist. I had to rely on problem solving, best guesses in decision making and taking risks in a way that is different than how I operate now. As an undergraduate student leader, graduate student and new professional, I felt that I had great capacity. But, in no way was I able to communicate with the speed and frequency that I do now. In the month of May, I sent Liberty 76 emails. In February, 93. The woman works 30 feet from me. Please. Or, as she may say, Stop.

One of my childhood memories involves my Mom stopping by her to see her friends or my grandparents after she finished teaching for the day. There was never a call before showing up at the door – we would just go. No reason, just a moment to “visit” and catch up. I think if a friend showed up at my door without ‘warning’, I would assume something tragic had happened to them. Seriously. Nothing in my world happens without some sort of email or text to set it up. I mean, goodness, even the daughter’s orthodontist emails me to confirm appointments.

As we enter into summer, I suppose I am asking – do we need to be faster and have greater capacity? Or, is it a time the commit to stop, read, think, pray. To consider those we are connected to and call them? Or, visit them? I am leaving the country for 10 days without access to phone or email. We did it last summer for 2 weeks. It took a couple of days to adjust, but it was magnificent. My challenge to you – find a way to move slower and not take on more this season.


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