"One of the new challenges for our generation is the impact of technology on our spirituality. This warrants serious consideration. If we are not careful, technology has a way of compromising our ability to be present to ourselves, to God and to each other- all of which are fundamental elements of the spiritual life. I don't know about you, but I am sad when I have set aside time to be with friends and, because a cell phone is left on, we are at the mercy of all manner of intrusion. We think nothing of taking phone calls in the middle of meetings, restaurants and family gatherings. I am disturbed by my own compulsion to check email late at night and first thing in the morning. When left unchecked, this lack of discipline imperceptibly robs me of rest in the evening and silent presence to God in the morning. I can become exhausted by the intrusion of the media and technology into every corner of my life, resulting in constant overstimulation of body, mind and emotions. All of this convenience wears me out!
Exhaustion sets in when we are accessible too much of the time. A soul-numbing sadness comes when we realize that a certain quality of life and quality of presence is slipping away as a result of too much "convenience." Breaks in the day that used to be small windows of replenishment for body and soul- like driving in a car, going for a walk, having lunch with a friend- are now filled with noise, interruption and multi-tasking. What feels like being available and accessible is really a boundaryless existence that offers no protection for those things that are most precious to us.
...No wonder we feel disconnected from God: we are rarely able to give Him our full attention in solitude and silence. Thoughtful reflection is constantly sabotaged by the intrusion of cell phones, pagers and e-mail messages. No wonder our human relationships are so unsatisfying as they get reduced to snippets of interrupted, disembodied phone conversation. What feels like convenience is actually robbing us of those things we value most. We are left with bits and pieces of everything rather than experiencing the full substance of anything."
- Ruth Haley Barton, Sacred Rhythms