Intentional Technology

Sister Julia Walsh is one of the writers / bloggers that I enjoy a lot. I met her during work with the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration over the last few years. She is vibrant in her thoughtfulness, curiosity, and willingness to lean in to the complexity that is worship and vowed life.

In her recent post on “Technology Habits and Connections that Matter Most,” she references this term, “IT,” intentional technology. I appreciate how she reflects on the choice of how to best use social media, and more importantly, clarify relationship with social media.

It’s not as simple as “technology is bad” is it. That overlooks essential mediums that are helping people everywhere to organize everything from chats over coffee to revolutions. It overlooks a convenience of apps than enable mass amounts of portable information and practices to be available at fingertips.

I’ve been experimenting with my own relationship to social media. Really I’ve been doing this over the last 10 years in particular, just like most other humans. In the last year, I’ve created deliberate times of unplugging. Sometimes a morning. Sometimes three days. No email. No texts. No computer. No TV. In the best of those times, it is no clocks also (just an alarm set to mark the end of that period).

It is not reasonable, nor desirable for me to think of always being unplugged this way. Let’s face it, it’s pretty sweet to do more with a smart phone in five minutes standing in a grocery line than what would have taken, ten years ago, two hours at the office. The flight is booked. The banking transfer complete. I have the top news headlines. And I’ve touched in with five friends on Facebook. But I, like Sister Julia, also want those choices to be intentional. Deliberate. And I don’t want to miss the moment in front of me. Sometimes, its not my isolated todo list that matters in the grocery store, but rather, the person standing next to me. It’s also pretty sweet to to experience in those five minutes a “hello.” A “how are you?” A “that looks tasty, is it?” A laugh. A connection. A “have a good day.”

Therein lies the crux of it, in this human to human world. “Things” and technologies and distractions and, and, and. These will always be available. It is our intention and reclaiming of choice in relationship to any of those that matter.

That’s tasty don’t you think?

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