Your Phone vs. Your Heart

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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This morning, I thought about my college days. Before the Christmas and summer breaks, I drove eight hours from my dorm to my childhood home--alone, without a cellphone. My heart skips a beat when I even consider one of my sons doing the same thing. Technology makes me feel less alone and less vulnerable. It can be a very good thing.

On the other hand, when I think about how the ubiquitousness of cellphones has robbed us of face-to-face connection, my heart sinks. Technology often provides counterfeit relationships, to the detriment of our day-to-day interactions. Case in point: my husband ran in the park a few months ago, and he observed a soccer practice at which every single parent on the sidelines was engaged with their phone--and nothing else. Technology can be a bad thing.

In a piece for the New York Times, Barbara Frederickson reports on the findings from a scientific study which suggests that immersing oneself in too much technology, for too long, actually diminishes one's ability to relate to others. "The human body--and thereby our human potential--is far more plastic or amenable to change than most of us realize," Frederickson writes. "...a lack of positive social contact diminishes people. Your heart’s capacity for friendship also obeys the biological law of 'use it or lose it.' If you don’t regularly exercise your ability to connect face to face, you’ll eventually find yourself lacking some of the basic biological capacity to do so."

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