I have been reading my friend Matt Swaim’s book Prayer in the Digital Age. Matt discusses the false sense of urgency that the Internet and social media bring to our lives. He writes:
The digital culture demands an answer, and when we finally unplug from it, there is a sense of helplessness and a feeling we’ve failed somehow, even if we can’t put our finger on who or what we’ve failed. All we know is that there is something out there that we should have done something about five minutes ago.
That passage seems to sum up my relationship with the digital over the last year or so. Sometimes the Internet feels to me like a giant ball and chain that keeps me from more important endeavors.
With that in mind, I have decided for Lent this year I need to get my relationship with the digital world back in check. I could simply give up Facebook like I did last year, but I know this year that that will not be enough. I will still be wasting many hours following random Twitter links, reading long articles about advances in biotech, and trolling com boxes to see if I can discover the latest zeitgeist with the hopes of discovering what to write about next.
So for Lent this year, I have decided to give up blogging. This is not just for spiritual reasons, but for physical ones as well. Lately, my lower back has telling me that endless hours researching, writing, and polishing posts on the computer is not good. It needs as much of a break from my routine as my brain and my soul. (My children were also excited to know that for the next few weeks, they won’t be seeing my head pointed at my computer screen with that blank look on my face as much as they usually do.)
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I will be praying over the next 40 days that my respite will mean a renewed vigor for my mission, bringing biotech under the light of the teachings of our Church.
See you in April!