I’ve been reflecting on this particular quote quite a bit lately. It has really made me think of the way that I relate to people and how I let the busyness of life get in the way of just letting relationships be. Sometimes we need to not say anything and just sit with a loved one and just remember how much better it is to have that person there than it is to be alone. It doesn’t matter what’s being said. It just matters that he/she is there.
I think that we let the hustle and bustle of everyday life get to us. We get distracted by cell phones, tablets, ipods, televisions. While we check in at our favorite restaurant on Facebook or Instagram a picture of our meal, we forget that the most important person is sitting right in front of us. We demand the attention of 354 followers we have on Twitter instead of that of the person who took the time to shower, dress up and meet us at our favorite restaurant.
I’ve decided that it’s time to change that trend by pledging to Screenless Fridays. Every Friday, I’m going to refrain from using the items above. This means no tablet, no laptop, no nook, no ipod. (Also no television!) I’ll still have my cell phone but only for contacting people via phone or via text…and only when no one else is around. If I want to read a book, I’ll read a paper one. If I want music, I’ll sing to myself. I’m pretty sure that I can go without my laptop or tablet, which are mostly used for entertainment or when I travel for work.
In lieu of spending time with these things, I’ll make an appointment to catch up with a friend, whether it’s for a drink or dinner, or just to hang out. And on Saturdays, maybe I’ll document here how it goes.
I can say, too, that aside from what I’ve mentioned above, I’m driven by two things:
1.) I’m Catholic. The Catholic Church actually calls for the faithful to give up something that they like on Fridays. In the past, it’s been meat, but since I already know I can go without meat, I’m giving up my “screens.” It will be a challenge, but I’m hopeful that this exercise will lead me to appreciate my blessings and in turn lead me closer to Christ.
2.) I’ve heard a few times that the problem with the world is that we’ve started to love things and use people when we should use things and love people. I’m hopeful that in giving up some of my “things,” I’ll learn how to really love people again…and I’ll do it in some of those much needed silent moments without the distraction of electronics.
Anyone care to join me in this challenge?