The ECHO (15 Oct 2017)
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Archdiocese of Adelaide Annual Report 2016
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Same Sex Marriage Postal Plebiscite
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Alone Together - Innovation leading to enslavement
Last week I was in a restaurant with my friends and I noticed a husband and wife probably in their late 70s eating dinner together. The man was occupied with his phone the entire time, while his sweetheart stared into space. I felt sad for them and I thought, “this is not how a couple’s night out is supposed to look at any age.” Technology is fast advancing, but what about our personal relationships?
In this age of selfies and likes, it is possible to spend endless hours scrolling through photos of friends, acquaintances, celebrities or news. Is a concert a concert if one doesn’t Instagram it? Is an untweeted though worth a fig? If I don’t log my gym session will my cardiovascular capacity really increase? I am not sure how many will give a resounding ‘yes’ to all three.
Strong relationships are not built on texting. When it comes to spending time together (in person), put the phones away and talk and laugh with each other instead. My parents used to leave work at the office because they had to, but this isn’t the case anymore. Now with technology, our work comes home or goes for the vacation with us.
As we move from one task to the next, we often check our phones. Our free time becomes phone time. Without time for personal prayer, stillness, reflection, or journaling, it is difficult to examine one’s life. We can lose the sense of perspective and purpose that is strengthened through prayer and meditating on God’s Word. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
A kind gaze goes a long way in a society filled with people who are looking down most of the time. I am afraid we are losing eye contact, rarely smiling at strangers while we do our errands. At home, it’s not any better. We can continue to shift our eyes from screen to screen, not really making much eye contact with our loved ones and friends. Our smartphone is supposed to help us connect with our loved ones and live a more productive life. While that’s certainly possible, our phones can often be more of a distraction than a help if we are not careful. Our gadgets may corrode the quality of our life if we find ourselves texting when we should be talking, watching when we should be involving, and scrolling when we should be working. May technology enable all of us to have more productive personal time of building relationships in real life.
Wishing you God’ s Best
Fr Shibu Jacob Msfs
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[Chair of Parish Pastoral Council - Gunnar Keppel]