Distraction is the dirge of intimacy. It dilutes and diminishes, wearing down the opportunity for full engagement. Yet distraction is often a choice, welcomed in as a social norm or, worse, a preferred personal habit.

Our ever-expanding connectivity to the world through the devices we carry with us has created disconnection and distraction. We’re not being victimized by it either. We are choosing it.

Our phones, connecting us to the world, disconnect us from the person we are actually present with.

When you’re with someone and they glance at their phone, what goes through your mind? How about if they return a ‘quick’ text? What if a call comes in and they excuse themselves saying “Sorry, I have to take this…”

Oh, Lord, I am holding up the mirror of my life for all to see right now…

I am concerned that our phones are doing more damage to personal intimacy than we know. They are a helpful tool for work and such, but what if we are becoming a tool by having them on without boundaries?

I’ve been working on this in my life for a while – turning it off or getting away from it. It’s hard. I suppose to truly assess my progress I’d have to let my wife chime in on how I’m doing. I could ask a few others who I’m around regularly as well. And to tell you the truth, I am afraid of what they would say.

God has an amazing capacity to be present with us. It’s an indescribable ability to be fully present and attentive to us, to all of us, all at once. He has the ability and the choice. He chooses presence.

I have the ability to be fully present with one person or a group, but no more than that. But I do have the ability and the choice. Sometimes I choose presence, sometimes I bring the distraction with me.

We cannot fully engage at two things at once.

I am finding things getting more difficult in this area. I am increasingly aware that I feel a little insulted when the person I’m with just has to reply to a text or incessantly fidgets with their phone while we’re together. You might as well just scratch your privates so that I wonder if you have crabs because all that urgency and fidgeting makes me wonder what your hand is so busy taking care of…

I wonder if I’m that guy.   I wonder if I have crabs – if the presence of my phone compromises my presence with the person I’m with.

It does. I know it does. I have an itch that I’ve created & I scratch it. It seems to be a chosen pandemic too, men and women, young and old, scratching their itchy selves every waking hour.

There is a way out of the chaos. There are choices we can make, boundaries we can set, and settings we can adjust.

I’d really like to hear from you on this. It is something worth spending time talking about it.

How are you feeling about this in your own life experience? Has your phone crept into the conversations that matter? Is it a tool or are you becoming one?

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